July 20, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

‘Country’s public debt is manageable; no chances of getting caught up in debt trap’

The Nepal Weekly
July 2, 2024

Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun has ruled out the possibility of Nepal getting caught in the debt trap, saying that compared to other countries Nepal’s public debt is in a manageable situation.     

Responding to queries by Lawmakers in a meeting of the House of Representatives Monday, the Finance Minister claimed that the cost of the loans taken by Nepal is also less. “Compared to the other countries, our public debt is at a comfortable stage in terms of the cost and risk factors. There is no chance the country will be caught up in the debt trap considering the amount and the cost of public debt so far,” he claimed, adding that the government is serious towards maintaining the sustainability of the loan while mobilizing the public debt.     

Finance Minister Pun reiterated that the government is conscious towards mobilizing public loans in the productive sectors.     

According to him, Rs 98.08 billion was added to Nepal’s public debt and it has reached Rs 239.7 billion as of May 13 of the current fiscal year 2023-24. The public debt remaining to be serviced stood at Rs 2299 billion and 350 million till July 16, 2023. The debt remaining to be serviced in proportion to the GDP is 42.02 per cent, the Finance Minister informed the House.     

Of the loans remaining to be paid back, the internal loan is Rs 1184 billion and 480 million (49.4 per cent of GDP) and the external loan is Rs 1212 billion and 950 million (50.6 per cent of GDP). The Finance Minister said that the government has mobilized a total of Rs 264 billion 633 million and 600 thousand, including Rs 191 billion towards internal loans and Rs 73 billion 633 million and 600 thousand towards external loans until May 13, 2024, in the current fiscal year.     

Similarly, he said the government has paid principal totalling Rs 166 billion 554 million and 400 thousand, including Rs 135 billion 623 million and 300 thousand towards internal loans and Rs 30 billion 931 million and 100 thousand towards external loans during this period.

Finance Minister Pun also informed the House meeting about the achievements made during the Third Investment Summit organized by the government on April 28 and 29. He said the private sector’s morale has been boosted due to the Summit. Similarly, the law related to the facilitation of investment has been amended and the expression of interest has been called for 19 projects, the Project Bank has been updated and Nepal has been promoted as the best investment destination in the world, through the Summit, claimed Pun.