KATHMANDU, Aug 19: The Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has expressed concern over the ballooning trade deficit and instructed concerned officials to come up with plans to increase the export volume.
Bhattarai, who is also looking after the portfolio of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS), stressed on controlling imports of goods which have significantly contributed to country´s trade deficit.
“It is a huge challenge before us to rein in growing trade deficit. Hence, we must increase supplies capacity by boosting our domestic production. I urge you all concerned officials to devise plans and programs that would be catalyst for bringing down the ballooning trade deficit,” said Bhattarai,while chairing a meeting on Sunday to review programs implemented under the MoCS during the fiscal year 2011/12.
Bhattarai also underlined the need to run the Public Enterprises (PEs) by introducing effective management system that would increase their business performance and lessen financial burden on the government.
“While reviewing performance of the PEs, we have no reason to either become hopeless or over optimistic, we have sufficient room to improve their business in those state-run enterprises. The government´s fresh report shows that out of the 37 PEs operating so far, 21 have registered profit and 14 suffered loss during the fiscal year 2010/11. However, one PE has not yet submitted its audited financial statement to the government.
National Planning Commission Vice Chairman Deependra Bahadur Kshetry also said the country had no alternative but to increasing domestic production to bring down the soaring trade deficit on the back of country´s weak supply capacity due to persisting industrial slowdown.
PM Bhattarai also instructed concerned officials to come up with measures to ensure smooth supplies of essential commodities for the upcoming festive season. “As chances of black-marketeering of essential goods, mainly food commodities, are very high during the festive season, we have to start our preparation at once to ensure normal supplies during that time,” said Bhattarai.
He also directed to strengthen the market monitoring system to ensure quality and reasonable pricing of goods in the markets across the country.