Country Audit on Nepal’s Economic Freedom Consultations

A three-day event organized by Samriddhi Foundation at Hotel Radisson engaging numerous bureaucrats, senior journalists and political analysts on the Economic Freedom of the World Country Audit – Nepal from April 20 – 22, 2015 has come to a successful conclusion. The event was supported by the Atlas Network and the Fraser Institute, Canada. Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom project lead, Fred McMahon headed the event by presenting the Institute’s findings on Nepal’s economic freedom indicators, aiming to facilitate a discussion on what could be done to improve Nepal’s position on the index. Nepal’s current position on the index can be found here: http://www.freetheworld.com/2014/EFW2014-POST.pdf

The event was organized in order to engage numerous participants from different areas of expertise and discuss the several indicators that led to a subsequent rise in economic freedom of a country. Based on the three-day event, Samriddhi Foundation aims to come up with reports on each of the separate indicators with policy recommendations for improving Nepal’s position on the index. These reports will eventually be presented to respective government authorities in order to facilitate Nepal’s growth on the Economic Freedom Index. The indicators discussed were namely: Size of Government (Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises), Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally and Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. The three day event addressed each of these indicators in groups of three and following a presentation by McMahon on economic freedom indicators and comparisons between Nepal and neighboring countries, participants from each category spoke on the hurdles to economic freedom in the country and possible policy recommendations for the same.

Each session was moderated by well-known guest figures in their respective fields inclusive of Ram Krishna Timilsina (Executive Director, National Law College), Bharat Upreti (former Hon’ble Justice), Rameshwor Khanal (former Secretary of Finance Ministry), Bishwambher Pyakurel (senior economist), Bhasker Gnawali (former Deputy Governer of NRB), Yuba Raj Khatiwada (former Governer of NRB) and Bhimarjun Acharya (leading constitutional expert).