Wednesday , September 19 2018
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Simple Economics

Let us assume the government is right when it expresses alarm at the enormous imbalance between imports and exports. Let us express sympathy with government when it acknowledges that agricultural production has radically decreased since the agricultural population has been denuded of labor attracted by opportunities outside the country. We cannot also but express our agreement with the government contention that industrial investments, and consequently industrial employment and of course industrial production or growth, have been showing negative trends since decades now. Government has also been publicly expressing serious concerns that tourism growth has fallen far short of targets repeatedly. Government banking and monetary policies, moreover, reflect the genuine concern that capital accumulation in financial institutions belies the need for capital flow into employment generative and production oriented investments. There is, on the other hand, the near universal acknowledgement that earnings sent by Nepalis abroad now constitute the country’s largest foreign exchange source. This is of course outside government and non-government aids that government itself acknowledges must sustain the Nepali economy.
Over and above these fundaments of modern day Nepali economy officially recorded and thus admitted, there is the near universally accepted fact that the decade long Maoist insurgency destroyed very painfully built development infrastructures throughout the country and actually stalled and helped regress development in the Nepali countryside. Again, the undeniable earthquake of two years ago set the economy back severely as government statistics themselves admit. And then there is the widely recorded official apology of the unproductivity of the past decades. The apology until a decade back was that the recently restored multi-party system was experiencing its birth pangs. Then the apology graduated to the ‘crisis period’ of constitution making. Again, we have the sitting finance minister acknowledging publicly that the demands of federalism were really straining the economy. These are primary economic indicators for any student of development to be alarmed at the state of the economy. For any sane person, relief would have been found had government reflected the popular urgency in its ameliorating policies. Instead, there is this persistent official approach to insist that we have very successfully incurred a six percent growth rate and that government is heading towards achieving eight percent growth this year. Political claims, if properly recorded tell us poorer denizens that we are facing an overall growth rate even higher than China’s. What is alarming is that, if not us the citizens who can feel our daily depleting purse and merely look askance at the unreality of government claims, it seems it is government that is the only taker of government propaganda. This is having a totally negative impact on us the population. The unrest regarding the government taxation policy thus is not only genuine but also explosive and there is no reason why government should undermine this as mere partisan propaganda. Indeed, it is the other way around; it is only government and people partisan to it that seem to persistently believe the unreal- and, all with a straight face publicly and privately at that.

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