By Bhupendra Khanal
Efforts to form the first ever Maoist-led government in Nepal are going on. The new government will have many challenges going forward and they will have to work actively and aggressively. It is challenging but not impossible.
Here are my suggestions for the new Nepal Government.
1. Integration to Global Economy Free Trade Agreement with China, Japan and US to make the economy multi-lateral. This can be in-line with FTA with India. This should be accompanied with aggressive infrastructure building to get maximum benefit from these bilateral treaties and SAFTA.
2. Suitable Investment Climate Industrial Protection Act and Liberal Labor Regime to increase investor confidence. Indian Business houses in particular needs to be protected which are the most affected ones, as in todays world Indian Corporates are among the best governed and most aggressive ones. Entry of Companies like IBM, Accenture, GM, GE, Toyota, Infosys, Reliance, Bharti, ICICI etc can completely change the way companies function in Nepal. They will bring quality technology and huge volume of business, thus creating huge employment and great technological know-how.
3. Independent Planning and Execution of National Projects National Planning Commission with more representation from Nepali Private sector and less dependent from donor agency like ADB, WB or IMF. ADB, WB and IMF are the masters of putting useless conditions for their help and thus take economy towards more bad, so that their relevance in the world remains. Their conditions should not be taken unless utmost necessary and their overall involvement in the economy should be reduced as far as possible.
4. Government Investment Channelization to increase Professionalism Establishment of a Professional Investment Company to hold all Government Investments in all companies in the lines of Tamasek, Singapore. This needs to be run by Professional Managers on Competitive Excellence Basis.
5. Aggressive Infrastructure Development by adopting all mediums Open Infrastructure Development Policy to bring in Huge Foreign Institutional Investment (FII) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This should be mainly targeted towards building Hydro-Power, Telecoms, and Transport Facilities.
6. A Nuclear, Power Sufficient Nepal Nuclear Energy Development Board to work with India and China for development of Nuclear Energy in civil use. RONAST needs to be made more professional and pulled to support Nuclear Case. Nepal is reach in Hydro-resources but it should not just stick to its use because production and maintenance of Hydro-power is not efficient and effective. Argentina and Hungary has already seen very bad economic and environmental effect with over focus on Hydropower and Nepal needs to learn form them. Nuclear Energy is safe and has cost effective maintenance. This makes it favorable for long term interest of the economy.
7. where there is Resources there needs to be Military Effective Military Development more on the lines of Singapore, less Army but most sophisticated and modern equipment.
It can also be making of SAMA (South Asian Military Alliance) or joining Shanghai Co-operation or NATO. This will make sovereign voice strong.
8. Complement India and Not Consume India Cancellation of 1950 Ind0-Nepal Treaty and replacing it with a new one. This should take care of changed political and economic scenario between the two culturally similar nations. It can be in lines of US-Canada Relation. Nepal should work on building more natural relations with India on the lines of Australia or UK having with US. This will mean having more meaningful and business friendly relations, and not based on favoritism and puppetism.
Nepal is India’s natural ally and vice-versa. They are so much culturally linked that in there is unlikely that the bond will weaken or break. This needs to be actively voiced. The good and progressive relation will mean great for private sector from both the countries. Indian business houses can invest heavily in Hydro-Power and other areas, while Nepali Business will have one of the World’s largest market for their products. This will increase people to people contact and in good note, which I feel is better than India Government financing projects in Nepal and providing aid (which actually flows to few corrupt takers).
9. Upgradation of Rural and Agricultural Economy Agricultural Revolution is the next thing in line, and this is the right time to start. With Petroleum prices rising and subsequently food prices rising with the production of bio-fuel, the market for food products is huge. Nepal has good and fertile land, and can produce much more than it is doing today. It just needs effective people awareness. Government can play a facilitator by creating Tax Breaks for companies involved in food production, distribution and processing industries. This should however be accompanied with good policy for bringing in international players to maintain quality of service.
10. Strict and Good GovernanceHard stance on Anti-Government forces accompanied with effective Government facilities. Single window can be created to pay all bills like electricity bill, water bill, taxes etc. This can be outsourced to a professional company and operated 24 hrs in major areas with complete IT Automated Facilities.
It is very important to have strong anti-terrorism and anti-corruption act to include capital punishment. There should be no second thought in clear anti-socials from the country and the economy.
UWB received this article in email.