AP

Nepal running low on foreign exchange, discourages imports

Apr 15, 2022, 5:40 AM | Updated: 6:25 am

A Nepalese migrant worker takes photos with his family member before taking a flight out to Qatar a...

A Nepalese migrant worker takes photos with his family member before taking a flight out to Qatar at Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, April 15, 2022. Nepal is running low on foreign currency reserve that is needed to import everything from cars, all the oil products and medical equipment and it will last only for the next seven months, a central bank official said Friday. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

(AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal is running low on foreign currency reserves needed to import medicines, oil products, cars and a range of other items, and will run out in seven months if things don’t improve, a central bank official said Friday.

The central bank has increased interest rates, hoping it will discourage people from buying imports and help extend the foreign reserves, said Gunakar Bhatta, spokesperson of Nepal Rastriya Bank, the central bank.

“We are concerned about the sustainability of our foreign exchange reserves,” Bhatta said.

But he said there already are signs that the situation is getting better with the slowing of the pandemic. More tourists have begun to arrive and increasing numbers of Nepalese are going abroad to earn foreign currency and send it back home, he said.

“Compared to previous years, the foreign exchange reserve level has come down, but we can manage it because the number of migrant workers that are going abroad has increased,” Bhatta said.

Nepal’s main sources of foreign currency are tourism, remittances from overseas workers and foreign aid.

Normally, hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists visit Nepal every year. However, the number declined sharply due to restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tourists are trickling back, with hundreds of climbers already applying to climb the world’s highest peaks and thousands more trekking on mountain trails.

Nepal has few exports and imports almost everything from abroad. Motor vehicles and oil products account for one fourth of the imports, Bhatta said.

The finance ministry said earlier this week that the government is working to reduce imports of gold and luxury goods, but did not provide details.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

2 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

2 days ago

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

6 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

7 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

14 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Nepal running low on foreign exchange, discourages imports