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Machhapuchre Bank

Path to prosperity?

By PR Pradhan

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is not tired of lauding “prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”. Contrary to this slogan, all the economic indicators are declining. More seriously, the country is facing trade deficit and the gap between the country’s exports and imports are widening in an alarming rate each day. In recent years, the balance of payment has also gone negative and this negative trend is further continuing day by day.
Fertile land is not being cultivated due to lack of manpower. On the other hand, the government is encouraging to send our youths abroad for dirty jobs. According to the new regulation introduced by the government, one manpower company must send 100 labourers in a year, otherwise, the company will be suspended. One of the prime agenda of our foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali’s Tokyo visit was to request the Japan government for accepting Nepali labourers in Japan. Since the Japan government accepted to import Nepali labours, the government has claimed this event as a big achievement. When South Korea wanted to take 5000 Nepali labourers, overnight, above 50 thousand youths applied for the job. We don’t know, what will be the number of applicants until the last applying date! More serious to note, those youths studying in the Tribhuvan University, to avoid long queue while submitting the application, slept whole the night on the footpath in front of the Bank till opening of the bank the next day.
If the youths, that too those studying Masters Level, were not assured on the PM’s slogan and if they would have seen bright future of their motherland, they would not have rushed for dirty jobs abroad!
As the government has not been able to develop any reliable source of earning foreign currency, remittance has become the major source. Economic observers believe, remittance is not a reliable source of earning foreign currency and the economy should not depend on remittance income alone. If there occurred global economic crisis, immediately, the country depended on remittance income will be affected very badly.
Export of manpower has also affected existing social, cultural, economic structures. As above six million youths are in such dirty job abroad, in many villages, one can hardly find any youth except from elderly people and children. Even though, the government is encouraging youths going abroad.
Nepalis as Chaukidar!:
During the campaigning for the Indian elections, Indian PM Narendra Modi introduced himself as the Chaukidar [guard] of the Indian people, his opponents have started to criticize him saying, “Chaukidar will be supplied from Nepal, there is no need of Modi!”; “Elections are going to be held in India not in Nepal!” etc.. The Indian impression is that Nepal is the country of Chaukidars! Sure, Nepalis going to India for job and normally they get the job of domestic servant or security guard. It will be a prestigious job if they get chance to be recruited in the Gorkha Force in the Indian army. Chaukidar has become the new identity of the Nepalis.
Nepali ladies going to the Gulf countries are not only been exploited but they are found sexually abused. Many of them have also become pregnant. This may give the Nepalis new identity that a country of prostitutes. Whether the government has ever thought about it?
Nepal was known as the country of brave warriors and now our international identity has been changed.
Wrong perception:
Doing job abroad is not an easy task. Minimum eight hours should be spent in work without rest. Dollars are not hanging on trees. However, there is a wrong perception in the society that foreign employment is a lucrative, prestigious and glorious job. Now a days, even to get married for a man, the girl’s side has started to ask whether the boy had been to any foreign job or not. Such a trend has also compelled our youths to go abroad.
Abroad study:
The craze among the youths for foreign study is also increasing. Billions of dollars are flying abroad in the name of their study. This trend has also contributed enormously for negative balance of payment. May be, in some countries, those youths get work permit, but in the name of medical study also, a huge amount of foreign currency is being spent.
If the government would have opened or encouraged the private sectors to run standard colleges for medical or other technical studies, we could stop flying of foreign currency and also we could make these institutions as foreign currency earning source by attracting foreign students. This scribe is confused with the Mathema report and Dr Govinda KC’s series-wise hunger strikes.
These days, the limited private sector medical colleges are found collecting additional charges from the medical students. If there will be more medical colleges, there could be more competition and syndicate of limited colleges could be ended.
The private sector run hospitals have become the venue of exploiting helpless patients. There is no government monitoring mechanism on how the hospitals are squeezing the patients by imposing unnecessary charges and extra charges. If the government will increase the number of government hospitals or if develops some mechanism so that Hindu religious organizations as well as social organizations could be attracted in opening of community hospitals providing quality and standard treatment for the patients at very nominal fees. For example, there is the trend of offering money to the Gods. If such cash could be used to run community hospitals, poor and needy patients could be able to get medical service. One standard hospital could be established and operated from the pooja fee collected from the Pashupatinath Temple. If such hospitals will be opened, only very few people would visit those “five-star” hospitals!

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