BY PRAJWAL SHRESTHA
The World Bank has warned that the decline in remittance revenue can be a serious threat to this country. Surely, our economy is not heading towards a right direction. We could not develop industrial environment creating job opportunity for our youths. Industries are closed or say ruined due to the political disturbances as well as acute shortage of power to run the industries. The government policies, trade unions’ disturbances and financial extortion by different political parties are the hurdles in operating industries in this country. Hydropower mafias became active to fulfill their personal interests from which we were unable to construct hydropower projects. To recall the past Panchayat days, we had surplus electricity, the Nepal Electricity Corporation was insisting people to cook food by using electric cookers. During that time, one after another projects were constructing as per the demand of the country. The Arun-3 hydropower project was on the pipeline or say ready to start construction with the investment of the World Bank, Germany and Japan. In the meantime, the country witnessed 1989 People’s Movement and the agitating political parties came to power. NC was confused in implementation of the project immediately as there was a trend that all the plans developed by the previous Panchayet power were bad. The fact is that the 1989 People’s Movement, like the 2006 April Uprising, was solely sponsored by India. Under the Indian support, the agitations have become successful in the country. Therefore, the leaders in agitation should not feel proud on their victory, rather, such an alliance with India to fight against the establishment in the country has become costly for the political leaders. India was against construction of the Arun 3 project by Nepal itself. Likewise, some Western companies manufacturing equipment for small and middle scale hydropower projects were also against construction of the Arun-3 project as it could push back many small as well as middle scale hydropower projects for years and they could not supply their products in Nepal. In the meantime, when UML got an opportunity to form a minority government, the then prime minister Manmohan Adhakary wrote a humiliating letter, following a warning over telephone to the chief of the World Bank from which the World Bank decided to scrape such a potential project. In result, today, we are facing 11 plus hour long load-shedding. The then government had directly asked for pre commission as they had believed that there was a hefty amount of commission to be received by the then rulers by implementing the project. In fact, UML was misguided by those brokers who were lobbying against the project. The agents of such brokers even went to the World Bank headquarters in the US to protest the project from its implementation. After decades, the Indian company has been rewarded to construct this project but it is surprising to see no protestors or agitators against construction of the project by the Indian company. Where have the protestors who were protesting against the Arun – 3 project gone? They can’t just disappear. So, its very clear where the protesters have disappeared, why they are not protesting or launching agitation against construction of the project by the Indian company.
As hydropower mafias became stronger along with introduction of multiparty democracy, the governments were unable to construct even small projects. We are facing the impact of such unhealthy practices which took place after the demise of the Panchayat system. The present “loktantra” is piling up of all such bad practices. Unless we have a visionary leader, we cannot see a better Nepal rather we may see a worst Nepal. If we will not give proper shape to our economy, the country may collapse as our strong dependence is on remittance revenue, which has started to decline. Therefore, the government and policy makers should pay utmost attention as our economy may face an unexpected accident.
“New” Nepal or ruined Nepal!
BY PRAJWAL SHRESTHA