Agendas of New Nepal
Posted by Thaneshwar on जनवरी 5, 2008
by, Thaneshwar Kandel
There are many discussions on the agendas of new Nepal in the eve of CA election. Obviously there are many issues to be addressed because we are entering into a new era of democratic Nepal. All the centralized power of the state are demanded to decentralize to the local government. Here in this post, I am trying to outline some major issues and my opinion on them.
1. Inclusive democracy: First issue to be resolved in Nepal is inclusiveness of all the marginalized groups of Nepal, irrespective of race, gender, cast, religion, and region, in all the organs of the country. Here we should not forget a very important fact that in the name of inclusiveness incompetent and inefficient people should not be picked up. The most important point is all the people of the country, without any discrimination and prejudice, should be entitled to exercise all the rights equally. Until and unless all the people residing in Nepal feel proud to be Nepali, the nation can’t be inclusive. And neither such people can develop the country nor can safeguard the nationality. For few years equal physical representation of all the marginalized groups in state organs may not be possible, but their issues, concerns and agendas should be represented and addressed properly. I personally oppose the idea of quota system because quota system is one of the barriers of progress. Rather what I think a good or rational way is the government has to formulate special provisions to enhance the capacity of all the marginalized groups. What is good in my opinion is open the doors in all the organs of the country for all and choose the best (competitive, efficient and dynamic personnel). Here the main important point that should be considered by all the stakeholders is ‘He is equally important as I am’.
2. Restructure of the nation: SPA has agreed on forming the federal system of government in Nepal. But there are numerous confusions about the basis of the federal states and their autonomy. There had to be enough discussions on this issue before declaring the federal states but unfortunately could not happen. Nepal has a difficult geographical structure if we observe them separating into Himal, Terai and Pahad. We can benefit only when we can blend them in right portion. The basis for the division of federal states should be geography, demography, economic viability and inheritance of natural resources but not the ethnicity. The country could disintegrate if we adopted a federal governing system on the basis of ethnicity. We should not let confrontations arise amongst the different ethnic groups of Nepal raising the ethnic issues which only derail the harmony of Nepalese society. The federal states should enhance the unity amongst the Nepalese granting equal rights and feeling of self respect.
Demands for self-determination and right to secede by any groups can’t be justified. For the overall development of Nepal there should be a strong tie amongst the federal states and with the central government. So we should be very careful about the extent of the autonomy. I think this issue should be resolved by physical observations of the geography, demography and the inheritance of natural resources by the team of experts. Adopting a federal system should enhance the national integrity but it should not lead the country towards disintegration.
3. Professional and scientific Education: Education is the root of development and civilization. Our present education system is very impractical and unscientific. It has been emphasizing to memorize theories produced by other people. Our curriculum should be based on the ground reality of Nepal. At the same time we should be able to coherent them with the education system of the developed nations as well. What we have to do is identity the need of Nepal and make our own curriculum cooperating and learning from the developed world then produce professional man power. Universities should focus on producing professionals, scientists, philosophers and researchers rather than teachers. If education could not produce skill man power and state could not provide enough employment opportunity, the educated people turn into selfish and deceptive behavior. That is what the present Nepal is.
Education is the most important basis of development. Nepal has immense natural resources. We only have to make a good and wise use of them. For that reason we need skill man power. Here skill man power refers to the entire workforce which has some skill to perform any work professionally. For example a mason who can work with modern high- tech machinery is also skill manpower. He should not hold any university degree to entitle himself as skill manpower. Academically unsuccessful people also can gain skill in any field of their interest according to their knowledge and capacity. Along with the professional education should make the citizens accountable, responsible and honest. We have a very bad trend in Nepal mostly educated people are turned into selfish nature which should be abolished. If we can’t fulfill the aspirations of the people according to modern time, mere emotional words can’t make the people wise and honest.
4. Economic Policy: Nepal’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign aids and donations. So foreigners, especially India, has direct and indirect role in the change of political system and even government in Nepal. So no body in powers dares to tackle strongly with India. First of all we need to maintain equal relationship with India and China as they are our nearest neighboring countries. So India will not dare to intervene that much. Present disputes about border lines between India and Nepal should be resolved according to historical proof and occupancy. And there should be maintained scientific border lines between two countries. Similarly to regulate the criminal activities in the border areas border-walls should be erected and there should be specific entry and exit points. For this reason Nepal has to take diplomatic ways. Secondly we need to abandon the present begging trend by appeasing others. We should begin to become ourself independent.
The main income source of a government is tax. But the tax system in our country is too narrowed and unscientific. We should focus on extending the area of tax, not the tax percentage. Moreover we have to attract new investment from domestic and international investors. For this purpose government has to ensure investment friendly environment. Many big companies of the world are now moving to India, Philippines and other Asian countries because of the cheap labor, rent and resource. If we can attract new investments, tax revenues and employment opportunities will increase. There is a very bad trend of back door commission while dealing with any big plans funded by foreigners. Politicians and the public servants should keep the national interest up above their personal interests. Transparency is also a big problem of present Nepal.
In my opinion Hydropower, tourism and textile industry have potentiality in Nepal. So policies should be formulated considering them the back bones of Nepal’s economy. Similarly according to Nepal’s geographic situation we need to encourage micro-enterprises. The income of Nepalese people is dependent on informal economy. If we could encourage micro-enterprises, the informal economy will turn into formal economy. Which will provide sustainable employment opportunities. Apparently government tax income will also raise. Once we encourage for micro enterprises, government should empower to consume the domestic products and should ban on the import of cheap and shoddy foreign products. Unless and until our export exceeds the import we can’t develop our country.
In my opinion citizens above 16 should be brought into tax system. A tax number should be issued along with citizenship. At the mean time, there should be a good social security system in the country. Social security should be distributed according to tax paid by the individual. In my opinion only a good social security system can minimize the deep rooted bribe system of Nepal which has almost been institutionalized. Because of the fear of the future people wants to collect money during they are in power.
5. Judiciary System: Government should maintain strong judiciary system in the country. Rule of law is the necessity for the civilized society. Nobody should be above law. This is not a mere principle; it should be implemented in action. Our present legal system has many defects in it. People don’t believe on present judiciary system. Justice from court is hardly possible. Delay in justice is one of the major problems of present judiciary. I have observed closely how corrupt the people working in the judiciary organs of Nepal are. Judiciary in Panchayat era was heavily dominated by the then political rulers. Democratic governments after 1990 also failed to maintain the supremacy of law. So there should be an independent but efficient and dynamic judiciary which can safeguard the rights of the people and provide fair justice. Government should keep in mind one fact without providing rights and ensuring social security system, only rules and regulations can’t make a peace and prosperous society. First of all the rational demands of people should be ensured then laws and rules and regulations should be enforced to maintain law and order. Without ensuring rational demands of the people, present situation of anarchism and lawlessness will not be ended.
So in conclusion, inclusiveness in state organs, professional and scientific education to youth and children, honesty and transparency of politicians and civil servants, strong tax and social security system and hard working people are some basic needs of the present hour for the headway of Nepal.