First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Professor Prithvi Raj Ligal, former vice-chairperson of theNational Planning Commission,has stressed on the need to introduce a stimulus package to support the livelihoods of the unemployed and helpless people.
Speaking during a virtual event titled ‘Impact of Covid-19 on Nepalese Economy and Role of Policy Actors’ that was organized by MPPM Scholars Networkof KU School of Management, on Saturday,Prof Ligal underscored the need of a stimulus package for those temporary workers who have lost their jobs due to the prolonged lockdown.
He informed that the number of unemployed people is projected to reach 1.6 million of which about 600,000 will be migrant workers returning from abroad.He explained, “The prolonged lockdown has started creating difficulties for such workers in providing for their families and fulfilling their daily basic needs,” Ligal said.
“There have been some supportive campaigns like the food banks being organized by concerned citizens to help provide some basic requirements to these workers but the government has yet to announce any stimulus package like in the governments in other nations have done to support the livelihoods of the unemployed,” he stated.
Citing the government’s failure in managing even a single ventilator in any health institution from the fund worth Rs 12 billion raised for COVID 19 management, he criticized the authorities for purchasing five vehicles at a time when the health sector requires essential equipment. Legal further said that proper health facilities and services should be prioritized first.
“Due to the adverse effect of the pandemic the government must think of ways that could be instrumental in saving lives and protecting livelihoods and these measures should be the topmost priority in the country’s development agenda now,” he added.
Another panelist in the event, Durga Nidhi Sharma, who is a former secretary of the government of Nepal,shared about how the public’s voice could be raised in such a manner that it becomes a policy in the future. He said, “The public should raise their voices from today itself if they want their demands to be addressed and enacted into laws, acts and policies for the common welfare of the society.”
Both Ligal and Sharma concluded that the impact created by the pandemic has provided an opportunity to restructure the economy by giving more incentives to the emerging areas, re-orienting the public finance system in terms of both revenue and expenditure, reprioritizing expenditure for better results and re-orienting investment in the economy that ensures better health and people’s well-being.
Altogether,100 people including students, professors, advocates and writers participated in the meeting organized via Zoom app.
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