Revenue growth rate, which stood at 10 percent two months ago, has now declined to 7 percent: Former Finance Minister Mahat

Published On: April 10, 2024 06:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 10: The spokesperson for the Nepali Congress and former finance minister Dr Prakash Saran Mahat has raised concerns saying that the revenue growth rate, which stood at 10 percent two months ago, has now declined to 7 percent.

Addressing the 58th Annual General Meeting of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), former minister of finance, Dr Mahat said that it will be challenging to maintain the progress achieved through hard work and discipline.

“The prime minister who changed the alliance said that all these progress and achievements were made under his leadership. ‘But I could not be satisfied with that achievement, that's why I changed the alliance,’” Mahat quoted the PM as saying. "The current pace and style of operation indicate challenges in sustaining the momentum built with hard work and discipline. The revenue growth rate, which was at 10 percent two months ago, has now dropped to 7 percent," Mahat added.

He made it clear that the Nepali Congress recognizes that the private sector is the primary driver of job creation, income growth and prosperity. He said that the Nepali Congress understands the importance of the private sector.

“The policy initiatives by the Nepali Congress played a pivotal role in advancing economic growth post-2046 BS. The Nepali Congress's policy prioritizing active private sector participation, coupled with state support, propelled Nepal's economic growth to new heights," Mahat said.

He said that the private sector's involvement in Nepal's economy has been ‘token participation’ thus far. However, he highlighted the Nepali Congress's efforts to broaden private sector engagement, which previously had been primarily confined to import and export activities.

Former minister Dr Mahat said, "I became the Minister of Finance in the latter phase; the first phase of reforms started after 2046 BS. It is widely recognized by all the three umbrella organizations of the private sector that we have spearheaded the commencement of the second phase of reforms, placing significant emphasis on soliciting suggestions, guidance, and active involvement of the private sector.

He said that the state cannot be effective until the state system does not run on the budgetary system in a transparent and disciplined manner. Dr Mahat said that we have realized that economic growth is not possible solely through state-centric, distribution-centric, or party-centric approaches.

"By making these issues the fundamental principles, we actively participated in the last coalition government. We included three private sector organizations as members to facilitate investment in Nepal. We observed what kinds of hurdles and necessary reforms the private sector feels are required, where there are complications and obstacles. Considering these issues, we brought them to the attention of the Council of Ministers from the level of the Ministry of Finance by obtaining their signatures. We aimed to provide additional energy at investment conferences by giving these issues a legal form. We were aligning the budgetary process into the system,” he stated.

Dr Mahat said that continuing the second phase of reforms would pave the way for a renewed economic growth post-2046 BS. However, he cautioned against jeopardizing the momentum of economic progress by disrupting reforms and adopting contradictory approaches, particularly if the focus remains distribution-centered and cooperation with the private sector is merely verbal.

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