Gandaki Province sets economic growth target of 8% by 2085 BS

Published On: April 2, 2024 08:00 PM NPT By: SANDESH SHRESTHA

POKHARA, April 2; Gandaki Province has prepared its strategic roadmap by releasing a concept paper for its second five-year plan. The Gandaki Province Policy and Planning Commission released the second five-year plan's concept paper to transform the province into a self-reliant, carbon-neutral, and economically developed province.

Vice Chairperson Krishna Chandra Devkota detailed the plan’s objectives to align with the country's 16th five-year plan and set a foundation for sustainable and inclusive economic development. The strategy outlines provincial goals of enhancing productivity, social justice, and development.

The concept paper highlights three key regional objectives for improving infrastructure and production, creating employment opportunities and income-generating sources, and building human capital. It focuses on equitable development, social justice, and the delivery of quality public services and good governance.

Gandaki Province has adopted eight overreaching strategies and identified 14 primary sectors for development, including sustainable economic growth, green initiatives, and social equity.

It is mentioned in the concept paper that the second five-year plan aims to achieve an economic growth rate of 8 percent by 2085 BS. Currently, the economic growth rate of Gandaki Province is only 3.3 percent. When the first five-year plan started, it was 7.1 percent in fiscal year 2075/76 BS, but now the economic growth rate of Gandaki Province is decreasing instead of increasing due to the pandemic and economic recession.

Likewise, the concept paper states that the second five-year plan aims to reduce poverty to eight percent. At present, poverty is currently 11 percent in Gandaki Province. Although the first five-year plan aimed to reduce it to 7.3 percent, the ambitious plan could not be completed due to various reasons. Therefore, the commission is going to take an ambitious target of reducing poverty to 8 percent in the second five-year plan.

By the end of the second five-year plan, Gandaki Province aims to reach the per capita income of the province to US $ 2,500. Earlier, the first five-year plan aimed to reach  US $ 1,956, but now it is limited to US $ 1,596.

Gandaki aims to increase the labor force participation rate to 75 percent, increase the share of the formal sector in employment to 55 percent, and increase the number of families with access to education to 100 percent. In Gandaki, the literacy rate has been set to reach 85 percent over the next five years. It is mentioned that the goal of increasing the average life expectancy of Gandaki residents to 80 years will be taken, while the goal of reducing the maternal mortality rate to zero and the child mortality rate to 14 per thousand people will be taken.

Vice Chairperson Devkota said that the first five-year plan did not achieve the expected goals due to the low economic growth rate, high expansion of the service sector compared to the manufacturing sector, low production and increasing dependence, insufficient mobilization of financial resources, and reduction in capital expenditure.

However, he said that the impact of the COVID pandemic is decreasing, economic activity is increasing, and industrialization and commercialization of agriculture in Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, Pokhara has been declared the tourism capital of the country and that all this makes it possible to achieve the goals of the second five-year plan by increasing investment and tourist arrival accordingly. “We are preparing to formulate a draft of the plan. Now the budget and program are separated accordingly. We believe that our goal can be achieved with this plan,” he said.


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