Sincere Efforts Needed To Build Nepal

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President Ram Chandra Paudel has recently unveiled the policy and programmes of the government to a joint session of parliament. The opposition parties naturally have some strong opinions about the policy and programmes and they have even suggested that the same should be re-written. But many others have welcomed the forward-looking gestures of the government and they expect that these programmes will be fulfilled.

For most people, just the assurance of the leaders in power that this country is not going to be like many other suffering countries in this region is a welcome message. Furthermore, the commitment of all the leaders, not only those in power, that they will work for the welfare of the nation and the people and also strongly fight corruption, is a very positive signal.

Shortcoming

No leader or any economic expert has to tell us that corruption has been the biggest shortcoming of Nepal, which otherwise has much resources to easily be a developing nation. It also has two friendly neighbours, namely India and China, surrounding it, and both these countries are heading towards much economic progress. Nepal must just be able to tag on to the economic success of these countries to become prosperous itself. After all, some of the states of India were much worse off than Nepal, but they have gone on to be much developed states because of the sound policies of both the leaders at the federal level and also the locally focused state level. We should not be in any way shamed by following the good policies of both our neighbours and other developed countries as well.

We all know that our country has been rocked by many scandals, including the fake Bhutanese refugee scam, where top level politicians and officials have been jailed. But all true Nepalis also have a strong belief that we will overcome such obstacles and become not only a stable and environmentally friendly nation, but also a place which people from all around the world would like to visit.

Yes, Nepal has all the attractions, besides its natural beauty, to attract many foreign tourists and also make tourism a major source of income for the country. Our youths could easily get lucrative jobs here in the nation itself and others could tend to the fields which now stay fallow because of lack of manpower. Like a stand-up comedian said, why work in foreign lands and develop them, when they have their own homeland which should be developed and become sustainable with its own resources?

Therefore, the present step taken by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and also Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha is a bold step forward in curbing corruption in the country. The Prime Minister has already made a commitment in public that he will not back away from his present move and he would not also succumb to any pressure. But he and the present government must be able to stick by what they have promised to the people.

The majority of the citizens of this country know that the nation is weak not only in its political stature, but more alarming in the economy of the country as well. Forget the people who have a hard time making ends meet for their daily survival, even the industrialists and businessmen are feeling the pinch. This is a really sorry condition for any nation and if Nepal is to get out of this vicious clutch of poverty and become a ‘developing nation’, it should abide by what the political leaders are saying and also by a strict sense of austerity which should come from the top. The government should show the way for people to save themselves from an economic disaster and pave the way for a better Nepal with citizens not having to worry about from where their next meal will come from and of what sort of a life they will have to live in their own country.

This is why the promises made by the government in its policies and programmes must be implemented with sincerity and the country should be able to survive on its own resources. It must not be forgotten that all grants and loans come with strings attached, and this will not prove good for any nation to move ahead in their own ways.

Right now, the move of the government to punish those guilty of corruption is really the right step forward. There is also talk of how old files of corruption will be opened, that is good, but it will take more time and more dedicated politicians and prosecutors to decide on such things. For now, just the present step of arresting some ‘high-profile’ individuals and their ‘mates’ in hand is quite enough to deter many others from tarnishing the image of the country and also looking the other way as far as the government regulations are concerned for the individual profits they can make. The blatant manner in which corruption was flourishing in the country was not only destroying the whole economic scenario, but also bringing a bad name for the country. So, punishing the guilty, whether they are involved in the present scam or other scams of the past, is a good thing.

Prosperity 

We don’t have to look far to see how others are swiftly on the way to prosperity for the entire nation because of sound policies. For example, there was a time when there were some really rich people in China and there were the majority of people who lived in abject poverty, but things have changed now, and the living standard of the people of that country has taken a turn for the better. It is the same in India, where poverty prevailed in the lives of most citizens, but now the gap between the rich and poor has been distinctly become narrower and the vast majority of Indians who were living in mediocre income now can afford better things which were beyond their imagination before. The same must happen in Nepal. The rich should not become richer and the poor not poorer. That is what the policy and programmes of the government should be able to implement, so that all Nepalis can really live a life of prosperity in peace and with confidence.

(The author is former chief editor of this daily.)

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