Kathmandu, March 12
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said economic improvement is the government’s priority.
In his address to the 24th general assembly of the Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal here today, the Prime Minister said he from the very first meeting of his Cabinet decided to take serious steps towards improving the economy, adding that the incumbent government was committed to transforming current economic challenges to opportunities. The Prime Minister said, “Though the country’s economic situation is at ease, there remains no ground to panic.
Last year, the size of foreign exchange reserves was shrinking and now it is on the path of improvement due to policies taken to tackle with such situation.” As he said, the country’s forex reserves can cover imports of goods and services for over 10 months. Now the government’s focus is on making economic activities vibrant and improving the economic indicators. The head of the government was of the view of completing the development projects within the deadline. He said construction companies should be committed to quality and timely services.
Stating that public complaints regarding the construction sector were increasing, he urged contractors to be more accountable to their profession and clients. According to him, the government has the policies of increasing capital expenditure, revising monetary policy and paying contractors on time. He took time to announce that he had recently directed the Nepal Rastra Bank and officials concerned to limit the inflation rate to a single-digit.
“The inflation is under control.” He added the Nepal Bankers’ Association decision to reduce the interest rates would be a respite for construction companies. Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the payment to construction companies was getting delayed to some procedural and responsibility issues. “Discussions at the government level are going on to ensure timely payment.”
He urged construction companies to be more responsible towards the profession, adding that the government would not hesitate to take action if contractors failed to abide by professional ethics, norms and values. FCAN president Rabi Singh said they were frustrated due to political instability at home. Construction business was affected by the lack of bank loans and timely payment from the government level.
“The data of the past six months show that only Rs 15 billion, out of 99 billion allocated for the projects of national pride project, has been spent.” He also demanded the participation of the bodies concerned in the amendment of the Public Procurement Act and regulations.