BY PRAJWAL SHRESTHA
Energy Minister Janardan Sharma has claimed that he would not issue the load-shedding schedule even during the dry season. After Sharma assumed the office, he changed the previous chief of the Nepal Electricity Authority by assigning Kulman Ghishing. After Ghishing assumed office, the scenario has been changed. During the Tihar festival, for the first time after 25 years, the Nepalis didn’t see load-shedding. However, it was believed that after the festival the government would again introduce the load-shedding schedule, but fortunately it didn’t happen.
By checking leakage of the electricity and managing distribution of the electricity, the new chief in the NEA has been able to manage electricity from which the country has saved import of above 25 billion rupees worth diesel. Ghishing is the perfect example of how a single honest officer can manage crisis. Of course, certain quantity of power has been imported from India but through internal management, the load-shedding has ended. The previous officers were receiving commission from some commission agents to create shortage of power. Such officers were solely involved in anti-national activities as the nation was facing a huge financial loss from shortage of the electricity and also the general public were suffering from hours long load-shedding. Therefore, those traitors have to be punished and those who have done good, should be rewarded by the nation.
There are many government undertakings which are facing loss after introduction of the multiparty democracy. The very government undertakings, which were making profit and also paying tax to the government in the past, had become sick as the political leaders started to directly intervene in such undertakings by recruiting party workers, by assigning non-professional officers to the post of the executive officer and taking commission through planned corruption. The political leaders didn’t see the loss to the nation but always thought about making money by squeezing such government undertakings.
There are many government undertakings, which have been ruined in the democracy days. Among them one is the Gorakhkali Rubber Industry. The industry was making profit during the Panchayat days. Thousands of local people in Gorkha had got employment in the industry. More to say, the brand was very much popular in the Nepali market and 80 percent of the products were consumed in the Nepali market, whereas, it was able to export 20 percent of its products in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. For years, the industry has been closed and the local people have lost their job. During the Panchayat days, the government was planning to produce raw materials within the country. Therefore, the government had allotted lands for farming of the rubber plants. Alas, along with introduction of multiparty democracy, one after another government undertakings became sick and many of them have been closed.
Today, if looked at the international trade index of the country, import of goods has dominated by many folds to the export of the country. This is the result of closing our industries and depending on foreign imports. This has proven that multiparty democracy cannot be a good system in a country like Nepal where the political leaders feel themselves above the law and the mission of such leaders will be for making money rather than serving the nation.
What this columnist feels is that first of all, we have to change the mentality of the political leaders; we have to introduce a strong system to discourage corruption, commission and we have to be clear that such government undertakings should not be politicized and allow to run independently under the leadership of professional officers. Otherwise, we will never achieve our economic goal. The first duty of the leaders in the government is to revive such import substituting and export encouraging government undertaking by introducing an appropriate system. Of course, we can do everything if we are committed. We can take the example from the NEA’s present performance as well.
Artificial load-shedding in the country!
BY PRAJWAL SHRESTHA