Dr Ram Sharan Mahat has blamed successive weak governments for the failure of the process of economic liberalization in Nepal. Dr Mahat made the remark while releasing the book “20 Years of Economic Liberalisation” authored by journalist Gajendra Budhathoki in the capital on Feb 21.
“Nepal has a slow economic growth rate today because the process of economic liberalisation could not yield expected results. Liberalisation in Nepal has been a failure, except for the initial few years. It is because of weak successive governments in the country,” he said.“In fact, it is not liberalization that has failed; the successive governments failed to promote and pursue the liberalisation policies effectively,” he added.
Dr Mahat, one of the key proponents of economic liberalization and free market economy in the country, observed that Nepal’s economy, which had started doing well after liberalization policies were introduced following the 1990 political change, was marred by the conflict and political instability that has continued after 1996.
“Nepal was able to achieve a healthy economic growth in the early years of its economic liberalisation; the annual economic growth rate had reached as high as 7.5 per cent in the late 1990’s. But this growth was hampered by the Maoist armed insurgency and the series of political instability which, unfortunately still continues,” remarked Dr Mahat.
Governments formed after the year 2000 could not pursue the liberalisation policies effectively, he added. “Despite the conflict and political instability sectors like telecommunications, roads, education, health services, banking etc have grown remarkably in the country. It is because of liberalization,” he said adding that Nepal should not deviate from the path of economic liberalization.
Journalist Budhathoki said that his book is “an attempt to examine and analyse the ups and downs in Nepal’s economy over the past two decades through a journalist’s persepectives.”
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