May 25, 2022, Wednesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

WB projects Nepal’s per capita income to decline

The Nepal Weekly
January 18, 2022

The World Bank (WB) has projected that per capita income of Nepal will fall further during 2021-23. In its report ‘The Global Economic Prospects’ published this month, the WB mentioned that the per capita income of Nepal besides Bhutan and Pakistan is facing the largest relative decline by almost 2 percentage points per year during 2021-23.

Despite rebound growth and an upgraded forecast, the number of people living on less than $ 1.90 per day is expected to remain above the pre-pandemic level. The report assumes tens of millions of new poor in the South Asian Region since 2020.

The report also suggests further exacerbation of inequality in South Asia with growing poverty rates combined with rising in informal employment, deteriorating labor markets and rising food insecurity.

The growth rate also reflected the impending fall in per capita income and rising inequality. The report indicated a sluggish real growth rate of Nepal amid a 7.6 per cent projection of South Asia in 2022.

The real GDP growth of Nepal at market price is expected to grow at 3.9 per cent in the fiscal year (FY) 2021/22. Nonetheless in 2022, Nepal is projected to become the 5th fastest growing economy in South Asia leaving behind Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the growth figure of the Maldives (11 per cent), India (8.3 per cent), Bangladesh (6.4) and Bhutan (5.1) are up beating in comparison to Nepal.

The report is also an eye-opener for Nepal as it has already been inflicted from the widened trade deficit. It indicated that returning demand is expected to drive a strong rebound in imports and gradually widen the region’s current account deficit.

The monetary and fiscal policy is expected to remain accommodative, focus shifts to fiscal sustainability and anchoring inflation expectations in the South Asian region.

Tsunami Threat Recedes From Huge Pacific Volcanic Eruption

The tsunami threat around the Pacific from a huge undersea volcanic eruption began to recede Sunday, while the extent of damage to Tonga so far remained unclear.

Satellite images showed the spectacular eruption that took place Saturday evening, with a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a mushroom above the blue Pacific waters. A sonic boom could be heard as far away as Alaska.

In nearby Tonga it sent tsunami waves crashing across the shore and people rushing to higher ground. The eruption cut the internet to Tonga, leaving friends and family members around the world still anxiously trying to get in touch to figure out if there were any injuries and the extent of the damage. Even government websites and other official sources were left without updates.

According to aid agencies thick ash and smoke was continuing to affect Tonga’s air and water, and that authorities were asking people to wear masks and drink bottled water.

Dave Snider, the tsunami warning coordinator for the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said it was very unusual for a volcanic eruption to affect an entire ocean basin, and the spectacle was both “humbling and scary.”

The tsunami waves caused damage to boats as far away as New Zealand and Santa Cruz, California, but did not appear to cause any widespread damage. Snider said he anticipated the tsunami situation in the U.S. and elsewhere to continue improving.

Tsunami advisories were earlier issued for Japan, Hawaii, Alaska and the U.S. Pacific coast. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the eruption caused the equivalent of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. Scientists pointed out that tsunamis generated by volcanoes rather than earthquakes are relatively rare.

According to the Tonga Meteorological Services a tsunami warning was declared for all of the archipelago, and data from the Pacific tsunami center said waves of 80 centimeters (2.7 feet) were detected.

Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau, who heads the New Zealand Tonga Business Council, said she hoped the relatively low level of the tsunami waves would have allowed most people to get to safety, although she worried about those living on islands closest to the volcano. She said she hadn’t yet been able to contact her friends and family in Tonga.

“We are praying that the damage is just to infrastructure and people were able to get to higher land,” she said.

Tonga gets its internet via an undersea cable from Suva, Fiji, which presumably was damaged. All internet connectivity with Tonga was lost at about 6:40 p.m. local time, informed Doug Madory, director of internet analysis for the network intelligence firm Kentik.