By Our Reporter
The government had already marked its first year in the office. However, in a year after the formation of the powerful two-thirds majority government under KP Sharma Oli, the economic condition of the country has worsened. All economic indicators are negative although PM Oli claimed in his televised speech that they were positive.
But in reality, the trade deficit has widened further while the reserve of the foreign currency has fallen sharply. The balance of payment has also been negative.
With poor performance of the export sector, the country’s trade deficit escalated by over 19 per cent to Rs. 613.72 billion during the first seven months of the current fiscal year. According to records released by the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Nepal imported goods and services worth Rs. 661.22 billion (93.3 per cent of total trade) during this period while the export in the same period stood at a meager Rs. 47.5 billion (6.7 per cent of total trade).
Consequently, the country witnessed a whopping trade deficit of over Rs. 613 billion. During this period the ratio of export and import stood at 1:13.9, meaning the total import is nearly 14 times higher than total export; this ratio was 1:13.1 last year. The export of carpets dropped by 11.9 per cent to Rs. 3.82 billion while the export of iron and steel and the goods produced from these metals dropped by 1.8 per cent to Rs. 3.29 billion. However, the export of readymade garments grew by 12.7 per cent to Rs. 3.51 billion while polyester and other types of yarn recorded a substantial growth of 28.8 per cent to Rs. 4.54 billion.
This year petroleum import increased by 36.3 per cent to Rs. 85.26 billion while the import of medicines increased by 27.6 per cent to Rs. 16.49 billion, machinery and the parts by 54 per cent to Rs. 70.7 billion and polythene granules by 24.9 per cent to Rs. 11.42 billion that naturally added up to a high import figure while the export grew only marginally. In fact, as stated above the export of key export items like carpet, iron and steel and the goods produced from these metals, and lentils fell considerably in the current fiscal year.
The poor show in export trade is a result of inability to build industry that could not only generate employment for increasing number of youths who are compelled to leave home in search of jobs abroad but also reduce the growing trade deficit.