Tuesday, 23 July, 2024

The government stays the course


Arpana Adhikari

It’s been almost two years since Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has led government with two-third majority in the parliament, a rare political development in the country’s history. Erstwhile CPN-UML and Maoist Centre had formed an electoral alliance ahead of federal and state election, pulling off a resounding victory in 2017. After decades of political instability, people have pinned high hopes on the new government which will have full five-year mandate to rule the country.
Some leaders of NCP have lashed out at the government for failing to improve law and order situation and controlling corruption. However, the government has been repeatedly saying that it has made remarkable achievement on socio-economic and political fronts since the formation of the government. Although some sections of people, including the ruling party stalwarts, have expressed their reservations about the performance of government, Prime Minister Oli has strongly defended the government and its gains. PM Oli is not satisfied with some major media outlets, which according to him, are often parsimonious with the truth, meaning they do not tell the facts regarding the government’s works.
Improved global indicators
The other day while opening the NCP’s 2nd Central Committee meeting in the capital, PM Oli said that his government had made significant achievements as shown by the global indicators of socio-economic development. Refuting the accusation that the government has failed to make any visible progress, PM Oli said Nepal had climbed to 149th position from 147th on the latest Human Development Index. Highlighting the government’s efforts on establishing peace and order, he further informed that Nepal ranked 76th position among 165 countries on Global Peace Index.
Similarly, Nepal has achieved 6.5 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which constantly remained 4 per cent until the last decade. Its export has increased by 27 per cent and import has gone down by 4 per cent. Likewise, it progressed on corruption index with rise of 11 points. It has fared well in the field of corruption control, happiness, gender equality and tourism competitiveness. The Economist magazine also put Nepal among the 10 countries which have secured remarkable economic growth, PM Oli informed.
The government has not fallen behind any global index, solid evidence that country is on the course of securing the rapid economic development and self-sufficiency. Foreign investment has increased by 132.5 per cent with the formation of the new government. Country’s trade deficit in the first quarter amounted to Rs 307 billion, down 12.02 percent year-on-year. In the last one decade, the trade deficit rate remained 20.4 per cent. But in last five months of this fiscal year, it declined by 6.3 per cent compared to the same duration of last year, while export of goods has also increased by 27 per cent. “Since there was a huge trade deficit so it will take some time to maintain balance between import and export,” he added.
Nepal has been importing rice and other cereals worth billions of rupees but the country has now enhanced production and productivity. The growth of agricultural products has increased by 5 per cent, industrial goods by 8.1 per cent and services by 7.3 per cent. The country is gradually getting self-reliant on timber and decreased its import by 20 per cent. The government is all set to extract iron from the recently explored iron ore reserves in Dhuabadhi of Nawalparasi district.
“Quality and sample testing of iron has been successfully conducted. There is possibility to produce 800 tons of iron every day for 30 years, while exploration of petroleum products has been carrying out,” he added. The tourism sector stands to flourish in recent years. The government has provided employment to nearly 185,000 people through small and big projects across the country run by various local units under the Prime Minister Employment Programme.
Furthermore, the government has forwarded construction of Trishuli 3 ‘A’ Hydroelectricity Project, made breakthrough of the tunnel of Bheri Babai Multipurpose Project by using the tunnel boring machine, speeded up the construction work of the international airports and took initiatives for the improvement of other airports. He also informed that the construction of the Nepal-India 400 KV Transmission Line, people’s housing programme, resumption of works in the Melamchi Water Supply Project, construction of 228 health post buildings and progress in reconstruction of the houses damaged in the earthquake of 2015 were other achievements.
80 Acts okayed
He also informed that the Parliament had approved a total 80 new Acts and various works were underway to implement federalism and boost diplomatic relation. While talking at the Gorkhapatra Sambad recently, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishowr Pokharel had said that despite its exceptional and progressive works, the government failed in branding its achievements in attractive packages and some forces were taking unfair advantages of this shortcoming.
But the government should do review its performance and prepare programmes as per its election manifesto so as to fulfill the public aspirations. Furthermore, the government has to waste no time but concentrate on realising its main agenda of national prosperity and happiness.
(Adhikari is a TRN journalist)