It’s inevitable that at the end of each year we look back at the months that have passed and look forward to what the New Year shall bring. It’s only natural to cherish hopes and form resolutions. We may already have some plans set for ourselves, but as Nepalis what hopes do we have for the country in 2017? The Week had some people share their thoughts.
Deepak Adhikari, Freelance Journalist
I believe we shouldn’t lose sight of development work. There are infrastructural projects and road constructions going around, talks of hydropower projects and economic growth are being carried out as well. I think we need to see these through next year.
Further, the focus shouldn’t only be development, that’s not enough. Efforts need to be put in to make it sustainable as well. There is a need to carry out research on technologies and schemes that will prove to be beneficial in the long term for our local communities as well as the nation as a whole. For instance, we have all these grand hydropower projects lined up. It would be a good idea to use them as a means to uplift the livelihoods of the local communities around the projects. They could be given rights to some stakes and shares. Development plans are best when it incorporates the needs of the local community. That way they become sustainable. I hope we can make policies accordingly and form a strong regulatory body to implement it as well.
Tanka Aryal, Advocate
At a time when the capital is relatively free from load shedding, I think there is certain positivity in the air. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to think of our individual responsibilities. I think we Nepalis have blamed the system for too long. While the government isn’t exactly guilt free, to an extent we have been at fault ourselves. If we were to take our duties seriously and perform to the best of our abilities at whatever position or sector we are in, next year, I think, as a nation, we could benefit a lot. Perhaps in 2017, we, as Nepalis, need to change our mindsets.
Though that is the change I wish to see on an individual level, as a whole I think we are all concerned about the constitution. The reason our country lacks direction is because of the incompetence and instability of our government. We haven’t been able to create an environment where the policies of our constitution can be implemented. This is obviously unavoidable. We need to resolve this situation as soon as possible.
Sagar Sidgel, Civil Engineer, Former Project Manager at Department of Roads
For anyone who lives in Kathmandu, I think the biggest inconvenience currently is the commute around town. You can’t walk or wait for a bus without choking on the dust. There are ditches being dug everywhere and traveling around town is incredibly uncomfortable. Since I used to work in the development sector myself, I feel miserable that we couldn’t bring the development that we set out to achieve. But at the end of the day, the root of all the problems boils down to our unstable government.
There are new parties, new heads of offices, and accordingly new plans and different decisions being made all the time. This has led to various departments and sectors of our government being incompetent. Since directions and orders from the top continue to change frequently, many development projects get stalled or are left incomplete. If we can solve this problem, I believe that will take care of many issues in our country.
Usha Timsena, Student Activist
Our country is clearly in the long process of bringing stability and implementing the constitution. I’m still very patient where these issues are concerned. I understand this is a crucial step and it’s a process that will take time. However, in the meantime, there are still issues and concerns that need to be addressed. I’m concerned about employment opportunities and economic growth.
Nepal gets six billion dollars annually in the form of remittance and it is frustrating to see that it is not being utilized effectively. There is a lot of carelessness where the economy is concerned.
I don’t see many smart investments made on the country’s behalf. For instance, if you were to create job opportunities, a single person and his business venture alone can’t do much. The government needs to pitch in as well. We need to make investments to develop the various lucrative sectors in our country. I wish in the coming year responsible bodies would take concrete steps to do this.
Madan Kumar Dahal, Professor of Economics
The transition has lasted too long and so it needs to end. As a country our goal for next year should be pretty straightforward: End transition and establish a stable government because in its absence our economy has suffered a lot.
The way I see it, first of all, come 2017, we need to wrap up the reconstruction and rehabilitation plans for all the earthquake victims. If there is delay in this program, it will prove to be an immense economic burden to our country. We will lose faith of the donors as well and it shall spell disaster for the victims too. Thus, in the next year, I believe reconstruction and rehabilitation plans should be given utmost priority.
Secondly, there is a need to start realizing and utilizing the possibilities for our economic growth. The fact that we are neighbors of the rising super economic powers of the world puts us in such a favorable position. There are hydropower projects that could help our country reduce trade deficits. There are the possibilities of highways and expressways that would do wonders for business. However, we fail to utilize these opportunities. We need to get a move on these and that can happen only with the end of transition and a more stable government.