Thursday , September 20 2018
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The Crunch

Contrary to political claims the national crisis has not abated. Indeed, as the problems mount, it will be exacerbated. It is good politics to try and sweep this under the carpet by allocating this to the tumultuous change in the political system. The problem is that it is the system that is the perennial problem. Having allocated or distributed Singha Durbar’s central policy authority to the federated regions and the enlarged grass root local village and town agencies, business of government there must first begin by identifying the resources with which to run their government. Come time and our newly elected local authorities are finding out that the local resources they have been asked to exploit have largely run dry. Agriculture as the mainstay of their economy is increasingly an unaffordable occupation in the hills and demands subsidies from the center instead. Taxing the sale of chicken or goats or a kilogram of rice or wheat in what is largely being reduced to barter trade has already begun provoking reactions at the local level which government would like to cover up. The urban areas where previously agrarian lands must benefit from increased demands of housing developers for land transactions are now finding their elevation to towns or cities expensive simply because they are now exposed to urban land taxes which often times have proven prohibitive because of new evaluations not in coherence with land productivity. The local individual whose exposure to corrupt government officials were previously limited to annual land taxes, ownership and citizenship certificates now must adjust to officialdom in every nook and corner of economic activity and the joke is that it is not Singha Durbar that was brought down to each home and hearth but official corruption that is frequenting the private individual. The frequency of contact between government servant and the lay citizen has obvious abhorring consequences at the mass level that is already proving a bane to local government where and when it has begun.
It is this mass disgruntlement that must be checked for our political establishment to survive. Center—periphery disputes have already begun on matters of local resources when we glean meaning from the demands for more government manpower and other infrastructural and remunerative equality for the local levels. This means additional costs and the center is after all broke. Selling dreams cannot quench the immediate need for money to allocate and use. Promises of private sector investment and spending have largely been unmet. The new economy is said to mean international investments in large scale infrastructural projects that, we are assured, can create employment and thus impact on individual spending to revive the economy. This is of course easily said since our track record on government spending in even the allocated budget sphere is dismal. Mere speechifying will not attract these investments as the local private sector is aware. Unless our commercial and industrial sector is assured, there is little reason for international investors to look to our country for benefits. In the absence of this flow of money, which is as yet the trend, mere goodwill and commitments do not provide the hard cash for government to run. The public thus are being run dry and government now must rely on their muscle power to subdue the disgruntlements. A willing media may cover this up for the moment but the momentum of disorder is only to gain. The crunch when it comes will prove even more costly.

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