September 22, 2019 02:30 AM NPT
The country celebrated the fourth Constitution Day on Friday with much fanfare. With the exception of some form of protests in parts of Province 2 and few other places, people across the country expressed the need for our government to keep working to fulfill the aspirations of our constitution. This may not be the perfect document, but the constitution represents the hopes and dreams of 30 million people. Top leaders, including Prime Minister KP Oli, have, time and again, expressed their willingness to amend the document “based on necessity and relevance”. Even though the constitution was promulgated by an overwhelming majority of the 601-member of the Constituent Assembly, its future was in doubt. Today, there is little doubt about the viability of the document promulgated four years ago.
At the core of constitution is the promise of a better and prosperous future of the country and its people. People want rapid economic growth, something that PM Oli has talked about a lot since he came to power a little more than one and a half years ago. Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali is a fitting rallying cry to jumpstart our economy. However, despite recording strong economic growth last year, our manufacturing and export are not encouraging. Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has seen a downward trend instead. Bills for legislative reforms to attract FDI are still shelved in parliamentary committees. Again and again, PM Oli and his ministers talk of changing the government’s working modalities. However, the people have yet to feel any difference in their daily lives. As Dashain approaches, price of essential goods have shot up. Travels to outside Kathmandu will be difficult. People do not feel the presence of three tiers of government. Of late, the government’s poor performance is the major factor causing frustration in the general public. Such factors eventually help various elements who want to create instability in the society. And this is not a good indicator of health and longevity of our constitution.
We all want Oli government to succeed. We all want the 2015 constitution to deliver on its promises of equality, justice and freedom. We want our democratic institutions to thrive and make our democracy vibrant. And all these can only happen when the people do not have to worry about getting quality food at a reasonable price, when people get good care when they go to hospitals and can send their children to good, affordable schools. PM Oli promised to make our $35 billion economy to $50 billion by the end of his government’s full tenure. We hope he succeeds in this challenging but achievable mission.