Monday, 29 November, 2021

Government completes 100 days: centers on COVID-19 response, economic recovery   

File Photo

By Bhishma Raj Ojha, Kathmandu, Oct 20: Today marks the completion of 100 days by the present government led by Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba.

It was on July 13 that NC President Deuba took charge as the head of the government. He had replaced CPN (UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli following the Supreme Court’s order to appoint him as the Prime Minister of Nepal in accordance with Article 76 (5) of the Constitution.    

It has been largely realised that the incumbent government has centred its focus on public health issues and has created a foundation for development efforts, and for the promotion of peace and good governance.    

Among those noticeable actions of the government during this period is its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The short term target of the COVID-19 inoculation campaign has already been met. The government had set a goal of vaccinating one-third of the target group (21,756,763 populations above 18 years) by the end of mid-October and the target is already met.    

It may be noted that Prime Minister Deuba had pledged to implement the vaccination drive against COV ID-19 with top priority shortly after he won the vote of confidence in the House of Representatives.    

It seems that the pandemic is in the phase of containment. The ability to administer 300 thousand doses of vaccine is itself an indicator to prove the government’s priority to public health.    

The government has announced that it is committed to bringing all the eligible population to the vaccination coverage by mid-April. It has also pledged to provide vaccines to people below 18 soon.    

In a short span of time, the government has been successful in executing vaccine diplomacy and managing 15 million doses of vaccines for its people. Implementation of the balanced foreign policy, creation of investment-friendly atmosphere, encouragement to the private sector to achieve economic stability, announcement of relief packages to the business community hit by COVID-19 pandemic, well response to COVID-19 and its management is among those noticeable actions of the government.    

All local levels have been connected with internet network, an arrangement has been made to check one's tax details and pay tax electronically, digital archiving of government documents has been started and a process of digital learning for quality education in remote areas has been initiated in a short period of formation of the government.    

Similarly, a decision to provide Rs 5,000 monthly allowance to cancer and kidney patients as well as patients of spinal injury, an announcement to provide Rs 10,000 to each family from poor economic background, to provide Rs 500,000 each to players of National Football Team that became first runner-up in the SAFF Championship, the announcement of 'Earning while Studying' programme targeting youth students could be taken as the positive initiative of the incumbent government.    

An initiative to provide risk allowance immediately to health workers deputed in the frontline during coronavirus pandemic could also be taken positively.    

The government through common minimum programme has already unveiled a special package for the revival of the economy affected by a coronavirus.    

The activities carried out by the government with limited resources and human resources in the rescue of the people affected by landslides, floods and inundations, providing relief to them and reconstruction, execution of foreign policy based on national interest are its important programmes.    

A process to appoint capable and qualified persons at important bodies has been started, which has disseminated a positive message among the people for development and good governance.    

The plan has been forwarded for making arrangements for providing medical treatment to people injured in course of the movement but who have not received appropriate treatment, proper compensation to those rendered handicapped in course of the movement and for providing employment to one member of their families.    

Programmes providing for a special economic package for the revival of hard-hit sectors as industry, tourism business, communication and transport and for the support of labourers, economically poor and unemployed vulnerable groups have created an environment of relief in the economy which is weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget has already been allocated as per the programmes meant for the COVID-19 affected sectors and the general public.    

Programmes like 'Earning while Studying' and 'Women First' has also been announced targeting the youth students and the women respectively. It is hoped that once these programmes are implemented, these will open the door to the youth students and women for entrepreneurship opportunities, thereby promoting self-reliance.    

The government has become successful in safely rescuing the Nepali citizens who were in trouble after the Taliban's rise to power in Afghanistan.    

Determining the basis for development and nation's prosperity while bringing on the right track the constitution, parliament and democracy that were derailed due to the activities of the previous government can be taken as the major achievements of the present government.    

The government has not only brought vaccines by means of economic diplomacy but has also adopted the policy of creating an environment conducive for investment, including foreign direct investment.    

At the same time, the government is moving ahead promoting a balanced and successful foreign policy. In this connection, the government has already initiated efforts for improving the relations between Nepal and India which appeared to have been soured during the time of the previous government.

The visit of Vijaya Chauthaiwale, Chief of the Foreign Department of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of India to Nepal and the recent visit to India by the Nepali Congress delegation led by party joint general secretary Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat can be taken as steps to that end. The NC delegation had visited India at the invitation of the BJP.    

Similarly, Minister for Foreign affairs Dr Narayan Khadka and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi have held a telephonic conversation on Tuesday during which they discussed many aspects of Nepal-China relations as well as on topics related to trade and other partnerships. Immediately after this, China has on Tuesday pledged to provide two million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 in the form of a grant.    

In this way, the Government of Nepal has adopted the policy of fostering a good neighbourly relation with India and China.