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Ensure peaceful labour for economic prosperity

BY PRAJWAL SHRESTHA
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is frequently found saying that Nepal is an investment friendly country. How far is this statement true?, as an investor has to face series of hurdles once he makes his investment in the country. First of all, the investor has to face energy crisis. Besides, the investor has to be ready to fight with the leaders of the trade unions affiliated with different political parties. An investor has to run the industry and also has to manage the market. But most of the time, the investor has to resolve disputes with the leaders of the trade unions. For instance, the Casino in the Shangri-la Hotel is facing problems with the trade union leaders close to the UML. Reports state that PM’s chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal is backing the trade union leaders in the Hotel. For several weeks, the Casino, having foreign investment, is not in operation due to disturbance from the trade union leaders. Similarly, Hotel Hyatt Regency has stopped bookings of the guests and those guests are being shifted to Hotel Yak & Yeti after protests from different trade union leaders. So far, this scribe doesn’t mean that the managements have done well. The Hyatt Regency management has not been able to distribute bonus to the general shareholders since its establishment. Arun Kumar Saraf owns the Yak & Yeti Hotel whereas he is the one among the major shareholders of the Hyatt Regency. When Hotel Yak & Yeti Pvt Ltd is making profit,Hyatt Regency Ltd is always facing loss. Therefore, there could be some hanky-panky in account keeping, say public shareholders of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Ltd. This is the issue to be investigated by concerned government authority and if anyone is found guilty regarding this matter then the concern authority should take strong action against the management.. Nevertheless, the investors should not feel hurdles from the labour unions to ensure investment friendly environment for economic development. Of course, the investors try to manipulate accounts but if the government authorities work in a responsible manner, the managements cannot manipulate accounts. Unfortunately, our political parties and the political party in the government have felt that these business institutions are the milking cow for the political leaders. When the political leaders receive bribe from such institutions, obviously the managements try to manipulate accounts. Therefore, our political leaders and political parties should correct themselves and stop extorting money from private business institutions and take strong action against such institutions involved in manipulating the government revenue.
The most essential thing is that the investors should not be embarrassed from the political parties as well as the government organs. Furthermore, the government should ensure that there will not be disturbance from the labour unions in any of the private business institutions. The political parties should stop supporting their labour unions, however, they should protect the rights of the labourers by introducing practical labour laws. In this way, we can ensure peaceful labour environment in the private sector institutions. Otherwise, one cannot believe PM Oli’s claim that there is a good environment for investors!
On one hand, our private sector business institutions are facing massive problem of the labour unions, on the other hand, a large number of youths, who are unable to get job within the country are going abroad for low quality and risky labour works. According to reports, after the people’s revolution 2 in 2006 April, the number of labourers going abroad has increased in a surprising manner. The number of youths going abroad has already crossed over 3.5 million. Understandably, “loktantra” adopted by the 2006 people’s movement has failed to develop investment friendly environment within the country and thus youths are compelled to go abroad. The challenge for the government is to stop youths going abroad for jobs by introducing investment friendly environment and ensuring peaceful labour force.

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