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Nepal’s central bank raises growth estimates to 7.1%

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s central bank, (NRB) has raised the economic growth estimates for the last fiscal year 2018/19 from earlier 6.8 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

With this, Nepal has embarked on high growth course for the last three years with more than 6 per cent growth – 8.2 in 2016/17 and 6.7 per cent in 2017/18.

Nepali economy re-bounced after reaching the lowest 0.1 per cent growth in 2015/16 due to the devastating earthquake and five plus-month long border blockade.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in April this year had estimated that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country would grow by 6.81 per cent in the last fiscal.

Recent estimates of the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) matched the growth estimates of the World Bank made in June. The multi-lateral donor had also projected 7.1 per cent growth for the last fiscal.

According to the NRB, the share of agriculture to the GDP has further shrunk to 27 per cent from last years’28.1 per cent while industry and service sectors’ contribution has grown from 14.9 per cent to 15.2 per cent and 57 per cent to 57.8 per cent respectively.

Agriculture, industry and service sectors were estimated to grow by 5 per cent 8.2 per cent and 7.3 per cent.

NRB’s annual macroeconomic and financial situation report said that the gross domestic saving to GDP stood at 20.5 per cent last year. Similarly, gross national saving to GDP was 52.4 per cent.

Similarly, the average consumer price inflation was 4.6 per cent last year, slightly up from 4.2 per cent in 2017/18. The annual average food and beverage inflation stood at 3.1 per cent and non-food and service inflation at 5.9 per cent last year against 2.7 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively a year ago.

The Hill region witnessed the highest raise in the price of goods and services with 4.9 per cent inflation, followed by the Kathmandu Valley and the mountain region with 4.9 per cent, and Terai with 4.3 per cent.

At the same time, the national salary and wage rate index increased by 9.1 per cent in the last month of the fiscal.

Likewise, import of goods increased by 13.9 per cent to reach Rs. 1218.5 billion and export increased by 19.4 per cent to Rs. 97.11 billion in the last fiscal. In 2017/18, export and import had increased by 25.8 per cent and 11.4 per cent.

However, the trade was more concentrated to India with 34.3 per cent higher exports and 12.8 per cent imports growth over the year. Major export commodities are palm oil, polyester yarn, jute goods, pulses and noodles. Similarly, major import goods are petroleum products, readymade garment, electrical goods, machineries and parts and MS billet.

Meanwhile, remittance inflow increased by 16.5 per cent to Rs. 879.2 billion last year compared to 8.6 per cent increase in the previous year. However, the number of Nepali workers migrated for foreign employment decreased by 32.6 per cent.

The dengue virus is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes.

Doctors and stakeholders working in the health sector have warned that the number of dengue patients could rise as post-monsoon has just begun and the valley is a favourable place for breeding the mosquitoes that cause dengue.

The experts linked up the outbreak of dengue in the valley with the increasing urbanisation and climate change and poor sanitation. Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun of Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital advised the public not to collect and store water for a longer period inside and outside their houses.

All individuals should maintain sanitation their surroundings to control the spread of dengue, suggest the doctors.

The dengue mosquitoes breed in the water collected in the tyres, flower pots, water jars, pots, vessels and places where water storage is possible, said Dr Pun.

Every individual must be aware about the consequences of water storage and must dry the water containers to get rid of dengue-causing mosquitoes, added Dr Pun.

“We should not only depend on the government to control the epidemic. We should join hands in destroying the habitats of dengue causing mosquitoes by cleaning our environment and adopting all the preventive measures,” Dr Pun said.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection which spreads quickly, so one must take precautions to get rid of mosquito bite, Dr Pun advised.

According to doctors, dengue fever is usually mild and subsides in about seven to 10 days after the symptoms appear. The symptoms include fever, severe headache, pains in muscles and joints with a skin rash.

Published Date: Sunday, September 1st, 2019 | 10:17 PM

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