Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has hinted to ease the ongoing lockdown to resume economic activities in the country. Oli in his address to nation on Monday said that the government will make some changes to ease the situation while being careful to avoid further contagion of coronavirus. According to him, there will be some changes in the modality of lockdown ensuring that the epidemic risks are kept at minimum. The latest remarks by PM Oli signals changes in his approach towards restrictions that are in place since March 24. In his earlier comments, he had prioritised life of Nepalis over the country’s economy.
Oli said that the government will allow resuming further agricultural and industrial activities ensuring that people engaged in such activities follow social distancing rules. “However, administrative restrictions in movement of people will be given continuity to stop community-level transmission of coronavirus,” he mentioned. According to Oli, the government will make necessary arrangements to start development works, easing of supply of daily essential items, imports and exports, and provide employment to jobless people residing in Nepal and those who return from abroad after losing their jobs in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. He informed that the government will issue order to immediately start rescue of Nepalis stranded in different countries.
PM Oli also said that relief will be provided to the crisis-stricken business sector. “The Ministry of Finance will issue a comprehensive proposal regarding the country’s economic recovery. It will include measures such as tax and non-tax exemptions, interest rate concession, availability of bank loans and electricity bill concessions,” he stated. The Prime Minister also said that the government will further expand the scope of Covid-19 testing to at least two percent of the country’s population.