The end of the current fiscal is around the corner, and the caretaker government led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is very much into bringing the fiscal budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013 through an ordinance, all because the Constituent Assembly that doubled up as the parliament is not in existence since after May 27. It is obvious that this government wants to bulldoze its way for bringing the budget of its desire without taking into consideration what the political parties outside the government have to say. And, to think that Bhattarai is serious in forming a consensus government is a fallacy. Now, the other major parties, namely Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, cannot take it lightly considering the fact that the caretaker government intends to bring next year’s fiscal budget unilaterally through an ordinance much to its liking. The prime minister may be exhibiting that he wants the suggestions of all the stakeholders, but in reality no feelers have been sent in this regard to the parties of the stature of NC and UML so far. The obvious concern is that this government has the ulterior motive of including new and populist programmes in the new budget, which by all means sound adventurous for the caretaker status that the government has.
Of course, if consensus is achieved somehow, that would pave the way for the budget to be formulated and announced with the full consent of the parties that were represented in the now defunct CA. Finally, it all boils down to the fact that consensus in whatever form it may be is the solution for the present ills that have been spawned by the Bhattarai-led government. The one-upmanship of PM Bhattarai has to be averted at all costs as that is not auguring well for the country after the unceremonious end of the CA’s tenure, and the prime minister announcing the date of the election of a new constituent assembly, about which the Interim Constitution is silent. Now, the attempt of Dr. Bhattarai to be law unto himself has to be defied. That the prime minister acted on his own for vested partisan interests is what irks the populace. The caretaker government has the duty to go for consultations with the other political parties before making vital decisions, but it has acted on its own which is reason for the growing dissatisfaction.
Of course, the government can mend its way to be line with the status that it has as a caretaker one. Obviously, the demand for Prime Minister Bhattarai’s resignation is very much consistent for the formation of a consensus government. It is his resignation alone that can open up the gates for the parties to come to agreement on forming a national unity government. But, Bhattarai wants to be at the helms and has the aim of thwarting every attempt for consensus. It is all the partisan interest of the Maoists who do not want to share power with the democratic forces. This is a crucial juncture in the country’s history, and it is only by working together that the future course can be charted to overcome the many challenges that lie ahead. But, the consensual task can only move forward with the resignation of Bhattarai and the formation of a national unity government.
A large number of youths are heading overseas for jobs these days. Figures show that as many as four lakhs of them have gone abroad in the first 10 months of this fiscal year alone. No doubt, Nepal earns a huge amount of money in remittances from these youths alone, but it is questionable as to whether this practice is good for the country in the long term. Because of this, the country is hampered in building the necessary development infrastructure. In the absence of the youths, only the elderly and children would be left behind who would be unable to carry out the various development projects envisaged. Experts are of the view that this form of drain of manpower could be averted by creating employment opportunities in the country itself.
With the environment not favourable for investment, it is difficult to create jobs, particularly as we are in a difficult transient period. Furthermore, most of the industries are being affected by labour unrest or are unable to operate to the full capacity because of protracted power outages and political instability. Thus, measures should be taken to create more jobs in the domestic front.