A Policy Dialogue on the Commencement of a Study on the Second Generation of Reforms in Nepal for Structural Transformation

January 4, 2024

January 4, 2024
At the request of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, the Institute for Policy Research has undertaken a comprehensive study on the second-generation reforms for structural transformation in Nepal. This study covers the private sector, infrastructure, industry, trade, foreign investment, remittances, finance, digital economy, taxation, cooperatives, governance and politics, equitable economic development, climate finance, educational reform, economic diplomacy, development governance, fiscal federalism and agriculture. A study team of experts from various fields has been formed which will be coordinated by Senior Research Fellow at Policy Research Institute, Dr. Kalpana Khanal. The policy research institute has organized a public policy dialogue for the researchers of this team to get opinions and suggestions from officials of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, National Planning Commission, Nepal Rastra Bank and the Ministry of Finance and also to exchange ideas among themselves.
Members of the study team as well as officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, National Planning Commission, Nepal Rastra Bank and the Ministry of Finance participated in the program. In the program, the members of the study team shared their plans and ideas about the structural reform of the second generation in Nepal and the structure and contents of the study they are planning to do. Officials of the National Planning Commission, Nepal Rastra Bank and Ministry of Finance spoke about the relevance, importance and expectations of this study. The participants offered several suggestions to enrich the research. The major highlights include:
• The relevance of the program on review process of 15th Periodic Plan as well as inputs for preparation process of 16th Periodic Plan
• The need of reforms on the real sector of economy as the current economic condition of Nepal is quite volatile with weak export scenario, high import condition and sensitive Balance of Payment (BoP)
• The importance of structural reform on the development processes along with the concern about analysis on investments on infrastructure projects with its economic output along with optimum utilization of resources
• The concerns about wastage of resources on unplanned infrastructure projects along with the need of impactful and qualitative projects with low cost and high returns
• Development of value chain routes while planning for infrastructure development
• The importance of policy reforms prioritizing export promotion, import substitution, increasing the efficiency of private sector, focus on increasing production and productivity of the industries and increasing the competitive capacity of private sector
• The need to shift from process centric development process to result centric development process.
• The need for structural reforms in the non-banking financial sectors such as cooperatives and microfinance
• The urgency of data based, factual estimation-based planning and reform process in economic sector as well as other sectors like health, education, infrastructure etc.
• Concerns about the need for policy reforms and transformations to deal with the low middle income trap, which could be addressed by financial sector reforms, strengthening private sector and robust bilateral and multilateral treaties with other nations
• The need for trade diversification and prioritization of national interest on trade agreements to achieve by structural transformation.
• The necessity of structural reforms on taxation policies focusing on actual production processes, investment processes and role of private sector in the economy
• The need for research on the execution of federalism
• The need for structural transformation of the external sector with economic diplomacy in the changing geopolitical scenario
• The need for clear and impactful reform in education sector along with the need to define the education as either a public good or a commodity and relevancy of educational institutions in Nepal
• The necessity of political reform, constitutional amendments, policy amendments, legal reforms and reforms of public administration along with accountability and transparency of political institutions to achieve prosperity and economic development
• Capital market reforms, legislative and regulatory reforms in FDI, Public Private Partnership and remittance sector
• Structural transformation focusing on the potential of carbon trade, opportunities from Green Climate Fund and its utilization for infrastructural development of Nepal along with private sector initiatives in mitigating climate change effects.
• The necessity of structural reforms in policies, planning process, budgeting mechanism and project governance, mechanisms of development projects along with benefit distribution analysis of the project for good governance in development processes
• The need of structural reforms in the ICT sector along with the digitization process of Nepal along with the need of reforms prioritizing the reliability of ICT tools, digital platforms, and broadband connectivity along with regulations of digital economy such as e-commerce and digital trade

Representative from Office of Prime minister and Council of Ministers gave his closing remarks highlighting the need for research on relevant issues with the policy implications. He focused on the need of stronger coordination between Policy Research Institute and government for bringing necessary policy reforms for nation’s development.

  1. Dr. Ram Kumar Phuyal (Member, National Planning Commission)
  2. Prof. Dr. Achyut Wagle (Professor, Kathmandu University)
  3. Dr. Chandramani Adhikari (Senior Economist)
  4. Dr. Nar Bahadur Thapa (Former Executive Director, Nepal Rastra Bank)
  5. Dr. Bishwas Gauchan (Executive Director, IIDS)
  6. Dr. Govinda Raj Pokharel (Former Vice-chairperson, National Planning Commission)
  7. Mr. Umesh Raj Rimal (Undersecretary, Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers)
  8. Mr. Chandra Kumar Ghimire (Former Secretary, GON)
  9. Dr. Sanjaya Acharya (Professor, Tribhuvan University)
  10. Dr. Sohan Kumar Sah (Member, Madhes Province Policy and Planning Commission)
  11. Dr. Amina Singh (Member, University of Nepal Development Board)
  12. Dr. Tirtha Raj Dhakal (Former Secretary, GON)
  13. Mr. Gopinath Mainali (Former Secretary, GON)
  14. Mr. Madhu Raman Acharya (Former Secretary/Former Ambassador, GON)
  15. Mr. Sharada Prasad Trital (Former Secretary, GON)
  16. Mr. Baburam Subedi (Joint-secretary, Ministry of Finance)
  17. Dr. Baburam Dawadi (Assistant Professor, IOE, Tribhuvan University)
  18. Dr. Prakash Kumar Shrestha (Executive Director, Nepal Rastra Bank)
    Policy Research Institute
  19. Mr. Laxman Prasad Bhattarai
  20. Dr. Mukti Ram Rijal
  21. Dr. Khaga Nath Adhikari
  22. Dr. Hari Sharma Neupane
  23. Dr. Deepak Kumar Khadka
  24. Dr. Kalpana Khanal
  25. Dr. Jham Kumar Bishwakarma
  26. Mr. Rajendra Senchurey
  27. Mr. Pranjal Rijal
  28. Ms. Ashmita Rijal
  29. Ms. Urmila Koju
  30. Ms. Laxmi Kandel