Mr Chairman and honorable Vice Chair of the National Planning Commission Pushpa Kadel, members of the commission, team leader of the Human Development Report Dr Dilliraj Khanal, the Residential Representative of UNDP Nepal and all the participants
First of all, I am delighted to announce the release of the Human Development Report 2020, a fifth edition of the report. I would like to thank the National Planning Commission for inviting me as the chief guest to the special ceremony of the report release. Former speakers, NPC members and leader of the report writing team in particular, have already elaborated on the essence of the report, its objectives, impacts and potential outcomes.
In general, I found the report has been prepared based on mainly three dimensions of human development— life expectancy and longevity, quality education, and dignified and quality life.
Analyzing the basis of Nepal’s commitment to graduate from the least developed country status to the developed country, the report looks at the progress made towards this, the remaining tasks to achieve the goals and the task to be done in the coming days.
The report has come at a time when the human development index and economic risk index have been achieved but national per capital threshold has remained low and the recent turn of events such as earthquake and economic blockade added challenges for Nepal to graduate from the LDC status.
I believe this report will play an important role in identifying the correlation between human development and poverty, human development status at the provinces, the need of gender empowerment, Nepal’s efforts towards graduation to a developing nation through sustainable human development.
The report and the data in it will provide a solid basis for development stakeholders to draw up policies and plans and implementing them.
Naturally, Nepal will lose all assistance it has been receiving as a “least developed country” after its graduation. In such a situation, we will have challenges ahead to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I believe the findings and conclusion of the report will be immensely useful to achieve sustainable development.
I found the report has detailed the impact of COVID-19 on Nepal’s effort to graduate from the LDC status. The possibility of reversal of economic achievement as mentioned by the report, is the main challenge for us. The conclusion of the report is important for us to face the challenges posed by COVID-19, and avoid potential reversal of human and economic growth.
In conclusion, the report proposes production-centric economic growth for human development, which I believe will be useful in shaping up our efforts to achieve human development in the days to come. I believe the Nepal government and associated development partners will make efforts to make full use of the report. In my capacity as the finance minister, I assure that the Finance Ministry will pay due attention to the report and implement its suggestions in making Nepal’s effort for development more effective. This report will be a crucial document to achieve our national aspiration of ‘Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali’.
[This is an excerpt of translation of the speech]