Over 6 mln Nepalis under poverty lines: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-28 11:29:56|Editor: Chengcheng
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KATHMANDU, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Over 6 million Nepalis are still living under the poverty line, which is 21.6 percent of Nepal's population, Nepal's Finance Ministry has said in a report.

Nepal's population have reached 28.87 million in 2017, according to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the central statistics body of the Nepali government.

Unveiling the Economic Survey 2017-18 at the parliament, Nepal's Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada said despite reduction in poverty over the years, there has not been achievement in the area as expected.

Nepal has taken a number of measures, including targeted programs to alleviate poverty and create employment opportunities.

Nepal has been running various income generating activities and small community infrastructure targeting the poor households through Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), an institution formed to run targeted programs.

According to the Economic Survey, as many as 984,421 poor households have been benefited from the programs launched by PAF in 60 out of 77 districts of the country.

Likewise, 44,810 youths were self-employed in the first eight months of the current fiscal year that began in mid-July 2017 under the Youth and Small Entrepreneur Self Employment Fund.

This fund was created to provide collateral free loans to the poor and unemployed youths to promote self employment among them.

However, due to limited employment opportunities at home, around 4.3 million Nepalis have gone for foreign employment through formal or informal channels, stated the Economic Survey. Around half million workforce enters in the market every year in Nepal.

Khatiwada said that despite continued efforts for development of the country, Nepali economy has continued to witness high level of poverty, low economic growth, high inequality and high unemployment.

According to the Economic Survey, Nepal's economy is expected to grow by 5.9 percent in the current fiscal year ending in mid-July. Nepal's average economic growth over the last one decade stood at 4.3 percent.

Economic activities currently are moving towards positive direction due to favorable investment climate following the stable government was formed after the recent three-tier elections, the survey report stated.

The Nepali government has targeted to achieve double digit economic growth in the next five years after near double digit growth in the initial years, according to its Policies and Programs presented at the parliament last week.