Economic Crisis: Nepal Mulls Two-Day Govt Holiday To Curtail Fuel Consumption

New Delhi: The Nepal government is now mulling a two-day holiday in public sector offices in April to control fuel consumption as the country is faced with a foreign exchange crisis with the price of petroleum products sky-rocketing.

The Central Bank of Nepal and Nepal Oil Corporation have suggested the government opt for two days government holiday, according to news agency PTI.

The advice of a two-day holiday is seen as an aid to Nepal Oil Corporation to make significant savings, which is selling fuel at a subsidised rate and suffering huge losses at the present global rates.

However, the government has so far not taken any decision in this regard, noted government spokesperson Gyanendra Bahadur Karki told news agency PTI. The proposal has come up but it is under consideration, he added.

ALSO READ: CNG Price Hike: Auto, Taxi & Mini Bus Drivers To Go On Strike Today

The economic situation is snowballing similarly to how it did in Sri Lanka.

The Russia-Ukraine war has impacted the prices of oil in the global market as Russian oil remains under sanction from the West. Other major oil producers Iran and Venezuela are also bound by sanctions in selling petroleum.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic hit the tourist industry of Nepal impacting its foreign reserves due to an international travel halt.

To tackle the forex crisis, the Nepal government has urged Nepalese nationals living abroad to open dollar accounts in banks in the country and make investments.

Nepal has already curbed imports of expensive cars, gold and other luxurious goods to maintain its falling reserves. Karki said the government is also looking into whether it can lower the duties on imported vehicles and other such goods.

The government has removed the country’s Central Bank governor Maha Prasad Adhikari over disagreements with finance minister Janardhan Sharma and for not doing enough to pull the economy from the doldrums.