The present government of Oli (Ke Garne Bholi) has clearly shown that it exists and flourishes on pronouncements of one-upmanship. Not that it is a bad thing, but everything in excess can be bad for one’s health!
One National daily pointed out recently that no less than 40 Bills are gathering dust in the House. Of these 38 were introduced by the previous government. Imagine the amount of time that would have been taken to discuss the various aspects of these Bills. In term of hours per day of discussion and the fact that only some of the 601 members may have been involved in the discussions on these Bills, the cost incurred would still be phenomenal. But, as they say ‘Time is money’, and so the amount of time incurred in reaching to the relevant conclusions is money wasted or as they say, ‘Down the drain’ or simply gone to waste.
Nepal’s constitution has given some rights to the people but to ensure that people are able of avail of these essential Rules and Regulations, all of these have got to be formally passed by the House itself. A Bill on Social Security was expected to have been officially presented in the House for that purpose. Apparently nothing has been done. This particular bill was concerned with basic health services, education up to secondary level, residence &food security, drinking water, environment protection and many other aspects but all of these Basic Rights are now in limbo. The fact is that these and other rights contained in Article 43 of the New Constitution cannot be implemented without the approval of the House. Does such inability mean that the Constitution is unable to confer the Rights that we Nepali citizens are entitled to?
We have recently been hearing about new elections to elect local leaders being held this coming Nov. / Dec. However prior to this, over a 100 Bills have to see the light of day to enable elections being held for the local bodies, provincial assembly and for the federal set up. The time clock is supposed to be ticking and the deadline for everything is said to be January 21, 2017. Looking at the behaviour of this government, the opposition and the other parties which are protesting and are on the streets, it does not seem likely that many of them are worried as to what is on the horizon. The intention still seems to be no action yet!
It is apparent that many of the advisors or ‘Think Tank’ of Oli is literally ‘Building his Castles’ in the air. A case in point is the generation of electricity from the air. It transpired recently that a concern based in UK and composed of NRN’s had sent a proposal to do so within the year. The contract had to be awarded, and the money given before they would start the work and be done. Somehow, the credibility being in doubt the whole thing fell through as it should have. This has resulted in our PM being made a laughing stock all over Nepal. It must be accepted that this Oli Government, to its credit did not fall for that scheme. In spite of this fiasco, the PM still has unshakeable and full faith in his Think Tank for thinking up new schemes for our PM to broadcast!
What I must appreciate is the fact that this government has decided to award Fast Track to the Terai to be built by our Army sepais rather than by outsiders. Nepal Engineers Association has even confirmed that the task can be completed within three years. The reason is that the external party recommended by the previous government does not have credibility. One has only to think back over our ‘By Road ko Bato’ or Tribhuvan Raj Path and remember that it was built by Indian army personnel, some of whom even lost their lives doing this heroic deed. It was the very first major task for them. Our Nepali Army has by now proved its credibility by constructing such roads in many parts of Nepal. The 14 Km stretch that it handed over to the government recently is a case in point. This connection is part of the Kali Gandaki Corridor, which when completed will be the road to connect China and Nepal to revitalise the trade route that once flourished in the past. Bearing all this in mind a question that arises immediately is what will be the cost to our country if our army men build our roads? As they are already on a pay role do they get full rates or what? Does the army man, who strives and sweats at this task, get what he deserves for his effort? Or does all that money, like for their Blue Beret UN service, go into a Welfare Fund which is shared by all? There is a point of transparency and we the common folk would like to know. What I am thankful for in retrospect in that our government in 2005/6 did not try to show one-upmanship by sending the Nepali army to build fast track roads in areas where the Maoists were entrenched!
The author writes fiction under the name of Mani Dixit. Website: www.hdixit.org.np. Twitter: @manidixithd