Hope for better future persists 12 years

-------11th Republic Day--------

Kathmandu, 29 May : Though twelve years have been completed since Nepal formally switched to a federal democratic republic polity with the establishment of the 240-year monarchy in the country, no significant economic progress has been achieved in this period.

Long political transition has been blamed for preventing the nation's economy from taking a u-turn. Despite this, hope for better days still catches the hearts and minds of Nepalis.

In the aftermath of successful completion of the three-tier election in the country, economic development and people's aspiration for better changes in the country including in the economic sector are expected to be addressed in the infant republic.

The country witnessed major political changes in this period including the formation of the largest communist party (Communist Party of Nepal) through merger of the then CPN (UML) and the CPN (Maoist Center). The country has the majority government which seems to be stable for the next five year. People's long-held aspirations for political stability have been met. Present political atmosphere in the country is expected to provide a ground for the nation's economy to make a significant stride.

But while we talk about in a relative term, people have not got relief as per the expectations in the past 12 years of the establishment of a federal democratic republic system.

The economic survey report of the current fiscal that was unveiled by the government Sunday showed just 3.4 percent economic growth rate on average in the last ten years in the country.

However, an end to load-shedding hours in the recent two years has created an atmosphere conducive for the industrial sector to boom. Guarantee of interrupted power supply to the industrial corridor is expected to promote this sector and contribute to the economic growth in the days ahead.

The 2015 April earthquake and other adverse phenomenon had hit the nation's economy, limiting the economic growth at 0.59 per cent in the fiscal year 2072-73 BS against the projection of 5.9 percent (revised in the aftermath of quake).

Similarly, prolonged political instability had negatively affected the economic growth rate and job market. Lack of job opportunities at home forced over 4.5 million people in this period to leave the country in search of foreign employment in Gulf countries and other nations.

However, feelings of optimism and hope for better future can still be sensed among the people. People are hopeful that the government would do something good for them in the future and they would see happy days.

Every political change has its own political, cultural and economic dimensions. The people's movement jointly launched by major political parties and the then CPN (Maoist) established federal democratic republic system in the country.

Chairperson of Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Haribhakta Sharma, said that although there was no expected economic development and prosperity in the past, coming days would be happier.

Sharma said, "We faced many problems in the name of political transition. There is no alternative to work honestly to regain the opportunities lost by Nepal in last 20 years."

He said, "The government should create trust-worthy basis to institutionalize republicanism. An environment conducive where one can get basic necessities like arrangement of easy treatment, opportunity of employment, quality education, among others."

The government has unveiled the policies and programmes along with a target of double digit economic growth rate and making per capita income double within next five years.

Likewise, former Vice-Chairperson of National Planning Commission, Prof Dr Govinda Raj Pokharel said, "Income sources of the country have increased due to revenue policy adopted with political changes after 2046 BS. Economic shape and income have been expanded as such policy got continuity even after the republic system."

Foreign investment has grown in recent years. The economy seems to have not taken the right direction due to the policy-related confusions and inconsistencies. The elected governments have not paid due attention on issues of economic development due to the political transition.

Former vice-chairman Dr Pokharel said the coming days would be encouraging in terms of inflow of foreign investment as there has been a favourable environment for investment in the energy and tourism sectors. "It will still take more time to show the achievements in the economic sector after the republic declaration," he added.

The size of the economy has grown to reach near about Rs 3000 billion. The construction of big projects has started after the republic declaration. Investment has been going up in the energy sector.

In the words of economist Dr Chandra Mani Adhikari, a situation has come in which revenue is in a position to bear nearly 25 per cent of the GDP but the speed of economic growth has not matched that of the political achievements.

"Economic environment is building up gradually but the results have not been achieved yet. The republican economy is a challenging position," he said, adding that the republican economy could not achieve the expected improvements due to the increasing trade deficit, active working population going abroad, lack of infrastructure and resources and the service sector too not giving sufficient returns.

Likewise, the depreciation of the Nepali currency due to the increase in the price of fuel in the international market, increase in the bank interest rate and growing overhead expenses have held back the economy, Dr Adhikari said.

There is no alternative to taking forward all the three levels of the federal democratic republic in a coordinated manner and increasing the capacity of the local and province levels. Similarly, there is the need of ramping up investment in the on infrastructure and production sectors and paying attention to the human resource development. If the energy and efforts are directed to this direction then only can the desired economic growth achieved along with the institutionalisation of the republic.

