Nepal’s postponed graduation from an LDC status- time gained or lost?


Nepal decided not to apply for graduating from the status of the Least Developed Countries in 2018. Many decried the decision as a parasitical move- to keep getting foreign aid and preferential or rather patronizing treatment by the developed world.  Yet, a pragmatic- not necessarily unprincipled or opportunistic approach has been taken- many think.

In an age when cheap populism and divisive rhetoric tend to have the day, the decision has drawn flakes. But be that as it may, Nepal has not been able to achieve economic development and rise in per capita income. Though Nepal has done better in terms of stability, education, health and democratic praxis.

The National Planning Commission has drafted an Approach Paper to graduate from a least developed country to a developing country by 2022.

This is part of government plan announced in the 12th periodic plan and reinforced in the 13th plan. The approach paper to 13th Plan envisages Nepal to graduate to a developing country by 2022. Nepal is one of the 48 LDCs in the world.

For Nepal to graduate to a developing country it has to meet two of the three criteria the United Nations has set: gross national income per capita and the threshold for human asset index which includes health, and nutrition index and Education index. The draft strategy says that Nepal will have to post an economic growth rate of 9.2% every year until 2022 to meet the criteria of Human Development Index, Human Asset Index and Economic Vulnerability Index and invest 17 trillion rupees over the next nine years.


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