KATHMANDU: The Human Development Index (HDI) has improved in Nepal, but with persisting risks. The HDI prepared with the assistance of UNDP was made public by the National Planning Commission.
HDI is the report summarizing the development dimensions. It was jointly released by Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel and Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Prof Dr Pushparaj Kandel. The report showed Nepal has now entered the stage of mid level of HDI.
Although the UNDP was making public the world HDI report every year, the Nepal-focused report was not published regularly. NPC said the country focused report has come after six years.
Nepal has now surpassed some countries in South Asia in HDI, gender development index and gender equality index, which the government, claims as the result of its investment. Although Nepal is still lagging behind on income indicator, it has met the indicator on human capital and financial risk.
The HDI however has made it clear that Nepal was still in risk and facing challenges. There is unequal human development especially in rural-urban, and among province setups. Considering the upgrading category, all except Bagmati Province are below average.
Similarly, there is huge income gap among provinces. Province-2 is backward on human capital. The per capita income in Bagmati Province is more than the national average.
In terms of risk, Nepal is in sensitive position. Some sectors were likely to see negative impacts despite moderate impact on the measure of international assistance on trade with FDI and development financing.
Structural and institutional obstructions and disparity in policy are posing huge challenge before sustainable development and upgrading. There were also obstructions on access to quality health and education. The report also pointed out the structural and spatial obstructions.
Moreover, Nepal is shown incompetent in harnessing entrepreneurial capacity and demographic dividend.
There is inequality in ownership of production resources and access to property, opportunities and distribution. Likewise, high risks persist in labour market and employment opportunities.
The report indicated additional risks in human properties and economic achievement next year due to ongoing global crisis of Covid-19.
To resolve the problems, it suggested the need of relief distribution in short, mid and long term basis, economic restoration and productive transformation, a big strategic change in the supply and demand chain, production increase, strengthening of entrepreneurship efficiency and institutional efficiency related to production and gender equality, development of human resources and good governance.
Likewise, a focus should be on bringing a change in investment structures by linking it to production capacity, increasing purchase capacity through employment opportunities, wages and distribution system and priority to the market network.
On the occasion, economist Dr Dilli Raj Khanal suggested that the government provided a special focus on carrying out reforms in the risk areas.
In response, stating that the report featured actual situation of the country, NPC Vice Chairperson Prof Kandel said the government would be effortful in the areas that need reforms.
Finance Minister Poudel said the government would welcome and implement suggestions provided while decreasing risks as outlined in the report. He also thanked those who prepared the report. RSS