Nepal’s President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav Sunday announced the annual policies and programs of Nepal government in the Legislative-Parliament.
The annual policies and programs made public prior to the imminent budget speech underline peace, constitution and economic development as the priorities. They promise to create employment for hundreds of thousands. These are positive promises. A high level of moral integrity and follow-up communication and cross-examination are required to ensure smooth implementation—a bitter truth experienced during more than six decades in Nepal.
Despite the positive promises, the policies and programs, expected of any political party in Nepal, sound ritual and traditional, with no innovative approaches and change attitudes. They, like those announced by former governments, contain much vagueness as to the nature of Nepal’s economic strategies and their programmatic tactics for poverty reduction.
All-pervasive corruption as a national race will always remain the chief barrier to the implementation of the measures based on the announced policies. Nepal’s poverty is not a product of lack of resources, human and material. Its major cause is lack of moral integrity at political levels. This moral crisis evidently paved the way for Nepal’s Maoist insurgency (1996-2006), which caused huge losses, human and material, further exacerbating multiple corruption in the name of ‘People’s War’ and ‘Counter-Insurgency’. The government’s policies and programs remain too vague and weak as regards the settlement of the insurgency-raised issues, which were nationally approved of through the Constituent Assembly elections held on April 10, 2008, aimed at utilizing the elected Assembly for empowering the Nepalis towards peaceful transformation of their lives in political, socio-economic and cultural spheres.
The Comprehensive peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the former State parties and the Maoist rebels on November 21, 2006, contained the theoretical provisions for big changes in every sector. But the concerned stakeholders have remained far removed from these major agenda of transformation because they have unhealthily focused on amassing wealth and re-strengthening their status quo, for fear of change and the process of de-feudalization.
Currently, no substantive changes have resulted in the lives of the Nepalis, while smugglers and blackmarkeeters, including state officials cooperating with them, have grown from millionaires to billionaires. The supremacy of impunity in every sector and the desiccation of political parties’ intellectual and moral strength have further frustrated people. Consequently, more and more people are becoming labor migrants. While labor and brain drainage from Nepal is alarmingly growing, human suppliers active both in industrial complexes and government have reaped huge profits, with full oblivion of the fact that the nation’s juices for development are drying up, with productivity steeply declining at home. The policies and programs have declared a usual support to continue such human supplying trade.
No economic prosperity can ever be imagined through all-out privatization of all the essential goods and services, without guaranteeing development infrastructures across the nation. While the state has merely served private profiteers, with zero sense of corporate social responsibility, people have been victimized by syndicate and market anomalies. With a per capita income of about US$735 per annum (a Nepali earns an average wage of NRS.6,000 per month), the Nepalis cannot enjoy an adequate standard of living as outlined in the universal human rights documents. Thus, resources have been concentrated in the hands of limited population, further jeopardizing democracy and human rights. The policies and programs have not scientifically and analytically addressed these concerns.
Unfortunately, the peace process has been misinterpreted as an opportunity for contracting business at the cost of poor masses.
Making a new constitution, the prime agenda of the current Constituent Assembly II (elected this year), is a matter of abandoning status quoist path. Unless parties proceed from status quo, no new constitution is possible. Only the old one, with some modified wording, will be re-adjusted.