-------11th Republic Day----

Hope for better future persists 12 years

Kathmandu: Though twelve years have been completed since Nepal formally switched to a federal democratic republic polity with the abolishment of the 240-year monarchy in the country, no significant economic progress has been achieved in this period.

Long political transition has been blamed for preventing the nation's economy from taking a u-turn. Despite this, hope for better days still catches the hearts and minds of Nepalis.

In the aftermath of successful completion of the three-tier election in the country, economic development and people's aspiration for better changes in the country including in the economic sector are expected to be addressed in the infant republic.

The country witnessed major political changes in this period including the formation of the largest communist party (Communist Party of Nepal) through merger of the then CPN (UML) and the CPN (Maoist Center). The country has the majority government which seems to be stable for the next five year. People's long-held aspirations for political stability have been met. Present political atmosphere in the country is expected to provide a ground for the nation's economy to make a significant stride.

But while we talk about in a relative term, people have not got relief as per the expectations in the past 12 years of the establishment of a federal democratic republic system.

The economic survey report of the current fiscal that was unveiled by the government Sunday showed just 3.4 percent economic growth rate on average in the last ten years in the country.

However, an end to load-shedding hours in the recent two years has created an atmosphere conducive for the industrial sector to boom. Guarantee of interrupted power supply to the industrial corridor is expected to promote this sector and contribute to the economic growth in the days ahead.

The 2015 April earthquake and other adverse phenomenon had hit the nation's economy, limiting the economic growth at 0.59 per cent in the fiscal year 2072-73 BS against the projection of 5.9 percent (revised in the aftermath of quake).

Similarly, prolonged political instability had negatively affected the economic growth rate and job market. Lack of job opportunities at home forced over 4.5 million people in this period to leave the country in search of foreign employment in Gulf countries and other nations.

However, feelings of optimism and hope for better future can still be sensed among the people. People are hopeful that the government would do something good for them in the future and they would see happy days.

Every political change has its own political, cultural and economic dimensions. The people's movement jointly launched by major political parties and the then CPN (Maoist) established federal democratic republic system in the country.

Chairperson of Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Haribhakta Sharma, said that although there was no expected economic development and prosperity in the past, coming days would be happier.

Sharma said, "We faced many problems in the name of political transition. There is no alternative to work honestly to regain the opportunities lost by Nepal in last 20 years."

He said, "The government should create trust-worthy basis to institutionalize republicanism. An environment conducive where one can get basic necessities like arrangement of easy treatment, opportunity of employment, quality education, among others."

The government has unveiled the policies and programmes along with a target of double digit economic growth rate and making per capita income double within next five years.

Likewise, former Vice-Chairperson of National Planning Commission, Prof Dr Govinda Raj Pokharel said, "Income sources of the country have increased due to revenue policy adopted with political changes after 2046 BS. Economic shape and income have been expanded as such policy got continuity even after the republic system."

Foreign investment has grown in recent years. The economy seems to have not taken the right direction due to the policy-related confusions and inconsistencies. The elected governments have not paid due attention on issues of economic development due to the political transition.

Former vice-chairman Dr Pokharel said the coming days would be encouraging in terms of inflow of foreign investment as there has been a favourable environment for investment in the energy and tourism sectors. "It will still take more time to show the achievements in the economic sector after the republic declaration," he added.

The size of the economy has grown to reach near about Rs 3000 billion. The construction of big projects has started after the republic declaration. Investment has been going up in the energy sector.

In the words of economist Dr Chandra Mani Adhikari, a situation has come in which revenue is in a position to bear nearly 25 per cent of the GDP but the speed of economic growth has not matched that of the political achievements.

"Economic environment is building up gradually but the results have not been achieved yet. The republican economy is a challenging position," he said, adding that the republican economy could not achieve the expected improvements due to the increasing trade deficit, active working population going abroad, lack of infrastructure and resources and the service sector too not giving sufficient returns.

Likewise, the depreciation of the Nepali currency due to the increase in the price of fuel in the international market, increase in the bank interest rate and growing overhead expenses have held back the economy, Dr Adhikari said.

There is no alternative to taking forward all the three levels of the federal democratic republic in a coordinated manner and increasing the capacity of the local and province levels. Similarly, there is the need of ramping up investment in the on infrastructure and production sectors and paying attention to the human resource development. If the energy and efforts are directed to this direction then only can the desired economic growth achieved along with the institutionalisation of the republic. 

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