News Digest: Economy & Development (November 18 – 24 2021)


Money and Banking

According to Nepal Banker’s Association (NBA), deposits by commercial banks has declined by Nrs. 4.269 trillion (USD 35 billion) to reach Nrs. 4.233 trillion (USD 35 billion) in the one month period from mid-October to mid-November 2021. On the contrary, loan issuance by commercial banks has increased by Nrs. 3.998 trillion (USD 33 billion) to reach Nrs. 4.034 trillion (USD 33 billion) during the same review period.

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has launched the highly anticipated National Payment Switch (NPS) aimed at integrating multiple banks, digital payment vendors and other digital transaction stakeholders into a single system. At its launch, NRB also handed over the responsibility of operating the NPS to the Nepal Clearing House Limited (NCHL). A total of 18 commercial banks, 5 development banks and 6 finance companies have agreed for the implementation of the NPS under which Nepal-Pay QR, Internet Network QR, direct debit request-to-pay, e-mandate tools, wallet-to-wallet interconnection and PSO settlements has been included.

An integrated audit report submitted by the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO) to Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has recorded the arrear amounts of the federal government during the last fiscal year (FY) 2020/21 at Nrs. 25.26 bilion (USD 212 million). Out of the arrears amount, the government needs to regularize Nrs. 6.95 billion (USD 58 million), with Nrs. 591.90 million (USD 4 million) recorded under the amount to be recovered and Nrs. 17.71 billion (USD 148 million) crossing the maturity date. 

On the occasion of the 10th National Tax Day, Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has directed concerned authorities to arrange reward for those who report tax evasion cases.

Infrastructure and Development

According to the Department of Industry (DoI), a total investment worth Nrs. 159.04 billion (USD 1.33 billion) for both- domestic and foreign industries has been proposed during the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2021/22. DoI has also revealed that a total of 116 industries have been registered with an investment pledge of Nrs. 134.86 billion (USD 1.13 billion) as of the mid-November period of the current fiscal year (FY) 2021/22. A total of 17,558 individuals are anticipated to avail direct employment from these industries.

The state-owned Udayapur Cement Industry has embarked upon Nrs. 500 million (USD 4 million) modernization plan to boost output and compete better in the market dominated by the private sector. Similarly, the industry has also proposed hiring specialists to increase the existing calibration from the current 30 percent to 90 percent for the installation of a reinforcement suspension preheater system.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Prem Bahadur Ale has asserted that the government is working towards removing Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) from the blacklist of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). NAC has been in the blacklist of ICAO since 2013.

According to the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), 12.86 million individuals have been using the 4G internet services as of mid-October 2021. The said number accounts for 37.45 percent of the total internet users which is 34.33 million across the country. Out of the 4G internet users, 6.63 million were found to be using the services of Nepal Telecom and 6 million were found to be using the services of Ncell.

Agriculture Inputs Company Limited (AICL) has imported 25,000 tons of chemical fertilizers from China wherein 15,500 tons were imported via Bhairahawa customs and 9,500 tons via Birgunj customs.

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