The government is least concerned about the chaos in the country created by the unemployment problem. Instead, the Oli government’s every move shows that Oli is only worried about saving his chair.
The country is plagued by the coronavirus pandemic. Ordinary Nepalis are reeling from the daily news of those who lost their lives in the epidemic without any treatment. However, President Bidya Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Oli have unconstitutionally dissolved parliament for the sake of power. A situation has been created where the general public should agitate against the irresponsible moves of Oli and Bidya. The coronavirus pandemic, which began last year in China's Wuhan, has hit the world economy hard. The coronavirus transition toward normalization in the developed nations is due to the conscious actions of their leaders. It is in the direction of control, but in Nepal and India the infection is rising. Last year, many countries announced a lockdown to prevent the spread of the infection, but their governments fulfilled the responsibilities toward the citizens. The citizens of those countries did not have to suffer much.
The government of Nepal, however, does not seem to be sensitive to the right to life of its citizens. The economy, which has been in a slump since last year, is unlikely to return to normalcy as the second wave of the coronavirus hits the economic crisis. The government does not seem serious. The government seems to be unaware that people are dying of starvation; rather it is busy setting up a citizenship shop to save its seat. The Oli-Bidya alliance has made history in the kind of nexus they have manifested. The subsequent actions confirm how insensitive the Oli government is to the people. The country now faces two major problems. First, a sharp decline in national income, and second, a serious problem of unemployment. For now, the solution to both these problems has to be found in agriculture. Increasing export-oriented commercial agricultural production can increase national income and provide employment to a large labor force in agriculture. However, the government does not seem to pay attention.
The government has failed to address the situation properly since last year. It failed miserably to prevent, control and treat the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, while claiming to have given high priority to quality health care. There is the danger of the coronavirus pandemic spiraling out of control.
Looking at the pace of the coronavirus transition, it seems that the lockdown is used only to appease the citizens who question the incompetence of the government. However, after the Oli-Bidya alliance trampled the constitution recently and took autocratic steps, there are signs in various cities of the country, including Kathmandu that ordinary citizens may take to the streets without any fear of risk, which might lead to higher infection rates. The responsibility of protecting the country, the people and the constitution by undoing the autocracy of the Oli-Bidya alliance has now fallen on the shoulders of the Supreme Court. Prime Minister KP Oli, who has been criticized for protecting institutional corruption, has recently been using "nationalism" as a shield against criticism, but his fake nationalism has now been exposed. After Prime Minister KP Oli himself approached Lainchaur, guided by the Madhes-based Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) leaders Mahanta Thakur and Rajendra Mahato to revise the Citizenship Bill that he had blocked in the House, his real nationalism is evident. There is no doubt that citizens born in Nepal should get citizenship, but Oli has gone astray by issuing an ordinance on sensitive issues like citizenship by ignoring the situation where nationality, geographical integrity and sovereignty may be in crisis in the future. His fascination with the chair has created suspicion. We have the history of Lhendup Dorjee making Sikkim a cat of India.
It is pointless for the Madhesi people to celebrate, saying that the Citizenship Ordinance has been issued. The term of the ordinance is six months. What happens if the time runs out for making directives, and if it is not passed by parliament? Could it be that Mahantha Thakur and Rajendra Mahato have been fooled by the Prime Minister KP Oli, a great hero of forgery and swindling, to save the bill that he himself has blocked? Only time will tell.
Prime Minister Oli considered the unanimous passing of the proposed amendment to the constitution to include the new map incorporating the land of Nepal encroached upon by India as his own personal success. But, it was not just his efforts. As it was a matter of nationality, everyone accepted the proposal. Prime Minister Oli seized the opportunity to be praised by showing a nationalist face in front of the people by hiding the accusation of corruption against him. However, Rajendra Mahato, a so-called Madhesi leader, said in parliament that "the person who sells the country to save his/her seat should be hanged." But now the same Rajendra Mahato has saved Oli.
The Oli government, which ignored the construction of a road in Nepali territories by India, was forced to make the map public by including the encroached land. It is now proved that all those plays were staged. Neither was the land returned nor was the new area of Nepal included in the Gazette. There is suspicion that Oli issued the new map just to save his chair.
At the moment, the world is focused on how to deal with the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus. Unemployment is a growing problem in the world market due to closure of industries including tourism. Nepal has not escaped this problem. The government is least concerned about the chaos in the country created by the unemployment problem. Instead, the Oli government’s every move shows that Oli is only worried about saving his chair.
In the current global crisis, it is necessary to work on a war footing. It seems that the Oli government intends to close the main door and break into the house from the backdoor. The dissolution of parliament is one such link. There is talk that the government has announced a cheap populist, distribution-oriented budget through an ordinance.
The pandemic has had a big impact on employment. Even if there are no clear statistics of those who returned to Nepal after losing their jobs in different countries of the world including India, there is high unemployment, but the government is reluctant to introduce a program to generate employment opportunities.
Government jobs were a small part of the solution to the unemployment problem. However, the door to government service is closed since last year. New jobs are not available now. The unemployed, educated people who were preparing for public service for years are in a depressed state. On an average, around 200,000 applications are received every year for government jobs. There is no concrete program of the government targeting those people that could be managed by reducing the tenure of government service.
The need now is to create employment. It is necessary to come up with a program to make agricultural technical training a top priority with the aim of motivating them toward commercial agricultural production. In the current situation, it is almost certain that the government will not be able to solve the unemployment problem, which will only worsen.
Increasing export-oriented commercial agricultural production can increase national income and provide employment to a large labor force.
The talk of agricultural revolution is heard in speeches, but no program has been put forward in practice. The transformation of an import-oriented and dependent economy requires the development of a modern agricultural system and the creation of large-scale industries. Imports of agricultural commodities cannot be completely stopped due to trade agreements, but a plan to discourage imports is needed now. If the tax on imports of agricultural commodities is increased, Nepali products can compete with the imported goods. However, the government does not seem to be interested. Until a result-oriented plan for self-reliance in agricultural production is implemented, the country's economy will always be import-oriented and dependent.
The coronavirus problem is certain to lower the country's income, both internal and external. So, it is important to focus on mobilizing internal resources. For that, unnecessary and unproductive expenses should be reduced. There is no alternative to keeping the economy afloat to avoid a possible famine. Today's need is to revive lost jobs and create more jobs. In times of crisis, governments around the world have been protecting their economies through a wide range of economic packages. But Oli did not announce any package to make the economy dynamic.
Helping an employer can save hundreds and thousands from becoming unemployed. Only if the private sector rises, can it support the government. If there is money in the pocket, the demand for goods will increase. As demand increases, so will the production. Only then can the economy be restored to normalcy. To save the country from becoming a failed state, the need is to implement programs to save the crippled economy or to open a citizenship shop to save the chair?
At this time, it is necessary for all political parties to be very sensitive in responding to Oli-Bidya's lack of sensitivity toward the country and the people.