Kathmandu, Nov 30
Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel today said that the government was committed to increase production and job opportunities while increasing investment to grow country’s economy marred by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He stressed the need for a strong help and togetherness of private sector to deal with challenges created by the infection as the government alone could not do so. The minister was speaking at the 23rd anniversary and 22nd annual general meeting of the Society of Economic Journalists Nepal (SEJON) here. “A positive message is a great thing and an effective guideline to resolve problems.” The foundation stone would be laid today for the construction of five-to-15-bed hospitals at local level across the country, a plan of the government to stem the COVID-19 crisis on health sector, he said.
For this purpose, the government has managed budget worth Rs 58 billion. He said he was eager to cooperate with the newly elected leadership of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. On the occasion, FNCCI President Shekhar Golchha said they had made a special strategy for sustainable economic increment cutting through COVID-19 impacts on it and would make public it in some days.
Stating that the Federation had stressed on the strategy of creating jobs for as many as 400,000 youths annually, he said that the small and medium scale enterprises were hardest hit by COVID-19. He spoke for the need to mitigate the negative influence of COVID-19 on the enterprises and pressed for reform at policy level and exemption of custom and taxes in various sector. Likewise, Satish Mor, President of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), opined that COVID-19 could be an opportunity for Nepal in the wake of government enabling a favorable environment through collaboration with the private sector.
He called for collective effort to revive the economy and promote economic activities. He also demanded objective implementation of the subjects in the monetary policy and the annual budget for the current fiscal year. Nepal Chambers of Commerce’s Senior Vice-President Rajendra Malla viewed that the government and private sector should be effortful to cushion the effect of COVID-19. RSS executive editor Pathak feted On the occasion of AGM, SEJON honoured executive editor of the Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), Yek Raj Pathak, for his longstanding contribution to economic journalism. Minister Poudel also feted Laxman Humagain, Lok Bahadur Chapagain and Prasanna Chitrakar.
Similarly, Sobhit Thapaliya and Balkrishna Gyawali of the Nagarik Dainik were also awarded with ‘SEJON Award’. The award carries a purse of Rs 50,000 each. Jivan Basnet and Laxmi Sapkota have been provided with fellowship by the SEJON.