Saturday, 29 January, 2022

Lockdown will harm economy: Minister Sharma


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Jan. 11: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the country should not choose the path of lockdown under any circumstances.
He made this remark while speaking at the second annual general meeting of the Confederation of Banks and Financial Institutions Nepal (CBFIN) held in the capital on Monday.
“The new variant of coronavirus has spread rapidly in recent times, but now the path of lockdown should not be adopted,” he said.

He said that the country's economy would slide into crisis due to the lockdown. "Some people are worried that there will be a lockdown again," he said. "If we take the path of stagnation again, our economy will not be able to cope.”
Finance Minister Sharma has said that the tendency to earn more profits even in times of crisis should be abandoned.

He said that there should be no more profit-making in times of crisis.
Stating that some reduction can be made from 30 per cent tax as demanded by banks and financial institutions, Minister Sharma said that banks should not be guided by profit motive in times of crisis.

"Isn't there a need to get rid of the mentality of making more profit even in times of crisis or not," he said. "This feeling is not seen. Together in times of crisis, one must save the other.”
He said that the banks and financial sector have a great contribution in the domestic production of the country and stressed on the need for the government, private sector and others to help each other in difficult times.

"The main problem is the tendency to make more profit even in times of crisis," he said.
Minister Sharma urged the banks to open branches in South Korea and other countries.

Stating that he has received reports of remittances coming from Korea, Japan, Israel and other countries through unofficial channels, he urged to open branches in those countries citing that it would help in bringing in remittances through formal channels.
He also said that the existing liquidity crunch would be resolved within a month of January.

"The economy is under some pressure, but the crisis is not over," he said. The lack of liquidity is seen to be resolved within this month,” he said.
He also urged the bank not to raise interest rates for a certain period of time after providing loans to entrepreneurs.

The complaints of interest rate hikes by banks have been coming to the ministry soon after they started their business taking loans, he said and urged the banks not to do so as the business will fail because of that.