Political parties repeat ‘inflated promises’ in their election manifestos to lure voters

Published On: November 13, 2022 06:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 13: Major political parties have yet made lofty promises purportedly to address the country’s major economic problems before the general public in their manifestos for the upcoming November 20 elections. Analysts say most of these promises are baseless as there is no clarity to get resources to ensure the implementation of these ambitious plans and programs.       

Although the commitments made in previous elections have hardly been materialized, the major political parties in the country have made a number of ‘inflated promises’ such as achieving double-digit economic growth, providing employment to large numbers of people, providing easy and affordable access to energy and increasing social security by a notable figure.

Common to all, these political parties have not missed out on offering lucrative amounts of money as old age allowance to cash in the votes of the senior citizens. However, they seem to have completely disregarded the financial resources necessary to materialize their inflated plans.  

While Nepali Congress (NC) has envisioned achieving economic growth of 7 percent, CPN-UML has said it will make the economy gain double-digit growth and increase the economy size to Rs 10 trillion. Likewise, the CPN (Maoist Centre) has announced it will work to achieve a double-digit growth rate.

The NC has also pledged to produce 10,000 MW of electricity in the next five years. The party has declared to reduce the age to receive old age allowance from 68 to 65 years.

CPN-UML promises to produce 6,500 MW of electricity, while it pledges to provide households consuming up to 50 units free of cost. It has also announced plans to provide social security allowance to 6 million people.

Similarly, the CPN (Maoist Centre) has promised to increase electricity production to 8,000 MW. The CPN (Unified Socialist) has declared to provide up to 200 units of electricity free of cost. These political parties have also assured to increase the amount of old age allowances successively.

These political parties have also contested to forward their surreal promises of providing employment to as many people as they can. NC has pledged to provide employment to 1.25 million people in the next five years, while CPN-UML super inflated this number to 2.5 million people. The Maoist party in its agenda has maintained to provide jobs to 2 million people. To put it a different way, the CPN (Unified Socialist) has forwarded the ‘one household one job’ scheme. 

CPN-UML has also promised to provide 10,000 liters of water free of cost, to increase the minimum wage from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month and to provide a menstruation allowance of Rs 1,500 per year to a woman. The ambitious program of the political party includes increasing the average income to US $2,400 per capita per year and to invite 2.5 million tourists in the next five years.

The NC has declared to make medical treatment free for people under the age of three years and over 73 years. Free insurance for senior citizens above the age of 65 years, job opportunities to 1.25 million people, achieve an annual economic growth rate of 7 percent, complete construction of all the national pride projects, welcoming two million tourists and provide cash support of Rs 10,000 to perform last religious rite are among the five years’ plan of the ruling political party.  

The CPN (Maoist Centre) has also declared reducing poverty to half of the prevailing rate, providing employment to one million people, installing one industrial village in each of the municipalities, providing discounts to industries consuming electricity worth more than Rs 10 million, achieving a two-digit economic growth and increasing monthly allowance of senior citizens. 

The CPN (Unified Socialist) has also promised to establish fertilizer plants in the country, install an industrial village in each municipality, invest 20 percent of the total budget in education, increase senior citizen allowance and provide subsidized food by distributing identity cards to deprived people.

Prof. Dr Achyut Wagle, an economist, at Kathmandu University said the political parties appear competing to introduce distributive programs to lure people, without taking into consideration the financial resources to support them. “There will be a problem in implementing the announced programs due to the lack of institutional capacities of the related sectors,” he said.

Associate Professor Ramesh Poudel at the Central Department of Economics, TU, said the parties’ manifestos are not based on reality. “They appear as a package of dreams to sell to naive people,” he added. 


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