neftalk is a discussion series which aims at addressing the gap on pertinent economic development issues.

June 20, 2016

In the past year Nepali economy faced multiple challenges that clogged the country in a devastating manner. The April and May 2015 earthquakes, which claimed close to 9,000 lives and injured more than 22,000 inflicted enormous costs - an estimated USD 7 billion - on the economy and is expected to push close to 700,000 people below the poverty line. Months following this, constitution based protests in the Terai-Madhes region, which capped into border blockades came as another major setback to the economy, and the society at large with vital supplies to the landlocked country disrupted.

In order to delve into this crisis and to assess the impact of the blockade, Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD) and Nepal Economic Forum (NEF) jointly organized this moderated panel discussion,which brought together insights from professionals residing in Terai-Madhes, academicians, and legislators. The report “Post Disaster Assessment: Blockade 2015-16” was released during the event. As the media highlighted only the immediate impacts of the blockade, the study explores the longer term implications of the blockade which are much more complex and adverse.

January 26, 2016

Dr. Kul Chandra Gautam’s book ‘Lost in Transition’ released in December 2015 explores Nepal’s current economic quagmire despite the country having abundant resources, aesthetic qualities, and being in an ideal strategic location between two growing economic giants. The book dwells on the implications of certain political and socio-economic events that Nepal has undergone in the past few decades, whilst also pondering over the country’s future development with a mixture of great hope and deep anxiety.

November 25, 2015

With the ongoing agitations and unrest in the Terai-Madhes region having passed the 100-day mark and with border points obstructed since the promulgation of the long-awaited constitution, Nepal has been headed towards an economic and humanitarian crisis. With import supplies of essential goods like food items, medicines, petroleum products disrupted, day to day livelihood has become a struggle and macroeconomic indicators point towards a grave future ahead for Nepal. The current economic crisis has laid bare the manifold vulnerabilities of the Nepali economy and has rekindled the discourse on food and energy security, trade diversification, and greater self-reliance. 

July 14, 2015

The release of the Constituent Assembly’s first constitution draft has highlighted some fundamental issues including anti-liberalization tendencies and exclusion of the economy, among others, which are essential ingredients for development. The draft constitution appears to be regressive rather than progressive considering its divergence from the liberalization reforms initiated in the 1990’s. Keeping in mind the strides towards development, it becomes imperative for the country to have a clear economic vision, something which the current draft sorely lacks. Some of the key issues in the draft, which could pose as bottlenecks towards growth and development, are discussed below.

June 10, 2015

Following the overwhelming response by the civil society in providing support for relief and reconstruction after the 25th April earthquake, a number of questions regarding the capacity, role and engagement of civil society in disaster preparedness were raised. Nepal Economic Forum and Niti Foundation jointly organized an event “Nepal Earthquake and the Space for Citizen Engagement in Disaster Management” to discuss relevant policy discourses, accommodating ground level representation in policy processes and identifying prospective policy reforms concerning disaster preparedness and management. 18 volunteer groups and organizations functioning in diverse areas were brought together to reflect on their experiences in relief work and the challenges they faced.