Nepal Economic Growth Agenda (NEGA) was initiated in August 2011 with the mission of bringing into discourse priority economic agendas into mainstream political economic debate and among various stakeholders. A defined research process was followed that included individual consultations, formation of an advisory board, identification of research areas and research on finalized sectors and final consultations for the final report.
Based on these extensive consultations, NEGA 2012 focused on 5 main sectors: Agriculture, Education, Hydropower, Infrastructure and Tourism. The research process resulted in the Nepal Economic Growth Agenda (NEGA) report which was launched in July, 2012 by the then Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Mr. Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri. The five sectors of NEGA, 2012 are discussed from the perspective of economic growth and recommendations are based on how the sector can grow and consequently play a greater role in the economic growth of Nepal. Overall the report outlines key hurdles impeding growth and provides recommendations to remove those hurdles while introducing new ideas to build on the potential in this sector.
The detailed study report on agriculture, titled “Review of Agriculture Sector and Policy Measures for Economic Development” focuses on commercialization and increasing productivity as agriculture remains the sector that contributes to one third of the GDP while employing two third of the work force. Some of the key challenges identified in the study report are: lack of commercialization primarily arising from issues such as the lack of agro inputs (fertilizer, irrigation, etc.), market access and market development, risk management (insurance) and lack of research and extension. Hence, recommendations are proposed in increasing access to inputs, developing insurance programs, developing market centers and enhancing research and extension through private sector involvement.
The detailed study report on hydropower, titled “Investment Prospects and Challenges of Hydropower Development in Nepal” focuses on investment prospects and challenges in the sector. As big hydropower projects which are needed to fulfill the current energy demand of Nepal need huge investments, the domestic investment is not sufficient and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is lagging owing to several reasons which are pointed out in this report. Hence, recommendations are proposed based on the specific challenges prevailing in this sector.
The detailed study report on education, titled “Review and Overview of Economic Contribution of Education in Nepal” focuses on meeting the market demand for workforce through education i.e. the economic outcome of education. Some of the major challenges in this sector were found to be lack of skilled human resource in the labor force, high drop-out rates, lack of adequate returns on public spending on education and other issues related to investment and promotion of technical and skill based training. Based on this context, recommendations are centered around promoting private sector in addressing these challenges, developing a national qualification system, introducing flexible means to incorporate non formal modes to enhance skill development for market outcomes and implementing alternative spending modes such as education voucher system to enhance productivity of government spending.
The detailed study report on infrastructure titled, “Private Sector Participation in Transport Infrastructure development in Nepal” focuses on transport infrastructure as access to quality and affordable transport infrastructure is a pre-requisite for generating economic activities, reducing poverty and delivering services to ensure a basic standard of living. However, in the light of the fact that investment in transport infrastructure is inadequate compared to the desired rate of economic growth and utilization is a key issue in road transport sector, focus is set on private sector involvement. Public private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure development is also discussed in the report. Recommendations have been proposed to help transport infrastructure increase economic activities and returns for people and involve private sector to help fulfill the resource gap.
The detailed study report on tourism titled “Review and Overview of Economic Contribution of Tourism Sector in Nepal” focuses increasing the economic contribution of Tourism in the economy. As a sector that plays a vital role in sustenance and advancement of Nepalese economy and is widely recognized as one of the sectors with high growth potential and comparative advantage, tourism was one of the key five sectors in NEGA, 2012.