KATHMANDU, May 28: The government built fewer public infrastructures this year compared to last year, although there has been some progress in the reconstruction of public offices and utilities damaged by the earthquakes of 2015, says the new economic survey unveiled by the government on Sunday.
According to the survey, only 22 motorable bridges have been constructed in the current fiscal year while a total of 72 bridges were built in the last fiscal year.
The total length of roads blacktopped in the first eight months of the current fiscal year is only 346 kilometers compared to 630 kilometers in the last fiscal year, according to the economic survey.
Similarly, no new hospital has been constructed in the current fiscal year while only four new primary health centers have come into operation after completion of construction work. Not a single hospital bed has been added in the current fiscal year.
The government closed down two Ayurvedic hospitals in the current fiscal and they now number 382. The number of medical doctors in public hospitals and health institutions has also declined to 2,004 this year from 2,640 last year but the reason behind this decline is unknown. The government has missed its target to provide all citizens with safe drinking water by 2017 as only 87.9 percent people have access to safe drinking water.
Government officials claim that the slow-paced work in infrastructure projects during this period is due to the concentration of all government mechanisms and officials in conducting the three tiers of elections held in the review period.
A total of 38.1 million people use telephone service while cell phone service coverage is 90 percent of the land mass.
The commitments for investments have increased by more than double to Rs 38.04 billion. Another positive indicator is that the government has said that the inflow of foreign tourists increased by 25 percent to 940,000 in 2017 compared to the previous year.
MASSIVE GROWTH IN ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION PER CAPITA
With the continuous power supply after the end of load-shedding last year, the per capita electricity consumption has jumped to 177 KWh from 129 KWh in the review period. There has been a slight change in the electricity consumption pattern. The percentage of electricity consumption by the industrial sector has increased to 37.2 percentage points from 36 percentage points of the last fiscal year while household consumption of electricity has gone down by 1 percent to 44 percent.
This indicates a positive symptom that the industrial sector is growing and giving more output. An additional 72.1 MW electricity including from Chameliya Hydropower Project of 30 MW was added to the national grid in the first eight months of the current fiscal year while additional electricity generation was 105.3 MW in the same period of the last fiscal year.
IMPROVEMENT IN RECONSTRUCTION
There has been some progress in reconstruction works in the first eight months. Nearly 42 percent of the public schools damaged by the earthquakes have been rebuilt while reconstruction of 13 percent of heritage sites has been completed. Nearly half of the quake-damaged health institutions have been rebuilt while 36 percent of the damaged public offices and 18 percent of drinking water projects have been rebuilt and services have resumed.
Only 13 percent of total housing grant recipients have rebuilt their houses while the government has signed housing grant agreements with 91 percent of the total identified 767,705 housing grant recipients. Some 89 percent of them have already received the first tranche of the reconstruction grant while 34 and eight percent of them have got the second and third tranche of the housing grant, respectively.
-Gross Domestic Product growth rate to be 5.9 percent, down from last year’s 7.39 percent
-Per capita income to reach to US$ 1,004
-Inflation to increase to 6 percent
-Per capita electricity consumption jumped to 177 KWh from 129 KWh
-Number of medical doctors in public hospitals declined to 2,004 from 2,640
-Only 13 percent earthquake victims have rebuilt their individual houses
-72.1 MW electricity connected to national grid; installed capacity of power projects reaches 1045 MW