New Delhi, April 18
Courting investment from India, Nepali Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Tuesday said his country’s economy is doing well and may grow at 8 to 10 per cent in the next few years.
“Nepal is already having better growth rate thanks to political stability. During insurgency, it was just 2-3 per cent. The World Bank has projected a 6 per cent growth rate for next year. I think within two-three years, it could be around 8 to 10 per cent,” he said at an event organised by CII and other industry chambers here.
Mahat also sought to allay apprehensions about political stability in Nepal, saying there was complete consensus over economic issues across the political spectrum. “You may wonder Nepal has different parties — Communist Party, Maoist Centre etc. If you have some image, erase that. Left parties or right-wing parties, we have a consensus. I am from Nepali Congress and my Prime Minister is from Maoist party, but we are together and there is total consensus,” he said. Mahat said that with the local, provincial and central elections in Nepal, the country will “formally start a new chapter in Nepal history, a rule-based system, inclusive, democratic system”.
“And with this, all uncertainties associated with Nepal will go,” he said. He said India is doing good under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his country wants to benefit from India’s growth.
“I would like to see more investment from India in different sectors. India is helping us so much in reconstruction post-earthquake. But we need more than that. Unless the private sector joins us, we can’t have a robust infrastructure,” he said. Mahat also said that the youth who left Nepal during insurgency are returning, which means a large pool of skilled workforce is available in Nepal. “Wages are lower in Nepal as compared to other places. I think this is the right time to invest in Nepal and a good opportunity for Indian investors,” he said.
New Delhi, April 18