Covid-19 increased poverty by 4%, restricted GDP growth to 0.6% last year: Govt

File: Volunteers distribute food to the needy at Khulamanch as the Covid-19 crisis left many people jobless in Kathmandu.

Kathmandu, January 19

The government says the Covid-19 crisis increased poverty in the country by four per cent in the last fiscal year 2019/20. On the other hand, the country’s gross domestic product growth was restricted to just 0.6 per cent.

According to a report prepared by the National Planning Commission, the apex planning body, the crisis pushed additional 1.2 million people into poverty last year. On the other hand, per capita income was also restricted to USD 1,067 against the target of USD 1,085.

Likewise, it says the country’s economic condition deteriorated more than what the National Bureau of Statistics had estimated earlier. The bureau had forecast a 2.7 per cent growth rate for the year.

Further, the report warns the crisis is likely to hit the economic indicators for this year also.

The economic growth rate for this year could be as low as 2.6 per cent or could achieve the government’s pre-announced 7 per cent target based on how the situations would unfold, the report forecasts.

The report has been submitted to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, also the NPC chairman, but it has not been made public yet.

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