March 15, 2018 02:00 AM NPT
One month of Oli’s leadership
Today completes one month of KP Sharma Oli’s election as the 38th prime minister. And regrettably, he has not been able to do much in the last 30 days. For one, he has not been able to give a full shape to his cabinet. While it is a welcome step to try and bring onboard Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) the government, the first month of Oli’s leadership hasn’t yet provided a clear direction of the type of works he wants to pursue in the next five years. Instead, he has been busy attending public functions and his team appears to be busy celebrating the election victory. The party is over and it is now time to deliver. PM Oli could have at least appointed key advisors to his office and could have begun working on some of his election promises. This would have given hope to the people who are desperately waiting for the leadership in Kathmandu to speed up development works.
Moreover, Baluwatar—PM’s official residence—is being used as a venue for party cadres and others who line up there to meet him. The Office of the Prime Minister inside Singha Darbar is waiting for the PM to make the best use of the space there. His presence in Singha Durbar will not only filter out unwanted visits, but the bureaucrats working inside will also be alert in their works. PM Oli should send a circular to all the ministries, directing them and the senior government officials from not attending programs and functions that have no bearing in productivity of their respective offices. It was a welcome step by the new PM to restrict officials from making foreign visits that lack purpose. PM’s office should actively monitor if the circular has been obeyed.
The Prime Minister has told us many times that he does not have the luxury of wasting time. He has said that his government has to work double the usual speed in order to complete some of the big projects and to deliver on campaign promises. He is on the mark here. Indeed, he has no excuse to stay idle for he has had support from over two-thirds majority—the first of the kind after the 1990s—in the parliament. While it may be too early to judge his performance, he is still seen attending parties, events and inaugurations all over, leaving very little time to focus on the real work. We urge the PM and his team to get down to business. As he has said repeatedly, there is no time to waste and the country is urgently in need of clear direction from the leader to kick off several development initiatives. In the last one month, he should have done something tangible to meet people’s expectations. We hope the cabinet will take full shape at the earliest and will immediately begin working on helping solve people’s pressing concerns.