The five-party alliance government, led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, has been successful in providing political stability and put new leadership in the local bodies. Created in a difficult circumstance, the government has completed one year in office. Now it stands to accomplish two vital tasks – implementation of ambitious budget for the fiscal year 2022/23 and hold the federal and provincial polls in a fair and fearless atmosphere.
The country has felt the heat of Ukraine war that has pushed the prices of fuels and food beyond expectations. The citizens are bearing the economic hardships owing to the runaway inflation. The rising cases of COVID-19 have posed a new threat to the public health and gradual economic recovery that the country is attaining on the back of resurgent tourism sector. The government has the onus to ensure good governance and carry out transformative economic projects that create jobs and boost national income, thereby riding over the potential economic crisis.
Issuing 27-point directives to the Ministers and secretaries, Prime Minister Deuba Tuesday asked them to focus on implementing the programmes incorporated in the annual budget and ensuring effective service delivery to the people. He put forth his views at a review meeting of the last fiscal year 2021/22 and the Action Plan for the current fiscal year 2022/23. PM Deuba has laid greater emphasis on expediting the pre-election preparations so that the polls are conducted in an impartial, trustworthy and reliable environment.
He has instructed the bureaucrats to do away with the culture of exercising table-based regime while executing works and implementing projects that are directly related to the public. It is necessary to provide facilities that the people get from the government promptly and at an affordable cost. The PM said: "From today, I direct all the government officials to stop imposing your own rules and directions by sitting on the table of the government offices in the name of dedicating service to the public.”
Similarly, he asked the civil servants to be frugal with tax payers’ money especially when it comes to enjoying the facilities of vehicle and fuel or other unnecessary expenses. It is natural for the government to tighten purse strings at a time when there is high external pressure on the foreign reserves owing to the widening trade deficit and imbalance in the Balance of Payment (BoP). This requires promoting export, reducing import and increasing electricity consumption.
Special initiative needs to be taken to achieve self-reliance on vegetables, fruits and food. The PM has rightly called for adopting rational economic policy to improve the major fiscal indicators, thereby attaining economic stability in the country. The Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission should immediately conduct homework to formulate and implement an integrated national strategy and action plan to revive the economy.
Building the implementation capacity of development projects, zero tolerance against corruption, policy and institutional reforms in governance, timely distribution of fertilizers and textbooks, precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic, implementation of the common minimum programme of coalition government, strengthening law and order situation, increase in quality of health and education and adherence to environment protocols while constructing big projects are some important points of the PM's instruction. In order to effectively execute the PM's directives, the political and administrative leadership should change their working style and mindset by realising their responsibility towards the people.