KATHMANDU: The sixth Constitution Day has been marked by organizing special function maintaining safety measures in the presence of President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Tundikhel, Kathmandu.
Prime Minister and Constitution Day main celebration committee chairman KP Sharma Oli said although the COVID-19 has obstructed on achieving the goals, the economy would be restored once the crisis subsides.
The indicators of national economy are strong, he argued, adding, “Crisis is temporary, so the country moves ahead to realize the goal of ‘Prosperous Nepal: Happy Nepali’ for which the constitution is a guideline.
The Constitution Day is marked differently by maintaining adequate safety measures and social distances in the wake of the global pandemic, the PM reminded. “Nearly 400 persons in the country and hundreds of others lost lives abroad due to the pandemic.
In addition to the pandemic, natural disasters too have claimed many lives. I express tribute to the dead ones, extend condolences to the bereaved ones and wish speedy recovery of the injured ones,” the PM mentioned. Giving references of intervention s in China and India, PM Oli believed that people’s understanding in Nepal has helped a lot to control the coronavirus.
‘Saving Life First’ policy has been adopted with the consultation with different stakeholders and infrastructures for the treatment of infected persons have been boosted, according to him. Moreover, the PM said the pandemic should not only be taken as challenges but be utilized as opportunity.
The plan to create adequate health infrastructures as per the annual budget has been implemented. “Irrespective of the criticism, the efforts made to control and prevent coronavirus are encouraging,” he claimed. In the address he said, “It is achievement indeed to have 47 testing laboratory while the country was bound to send its sample test abroad as the first case of coronavirus was found on 23 January early this year.
Now, the everyday capacity of test has reached 23,000 and the cost per test has reduced from Rs 8500 to Rs 2000. The government has fulfilled its commitment to conduct PRC test on two percent of the country population.
He further features the achievements that the number of ventilators has reached 900 from 770 and ICU beds reached 2600 from 1551. The PM also mentioned various achievements made to control and prevent coronavirus in the country.
“If there were no COVID-19, activities to economic prosperity could be intensified in the country: some national pride projects would have finished; Bharahawa airport would have come to operation, and the same in case of Upper Tamakoshi, Melamchi Drinking Water Project, Dharahara reconstruction and private housing reconstruction,” PM Oli reminded.
He claimed that a lot of works have been carried out even amidst the coronavirus pandemic situation. The country has caught up with the trend of high economic growth since the last three years.
Nepal has made a significant improvement in 14 indices including human development index, the climate in doing business, the situation of hunger, peace and order, rule of law, eradication of corruption, tourism competitiveness, gender equality, schoold education and health among others “However, the economy has seen negative impact due to the COVID-19.
But we will soon put to an end this adverse situation and turn it intoa conducive one,” the PM declared. He reiterated that the government has brought forth the proposal of economic revival through the budget and the monetary policy for facilitating the industry and business sector.
He believed that more than 200 billion investments would be mobilised as arrangements have been made for refinance incorporating agriculture, tourism, energy, cottage and small industries to resurrect the economy. Prime Minister Oli said it is a matter of happiness that the country’s economic growth rate was positive when the same in many countries of the world was negative.
He said the overall fiscal situation was in balance although the revenue collection has been affected and there have been improvements which have long-term importance in the revenue system.
The PM added that the inflation was under control and the foreign trade deficit was moving towards improvement. The remittance flow has been constant despite the shutdown. He informed that remittance of Rs 287 billion was remiited to the country in the last three months alone.
The balance of payment situation was in surplus by Rs 282 billion last year and the net foreign exchange reserve has reached 1,401 billion. The assistance of donor agencies has been increasing in spite of the adverse situation.
During this period, pledges of development assistance of Rs 500 billion including budgetary assistance of Rs 168 billion have been made. More than 200 billion foreign investment has been appoved and commitments for more than 1.4 trillion has been received.
The PM added that 178 kilometres road has been built, 89 motarable bridges constructed and 53 thousand private houses damaged by the earthquake rebuilt, giving continuity to development and construction even during the lockdown. Prime Minister Oli said that although the dissenting voices get space in democracy, the tendency to go after rumours and be influenced by the same was not democracy.
He stressed that since the free press is the expression of democracy, the means of mass communication should disseminate truth based on facts and fulfill their responsibility of informing the society.
He also underscored the need of consolidating the federal democratic republic, which is the historic decision taken by the people. PM stated that the efforts made at bringing political instability have been defeated in the meantime. He insisted that the government was committed to fulfilling the public aspiration for rapid development despite of obstacles.
The PM stated that the feudalistic reactionary force has been uprooted in course of the seven decades of struggle and the new constitution has been promulgated. Any lackings in this state system could be mended and it would not be appropriate to knowingly create a situation as in the autocratic system of the past.