The caretaker government that the present one is appears to be least concerned even about providing the people with the basic essential commodities. In fact, it is preoccupied with politics to the extent that it is not giving the needed attention to provide these required by the people to move on with ease with their day-to-day life. The government is only obsessed with politics and how to remain in power. Not only the government but the prevailing political instability is also responsible for this plight. The government should own up for failing to make life comfortable for the people. At least it should meet the minimum basic needs of the people, which is its assigned task. Such mismanagement will not only lead to acute crisis but also bring about social unrest if it is not handled properly and on time. The government’s performance so far has been dismal and furthermore now it lacks direction. This caretaker government should take note of this fact and, to say the least, guide the country so that its presence is felt and there is a feeling that someone in charge compared to the state of virtual chaos prevailing in every sector, including the supply of electricity, fuel and water.
Meanwhile, now the consumers are likely to face the shortages of petroleum products again. This is nothing new for this phenomenon has been continuing for years. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) head revealed that there was no plan to smoothen petroleum supply, and it is total disregard of accountability. Long serpentine queues for petrol and diesel is a common sight. It is only when this happens and the people start complaining that the government wakes up. It is alleged that this is done deliberately by the NOC so that the ‘crisis’ is averted temporarily by forcing the government to sanction loans to cover NOC’s inefficiency and corrupt practices. Meanwhile, the corporation is making profit by selling petrol at a higher price Therefore, the loss its officials say they are incurring is difficult to believe. The NOC says that it has to make a payment of around Rs. 3 billion to the Indian Oil Corporation. The rise of price of petroleum products in the international market is said to have caused the loss borne by NOC. Still the management of NOC could manage fuel supply so that it is smooth by preparing for difficult times. It has failed to do so leading to a perennial shortage of petroleum products, and has lost the confidence and goodwill of the consumers.
To deal with the regular shortage of petroleum products in the market, the participation of the private sector in supplying fuel and ending the monopoly enjoyed by the NOC could be for the good of all. By doing this, the pricing of petroleum products would be more competitive, and the supply smooth. Undoubtedly the fuel price is inflated because of the inefficiency of the NOC. With massive cuts in imports, once again the long lines of vehicles have returned for petrol and diesel at the petrol pumps. It is to be seen for how long the public at large will tolerate the anomalies with the NOC playing truant not once or twice but every time.
As per reports, drug abuse is slowly taking on a virulent form in recent times. Almost every day reports of traffickers and mules being arrested are disseminated. This goes on to surmise that drug trade seems to be prospering in the country despite the efforts of the police and the anti-narcotic squads. In fact, Nepal has become a transit point for drug trade, which is quite alarming. It needs no reiteration that the drug trade is fuelling crimes in a big way. With so much illegal money to be made through drugs, many criminal gangs have made it their business. The drug trade is not only about luring more drug abusers, but it also spawns a whole array of crimes and prostitution.
That the Nepal Police has taken up the gauntlet to fight drug trade in a concerted manner is quite noteworthy. The task is not easy considering the fact that the drug traffickers have a global network which is difficult to crack. Yet, the initiative must be commended for the fact that it will help in saving the youths who mostly fall unintentionally into abusing drugs, which costs the country heavily in the form of valuable manpower being lost. Saving the youths is saving the country’s future. The drug abuse scourge should be taken up seriously.