Minister Mahat stresses on import substitution to reduce whooping trade deficit

Kathmandu, Aug. 2: Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat stressed the need for focusing on import substitution to reduce the whooping trade deficit.

Speaking at a programme on ‘Present Situation of Trade Deficit of Nepal and its Reduction’ organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Sunday, Finance Minister Dr. Mahat said that the export production should be promoted to reduce trade deficit.

“The volume of import cannot be reduced unless the production is increased,” he said and added that the country needed to increase production to substitute imports.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said that the country should promote high potential sectors so as to control the rampant trade deficit.

“We need to increase the production of energy, agricultural products, cement and other goods within the country for import substitution,” he said.

Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa said that focus should be on market-oriented production.

“We should work bringing the closed industries into operation and accord due emphasis on increasing the market access and attracting the poor households to enterprises,” he said.       

Minister of State for Commerce and Supplies Giri Bahadur KC said the volume of export has decreased because of the low production, increase in income and decrease in the productivity and underlined on bringing in big investment.

Likewise, the secretaries of different ministries pointed out that the accumulation of the remittances in banks, increasing liquidity in the financial sector, delay in infrastructure projects and lack of spending of the amount allocated to the energy sector were the main reasons for the trade deficit.

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