Prolonged political transition hits economic development
Prolonged political transition and experiments have forced Nepal miss economic growth agenda, according to finance minister.
Addressing an interaction on 'Federal Nepal: Roadmap for Economic Prosperity,' organised by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) here today, finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala said that most of the governments wasted time managing the conflict and missed the chance to develop the country. "Except for a fraction of time – during 1992-1995 after democratic movement – the successive governments since 1940 have been more involved in managing conflict."
The incumbent government has managed the transitional economy and is waiting to handover a healthy economy back to the elected government soon, he added. "Political stability and economic growth is directly related to each other."
Claiming that without investment-friendly environment, only the promises and speeches could not help develop a country, he said that there is no option to agreement on minimum economic agenda on health, education, energy, infrastructure development among the political parties. "After the successful completion of second Constituent Assembly (CA) election, there has been a light at the end of tunnel that the investment-friendly environment is on cards. The elected new government will carry the baton and encourage more investment in the country," Koirala said, claiming that the incumbent government has done some remarkable job to completely end the problem of load-shedding in next three years.
However, former finance minister and Nepali Congress leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, on the occasion said that a strong government can change the course of economic development. "The weak government can neither ensure law and order nor fulfil its promises," he said, development is not possible without stopping lawlessness completely. "Skill and policy are more important for the development in the current world than natural resources."
Saying that the flawed thinking among the people that only government is the power, he said that everyone is searching for white-collar job and no one is ready to do blue-collar job. "The table-job has eroded the productivity of labours."
Every finance minister has allocated budget for social security but there is no proper accounts of where the budget has been spent," he added.
Likewise, another former finance minister and CPN-UML leader Surendra Pandey, said that the focus on energy and infrastructure will help create enough employment in the country.
Though I belong to the schooling of revolutionary land reform and distribution of land to poor, I realised that one can distribute only one's property not others," he said, adding that the schooling of distribution was wrong. "The state must be strong enough to implement its policies."
The minimum economic agenda will find no opposers, said another former finance minister and UCPN-Maoist leader Barshaman Pun. "The successive governments failed to kick start economic development, even after political change," he said, adding that his party will support the government on the basis of its performance on economic development and good governance.
Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) president emeritus Binod Chaudhary, on the occasion, blasted the political parties for delay in forming the government. "The political parties have failed to learn the lesion," he said, hailing the incumbent government for helping float the economy smoothly.