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White paper just a diagnosis FinMin

Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada has said that thewhite paper, which he recently issued, was aimed at diagnosing the economicwoes that the country was facing. 

Speaking at a meeting with the executive committee ofSociety of Economic Journalists-Nepal (SEJON) at the finance ministry onThursday, Khatiwada said that the white paper was issued to provide the 'realpicture' of the country's economic situation.  

The statement comes in the wake of criticisms from theopposition party leaders and some economists that the finance minister just'cherry-picked' economic data to show only the bleak picture of the countrywhile ignoring the positive macroeconomic fundamentals of the country.  

“It did not mean that there is nothing good. Through thewhite paper, we have highlighted issues where we were lagging and where we haveweaknesses and vowed to make those our agenda for improvement,” said Khatiwada.He also drew analogy of the white paper with the prescription that a doctorwrites for patients. “When we visit a doctor, he writes only thosecomplications in the prescription that we have, not about which organs are fitand fine,” he added. 

He also clarified that he did not mean to say that alleconomic fundamentals of the country have crumbled. “Whatever positive thingshave happened are in the archive. The government will accord priority forimprovement of issues where we are lagging,” he said. 
The finance minister also said that there will be a major departure in theworking style of the government. “Building a strong economy is our topmostpriority, and all our efforts will be on achieving that agenda,” headded. 

Food, health service, employment and energy are the fourmajor areas where the government wants to make the country self-reliant,according to Khatiwada. He also said that the government will give continuityto good policies and programs that the previous governments have pursued.“Those practices which are good will be given continuity while faulty policiesand programs will be corrected after reviewing them,” he added.

Amid concerns about the government's intention ofbacktracking on privatization, Khatiwada said that those public enterpriseswhich are not needed will be closed while those of 'strategic interests' willbe given continuity or opened. “We may need to open new enterprises as we haveto deliver services to people to make sure that the fundamental rightsenshrined in the constitution are met, while we have to shut down those whichwe do not need,” he said, adding: “While embracing policy of privatization, wehave to make sure that the government gets appropriate benefit.”

Source : My Republica, 6th April 2018


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