By Prajwal Shrestha
Reports state that Nepal imports billions of rupees worth of confectionaries. According to the report, this year, Nepal imported confectionaries worth 6 billion 349 million rupees and chewing-gum worth one billion 847 million rupees. This report is very much disgusting as Nepal is spending a huge amount of her foreign currency just to import such products which are not essential commodities. Singapore has totally banned on import and use of chewing-gum as it is one of the cause for making the city untidy. Indeed, confectionaries are not essential commodities. We can live without consuming confectionaries.
Another report is that motorbikes ranging from Rs. 1.4 million to 5 million are running in Nepali roads. This is also infuriating news for a country like Nepal. Surely, a motorbike can be an essential means of transportation but this is not the time to ride expensive motorbikes for us.
If the government leadership has any vision in reconstruction of the nation, the leadership would have given priority on establishing industries producing quality confectionaries by discouraging imports of such products. Furthermore, if we produce international standard products in competitive price, our products can be exported in the international markets. Alas, our leadership is habituated to consume imported confectionaries instead of producing such products within the country!
In the name of free market economy and individual’s freedom, the government is encouraging imports of expensive motorbikes. If the leadership had any vision for reconstruction of the nation, they would have introduced appropriative policies attracting investors for establishing vehicle as well as two-wheelers assembling industries and motor parts manufacturing industries. The leadership should think on how to substitute imports, how to make our products cheaper and competitive in the international market and how to maintain international standards. For doing so, the leadership have to give facilities and incentives to the local investors. In doing so, the country needs introduce friendly industrial policy. The leadership, instead of chanting political slogans and launching demonstrations in streets, should use their party workers for making aware the general people for using/consuming made in Nepal products only. If this is done, our local industries will flourish enormously.
Of course, there are some challenges such as we don’t have a big market considering the size of the country as well as the size of the population. But if there will be a zeal among the people to promote local industries, our industries can sustain from the local consumption and if they do better, there is scope in exports of our products in the international markets.
Singapore is a small territory which has no natural resources, even though, this nation is considered as a highly developed nation. Due to the vision of the leadership, Singapore has been able to reach to its present position. From Singapore, we can learn a lesson. Similarly, Mongolia, a landlocked country sandwiched between the two big nations Russia and China. A few decades ago, Mongolia was an underdeveloped country and people relied on herding and agriculture, today, by harnessing its natural resources, it has been able to make its trade favourable with China and Russia. It became possible due to the visionary leadership there and the leadership grasped the opportunity of being the bordering country of two giant neighbours. In other words, Mongolia has adopted the policy of being a bridge in the trade between China and Russia. Even if we will follow the Mongolian policy, there is no problem for economic development of this country. Therefore, let the leaders of the day make clear their vision for national reconstruction. Our leaders should not allow the foreigners to take advantage for their personal interests, let them think on a broader way for economic prosperity of the motherland!
Not a positive syndrome
By Prajwal Shrestha