Visitors are now starting to pour in and the physical encounters are taking place gradually. Any crisis seems to prompt the Nepalese to achieve the impossible, as we have seen in the months following the earthquake. Resilience appears to be rooted in the Nepalese genetic code. The economic statistics also surprised many ardent skeptics. The indicators seem to reflect the reality on the ground. We’ve also been following issues from many countries, and Nepal certainly surprises us all. Remittances have increased even though the number of people going abroad has decreased. People interpreting numbers from charts and tables casting a shadow of doubt from the comfort of their laptops in a faraway land had anticipated a drop in remittances; we are now awaiting their reply analysis.
Consumption has not been hit hard, as can be seen from the import data. Short-term liquidity problems come and go, but in general, bank deposits and loans have swelled during the pandemic. Real estate prices and transactions continue to defy expectations. Where is the bubble, and why has it not been seen bursting for half a century? The taxes levied on real estate transactions make people wonder where all this money is coming from. The government’s tax collections have not taken a serious hit. After all, the stock market continues to baffle everyone as prices skyrocket with trading volume. About $ 5 billion in new money is estimated to have entered the market by retail investors across Nepal who can now use smartphones to buy and sell stocks. This has allowed many seasoned investors to profit and exit the market. Estimates suggest that around $ 2.5 billion from these outflows have pushed real estate prices which have risen dramatically across Nepal over the past two years.
The earth provides a cushion
As someone familiar with this business said, you can pick an area where you pay higher prices, or you need to go to a place where you might not have a choice. You cannot choose the location and the price. In Nepal, 86 percent of the population owns land, which is very high compared to many other countries. The construction sector appears to provide the majority of jobs, as do many government projects that occupied the population during the pandemic. Let us also not forget that the previous government was known to award contracts and initiate projects because it operated with the least possible responsibility, which is also becoming evident in the Auditor General’s report.
The fact that you own land and that you can also trade it makes you take a stand to fix the problems, much like we did in the past during the decade of the insurgency. The economy was hit hard by the Indian blockade in September 2015 following the impact of the devastating earthquake. The landless make up only 14 percent of the population, and it is they who have always been in a difficult situation. Yes, there are the abject poor who need attention, but it will be important not to build a life by renting out someone else’s poverty.
Despite the whiny nature of the Nepalese, they manage to find solutions and move. While traveling during this pandemic to and from the Middle East, I have spoken with people who have found ways to keep their jobs or look for new ones. People who knew were surprised that Nepalese workers charter flights to return to work in South Korea. They seem to have understood the math well; therefore, people didn’t bat an eyelid when airfares soared to heinous levels, the planes are always full!
We have to look at the Nepali traits to understand how our brain works. Over 850,000 people have taken the Korean language test, but may not want to invest in improving their English to move up the professional ladder or learn Hindi to improve their performance in India. They have their own calculations, whether it’s rushing to Poland to get to the European Union or boarding containers for months to take on arduous trips to the United States. They are always looking to the future and want to leave the past behind. It helps build a resilient mindset. We have seen it all over the country after natural disasters and man-made disasters.
Last week, Richard Branson’s new safari hotel in Kenya was named the world’s best hotel by Travel and leisure. We keep asking ourselves why no Nepalese aspires to build a hotel that would win such awards. It’s not that we haven’t done it in the past. Tiger Tops in Chitwan and Fish Tail Lodge in Pokhara went on to be among the top 100 hotels in the 1970s and 1980s. When we experience a Nepalese product or service, why do we find them? have no aspiration to become the best in the world? I keep asking my friends in the banking industry why we never want to get big work place surveys in Nepal and bring global benchmarks which will make it easier for Nepalese banks when they want to acquire banks in Nepal. foreign countries. Likewise, we see the very low quality of service provided by Internet companies and online merchants.
For our resilience to bear fruit in the long term, we need such global aspirations. Whenever we recover from a crisis, the benefits are short-lived as we go back to our usual ways of doing things and wait for another crisis to arise.