Prosperity trail

Published On: May 22, 2018 01:00 AM NPT By: Rebanta Bahadur KC

Rebanta Bahadur KC

Rebanta Bahadur KC

The author has a post-graduate degree from KDI School of Public Policy and Management, South Korea

Prime Minister Oli has the historic opportunity to set a new record by developing Nepal as a peaceful, prosperous and modern paradise

Experience of South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia shows a decade is enough for transforming the socio-economic condition of a country. These countries have made remarkable progress in their national socio-economic development process as well as elevating international stature within one and half decades. Strong will, commitment and clear vision of their leaders made it possible. 

Making Nepal a paradise is within our national horizon. Our geographical setting, natural resource endowment, energetic youth, well-developed banking and financial institutions and existing liberal investment policies can help us get there. But firm commitment from the political leaders, particularly the leaders at the helm of the government, is indispensable for this. 

Promulgation of constitution in 2015, successful election of federal parliament, provincial assemblies and local governments has created an environment conducive to materialize policies enshrined in our constitution for establishing peaceful and prosperous Nepal. After a long time, we have the government with over two-thirds majority support in the parliament. And we have become able to end the protracted political transition that was characterized by impunity and poor law and order situation. 

New confidence 

The changed context has renewed confidence of both national and international investors to invest their accumulated capital, advanced technology and modern management skills and knowledge in Nepal’s hydropower, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure and mining. 

The historic merger between the two major leftist political parties—CPN-UML and Maoist Center—into Nepal Communist Party (NCP), perhaps the first of its kind in Nepal’s history, makes it easier for Nepal to attain prosperity. Now the new party holds nearly two thirds majority in the federal parliament and all provincial assemblies, except in Province 2. 
It has provided further imputes and solid foundation to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development thereby laying  solid foundation for making Nepal a paradise within a decade, as Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli expressed recently. 

Nepal’s unflinching faith in multi-party democracy, rule of law, good governance and human rights has contributed to enhancing our stature at the international arena. This could result in generous financial and technical assistance to Nepal from the friendly developed countries as well as international financial and development institutions. 

Our least developed country (LDC) and land locked developing country (LLDC) status provides more opportunities to strengthen our overall development process by exploiting the various windows for national development. “Everything but arm” facility provided by the EU, General System of Preference from the US and duty-free and quota free market access facilities provided in our immediate neighbors as well as facilities we are entitled to as LDC and LLDC under the WTO provision will facilitate our development journey. 

Our location between two geographically magnificent, demographically explosive, economically vibrant countries and aspirant of global powers of the 21st century—India and China—allows us to extensively benefit from their economies. 

But the sad fact remains that despite having abundant natural resources such as water, tourism, agriculture, and herb, we have failed to transform our socio-economic status, reduce poverty and inequality, generate employment, enhance economic growth, increase per capita income and improve people’s living standard. 

No excuse now

Instability was blamed for this situation in the past. Three decades of misrule had frustrated people.  Lack of stable government is no excuse for leaders at the helm now. If they fail to live up to their commitments made in election manifesto, people will lose trust in governing parties. 

In the past, political parties blamed lack of support from bureaucracy in implementing people-oriented policies and programs. There is no room for such excuse now. People support this government and are waiting for the results. This manifested in their support to the government’s decision to dismantle transport cartels and syndicates. Now the government should be bold enough to destroy syndicates and ill practices in Nepal’s health, education and marketing sectors. Personalities such as Kulman Ghishing and Rup Narayan Bhattarai offer hope. 

Sovereign people have the sovereign right to make their own sovereign choice. Re-entry of the former Malaysian Prime Minister in Malaysian politics again at the age of 92 is the latest testimony of this fact. Malaysian people have recognized his past legacy and have given him credit for transforming Malaysian economy, transforming socio-economic status and uplifting the living condition of the people. 

In Nepal, PM Oli has the historic opportunity to set a new record by seizing the opportunity of favorable internal and external environment to establish Nepal as a peaceful, prosperous and modern paradise. But only through strong willpower and commitment, will he be able to translate is vision of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ in action? 

The author is a postgraduate fellow from KDI School of Public Policy and Management, South Korea


Leave A Comment