The sheer scale of the interventions needed to confront the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged governments’ capacity to manage resources effectively and equitably in unprecedented ways. These included additional spending measures, tax relief programs, and loans and loan guarantees – all aimed at funding necessary health services, addressing income losses, and keeping economies afloat. Like the rest of the world, Nepal too came under the sheer havoc of the COVID – 19 pandemic, and everything came to standstill.
COVID-19 hit when growing inequality and weakening democracy moved people across the globe to call into question their governments’ handling of public resources. The very unequal impact of the pandemic, with low-income informal workers, women and other disadvantaged groups bearing the brunt of the health and economic fallout, risks making the situation worse. The unorganized sector labor workforce, people of underprivileged groups and daily wage workers of Nepal were badly affected by the COVID -19 and the then enforced lockdown by the Government of Nepal.
Like the 55 other countries of the world, Nepal too fall in the “Limited” level of accountability in the level of accountability on early covid fiscal responses. The main finding from our research is that the government is falling short of managing its fiscal policy response to the crisis in a transparent and accountable manner. Nepal is similar to two-thirds of the governments of the world, across many regions and income levels have only provided limited or minimal levels of accountability in the introduction and implementation of their early fiscal policy responses
The COVID 19 fiscal response was measured in transparency, oversight, accountability and public participation disciplines.
Nepal rankings in various segments are as below
Transparency — Limited Information
Public Participation — Minimal Participation
Oversight — Some Oversight
Accountability — Limited Accountability
Along with findings, the report also provides recommendations as to how accountability can be strengthened during and beyond the pandemic.