By PR Pradhan
Often Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is found saying he wants to live a meaningful life. This is what he wants to do something as the chief executive of the country. In his last premiership, although it was for eight months or so, he had taken some bold decisions by endorsing some agreements including trade, transit, connectivity, among others, with China, our northern neighbour. He gave a patriotic image as his decisions were historical, visionary and beneficial for Nepal in the long-run.
Again, Oli has become the Prime Minister and it is his duty and obligations to implement the agreements done during his first tenure as the PM.
The Indians, who claim Nepal to be an Indian protected nation, are seriously worried from the Chinese interests in constructing railway line from Kerung to Lumbini via Kathmandu and Pokhara. A Chinese inspection team has already conducted preliminary survey to construct such a railway-line. Not only construction of a railway-line, Nepal can invite huge Chinese investment under the Belt and Road Initiatives. If Nepal will focus on infrastructural development including construction of big hydropower projects, Chinese investment is a must.
Although the Indians are trying to bring PM Oli under their control, we cannot expect huge Indian investment in our infrastructural sector as India herself is in the need of foreign investment in this sector. The other thing is that the Indians never want to see an economically prosperous Nepal as they cannot buy Nepali political leaders, development experts and others by just spending small amounts on them if they will become prosperous. Therefore, the majority of the Nepali population’s conclusion is that Nepal is economically ruined because of the strong Indian domination in the country. Today, even Bhutan, known as an India protected nation, is trying to go out of the Indian grip and endorse some important agreements with China. Of course, Bhutan’s silence on the Doklam dispute is diplomatically meaningful.
China is emerging as the largest economy and in foreign investment also, China has established a world record. Yes, the Indians are saying that if Nepal will construct a railway-line with Chinese investment, Nepal will become slave of China as she cannot payback the loan and interest on such a project. But if we will be able to bring more and more Chinese tourists in the country and if we can reduce import and use of petroleum products by operating electric rails for transportation of goods and passengers, our economy will surely grow. Furthermore, now labour cost in China has become high along with the improved lifestyle of the Chinese people. Therefore, China is trying to establish assembling plants in neighbouring countries where labour cost is cheap. If Nepal will be able to attract some Chinese industries, we can easily resolve the ongoing unemployment crisis. Along with the construction of a railway-line, Nepal should concentrate on possible export items to China. They could be livestock, herbs, among others.
Currently, Nepal is facing a massive level of trade deficit. Our total exports are equals to import of petro-products. Without reducing import of petro-products by constructing big hydropower projects, we cannot expect recovery of our economy. What this scribe has been saying from the beginning is that we should not think about exporting our electricity to India but we should develop plans to consume our electricity within the country and there should not be any delay for taking such a move.
Although the left alliance government is talking about giving a permanent government in the country, it is doubtful that PM Oli or the left alliance will run the government for the full tenure of five years. Even the Maoist Center chairman PushpakamalDahal has alleged that both the internal and external forces have become active against UML and Maoist Center unification. If the leaders from the two parties will fall into foreign or domestic powers’ conspiracy, anytime, the unified party may split. Anytime Dahal may break the alliance. Therefore, PM Oli may not enjoy a full term in office. Therefore, considering the reality, Oli should endorse all the agreements signed with China as soon as possible. If Oli will be able to endorse the past agreements with China, his name will be written in the history of Nepal with golden words. Otherwise, he will spoil his life as like other Indian puppet leaders.