By Prajwal Shrestha
We have everything but we don’t have anything. Today, in the era of this ‘loktantra” Nepal’s main source of earning foreign currency has become remittance revenue. From a exporter country, we have become an import based nation. If we look back to the history, Nepal had surplus trade with Tibet and China as well as with southern countries even before arrival of the East India company and also after its arrival. By omitting our glorious records, we have become a foreign dependent nation.
Of course, political leaders and policy makers appeared since 1990 are responsible as they wished to serve the foreign interests. Furthermore, our intellectuals, so-called human rights activists, NGO operators and journalists, are ready to be sold in several hundred US dollar, or several hundred thousand Indian currency. There is strong penetration of foreign powers in every government organs. The foreign powers have already corrupted our people and destroyed our economy. Media is the watchdog of the society but it has also become corrupt and serving foreign interests rather than serving the nation.
A wealthy nation can only safeguard our national sovereignty, independence and make people pride. Foreigners will get opportunity to develop their colony when we become poor and mentally corrupt. The Indians as well as the Westerners are in competition to develop their base area in Nepal. Both the forces have contributed to destroy our economy, social values and culture as they are all aware that only after disintegrating the society’s mindset, they will get space to play their games here. In the name of “loktantra” and human rights, they are here to exploit our huge stock of natural resources including a huge source of water resources. Unless we, the Nepalis remain united, committed and dedicated towards the nation by giving up our petty personal interests, we cannot make the nation strong, united and wealthy. And other countries will not come here to make our nation wealthy and prosperous. We have to develop our nation ourselves and thus first of all we have to think about making the nation wealthy and healthey.
Hydropower is considered as a white gold and we have a huge stock of hydropower. Although construction of hydropower projects is considered to be expensive, at least we can generate electricity to meet the nation’s demand by using our own investment. [I have already cited that how can we manage local fund to construct infrastructures in my past columns.] Let the local resources be invested to construct hydropower projects with the goal of meeting the country’s interests. Let’s not think about exporting our electricity as India is the only buyer and her electricity deficiency is very little and she is planning to introduce alternative energy to meet her domestic demand. As India stands in between other friendly neigbours, she will rarely give permission to construct transmission lines to export our electricity to Bangladesh or Pakistan. Therefore, we should develop the mentality that by generating maximum level of electricity, we have to develop projects to consume our electricity by ourselves.
Meanwhile, the commission agents and brokers are making expensive our hydropower projects. We should stop such a practice and end the practice of purchasing electricity by paying American dollar.
Another prosperous area to flourish our economy is tourism. Unfortunately, we have only one international airport, Tribhuwan International Airport. It has already become congested and it cannot bear the burden of further tourist arrival. Therefore, if we dream to attract more number of tourists, we must construct another international airport. As feasibility study has already been completed to construct an airport in Nijgadh, this airport should be completed within six years. Otherwise, we have to announce to stop tourist arrival here. The feasibility study for construction of the Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track project has already been completed and our Nepal Army has already opened the track of the highway, construction of the Fast Track has to be started immediately with the plan of completing the Fast Track in several years. This scribe doubts if such a key project is handed over to an Indian party, it will never complete this project as flourishing of tourism industry here is not in the interests of India. Therefore, the parties in power should decide to construct this project by the government itself.
We cannot only become self-reliant in agro-products but also, we can export agro-products like in the past if we properly utilize our land and labour force. Let’s stop our youths going abroad and let the government give attractions to them to cultivate their land. From such efforts alone, we can be an agro-products exporting country. Only the thing we need is dedication and commitment among our political leaders.
Ruined economy: Who to be responsible?
By Prajwal Shrestha