Looking ahead

Published On: February 8, 2018 12:39 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Government formation 

With the conclusion of elections for National Assembly on Wednesday, the country will now hopefully get a new prime minister in the next two weeks or so. The National Assembly election also marks the end of all the required processes for the country to start executing three levels of government as envisaged by the constitution. It has been more than two months since the general elections. Complex procedural steps and some political delays hampered the formation of new government soon after the election. Now that most hurdles to government formation have been cleared, it is also the responsibility of ruling Nepali Congress to facilitate the process because Congress has often been accused of hindering rather than helping the transfer of power by the left alliance and this has also become the source of acrimony between the two. 

We hope the wait for new prime minister will now be over. The new government will have to quickly lay out its development priorities and move to action. Apart from sorting out governing challenges, the new federal structure will also expose its flaws and so it will require even headed and stable stewardship from Kathmandu. The country is ready to welcome international investors and huge investments in major roadways, railways and other basic infrastructures is a must. The new government should convey to the world that the country is more than ready to lend hands in easing the process of doing business here in Nepal and those foreign companies won’t have to pay under the table to get their job done efficiently.  Some of the foreign companies now complain of delays in approval and unnecessary hassle from bureaucrats. This will have to stop if we are serious about attracting foreign investments in the country. Left alliance won a convincing victory in the general elections. One of the major reasons was the promise of a prosperous Nepal. The alliance has promised per capita income of US $5000 within a decade. Starting from US $852 and taking that to $5000 won’t be easy. It will require bold reforms in tax policy, investment laws, patent rights and many more. 

The new government will have to work closely with the seven provincial governments and all the 753 local units. Allocation of revenue from natural resources and other income source among federal, provincial and local units is going to be a bone of contention in the days ahead. The federal government will have to ensure that the issue does not escalate into a full-blown conflict. Stable government in Kathmandu for the next few years will send a powerful message to those waiting for our prolonged transition to be over in order to make investments here. We need clarity on a host of policies, and stable and informed government that will consistently think of ways to better our economy and the overall wellbeing of its people.

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