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Economics of Nepali politicians

By Prajwal Shrestha
It has already been two weeks since formation of a NC and MC alliance government. On 3 August Pushpakamal Dahal was elected the 39th Prime Minister of this country, yet, he is unable to give the final shape to his cabinet.
In the first round, it was decided to introduce seven-member cabinet but as NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC denied to accept the defence minister’s portfolio saying that he wanted the ministry having direct relations with the people, the six member cabinet was announced. The reality is different. The defence ministry is not considered as a lucrative ministry. KC had demanded home or local development ministry. As KC didn’t get any of these ministries, he wished to give-up ministerial position.
Finance ministry is a technical organ of the government rather than an administrative organ. This ministry is responsible for economic policy as well as monetary policy of the nation. During the Panchayat days, those people having expertized in economics were used to be assigned as the finance minister. Even during the multiparty era, the governments had followed the same practice. But PM Pushpakamal Dahal has assigned a teacher by profession, Krishna Bahadur Mahara as the finance minister. Earlier, when the Maoist was in the government, Barshaman Pun was assigned as the finance minister. Later, in the UML led government, Bishnu Prasad Poudel was assigned to this post. All of them have less knowledge about the elementary of the economics. Why leaders want this ministry, it is very much clear that once they become minister, they can develop relations with the businessmen and industrialists by securing source of income through commission and corruption.
Besides, home, local development, energy and irrigation, health, information and communications, physical planning and constructions, commerce and supplies ministries are known as lucrative ministries. In a coalition government, the political parties fight to bag these ministries and once allotted these ministries to particular parties, then starts the internal competition among the leaders within the party. Sure, the leaders want these ministries not to serve the nation but to make money through commission and corruption. When the only mission of the political leaders is to earn money, how can the nation achieve its economic goals? When the government is formed with such a mission of earning money, what can we expect from such a government? The ministers are found brokering with the commission agents, contractors, business community instead of working for the nation.
Chitra Bahadur KC, the deputy prime minister in KP Sharma Oli’s cabinet, disclosed that he had tried to do some good works but he failed to endorse them from the cabinet meeting as other ministers were working as the brokers of the businessmen and commission agents. He said that the system has been totally destroyed as ministers are always encircled by the commission agents and businessmen.
The prime minister is the executive chief of the nation. He is considered as a powerful person as per the constitution of the nation. But in a coalition government, the prime minister is found a very weak person as the ministers are not under the control of the prime minister. According to the present structure of elections, the nation will hardly get a majority government. Therefore, all the governments will be formed through a coalition form in the future as well. Therefore, it the mission of the ministers to earn money and there is no limit how much to earn.
Another reason for the flourishing of political level corruption is the compulsion to run the party. Without fund, a political party cannot exist. To run the party, the fund has to be managed and the easy way to make money is to get lucrative ministries for all the political parties. This is why the political parties are found conspiring against the ruling parties to topple the government and to join the new government. The Nepali Congress even could not stay in opposition for a long time. After ten months, the NC developed an unholy alliance with the Maoist Center and joined the government. RPP or Madhesh Janadhikar Forum Lokntantrik parties quit the Oli led government when their leaders were confirmed that the Oli led government was going to collapse. From RPP, two ministers have joined this government. What can we expect from these political parties which have no ethics and morale? Unfortunately, politics has become very much expensive for this country and there seems no remedy against such practices.

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