By PR Pradhan
Now, federalism has been “successfully” implemented in “new” Nepal. How is our “new” Nepal, perhaps we all know about this better! If one reads newspapers, one can find poor state of our province chiefs and the province parliaments. Ministries are going to be formed in all the provinces. Ten percent of our security strength is going to be engaged in security of province chiefs, chief ministers, deputy chief ministers, speakers, deputy speakers, ministers, among others. Vehicles are also needed for these leaders. They are authorized to fix their salary, allowances and facilities by themselves. No doubt, they will squeeze the government coffer as much as they can. The governance system has been changed but the political leaders are the same. Their main characteristics are to exploit the government coffer as much as possible. Their one-point mission to join politics is to make money anyhow. As we saw the performance of the local governments, the people’s representatives are less concerned about building nation but focused on making money as they had spent huge amounts of money to win in the election. The same applies with the provincial and central leaders elected recently. Our governance system is badly spoiled by corruption. One assumption has been established in ‘new” Nepal that those leaders are influential in the society, are publicly known as most corrupt. Therefore, we should not make any big hopes from those political leaders who are going to enjoy power unless there is introduction of a mechanism to curb corruption effectively and to punish those corrupt but powerful political leaders.
The interesting thing to note is that the government treasury is facing negative balance of payment. The government has to borrow money from foreign donors to meet the expenses of the seven provinces and 754 local bodies – which have been announced under the political whim by neglecting experts’ advice.
Out of the 754 local bodies, many of them have been declared municipalities even if there is lack of necessary infrastructures that should be the basic criteria for a place to be declared a municipality. People from remote villages having no motorable roads, no hospitals, no schools, no fire brigades were seen happy when their villages were declared municipalities. But their happiness is not going to last for a long as they need to feed those corrupt people’s representatives. As there is no strong source of income of these local bodies, villagers have to face tax burden in every step.
Therefore, we all should be prepared for paying tax in every step to make a success of the new constitution and to make a success of secularism, federalism and republicanism.