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Nepal

On Thursday, A cabinet meeting was expected to chart the path for the adoption of a constitution amendment by the parliament. But the meeting ended after the prime minister and his team expressed fear and anger over a statement issued by the former king Gyanendra, a day earlier. Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi, who also holds the charge of home affairs, issued a veiled threat that the former king could be arrested in connection with the royal palace massacre shootout, 14 years ago, in which 10 members of the royal family, including the then-king Birendra, lost their lives.

 
Ex-king Gyanendra has spoken yet again against the pathetic state of the state these days. His recent statement resembles the thinking of the majority. Yes, our unity is challenged and we do not know where this will all lead to. But, if he is hoping for a comeback—and nothing is wrong with that as politics is all about maximizing one’s interests—he needs to reinvent himself to solve the very problems he has highlighted in his statement.  
 

In order for Nepal to graduate to the status of a middle income country, the current per capita Gross National Income (GNI) of US$ 730 must be raised to US$ 4,125. But the economic growth of Nepal has been rather sluggish for most of the post-1990 era. According to Basnet and Pandey (2014), even historically, annual economic growth in Nepal has been low, averaging around four percent since the early 1960s. Overall, the economy grew by 4.1 percent in the 1980s, 4.8 percent in the 1990s, 4.1 percent in the 2000s and 4.4 percent since then. 

 
For decades, governments around the world increased the scope and magnitude of their activities, taking on a variety of tasks that the private sector previously had performed.  
 

In its flagship report, Tackling Inequality published by the World Bank in October as part of The Poverty and Shared Prosperity series, the bank urges prompt action by governments around the world to bridge the increasingly big gaps between those at the bottom of the pyramid and those who have been benefiting from decades of unparallel economic growth.

 
At present Local   Self Governance Act (LSGA) 1999 is in function, but very soon, it will be   replaced by Local Governance Act, which is almost at its final stage. LSGA, 1999 gave a comprehensive positive list of functions to the levels below the   District Development Committees (DDC), Municipality and Village Development   Committees (VDC) including establishing local self-development plans,   providing and maintaining infrastructure and social development and collecting their own revenue.  
 

As the constitution amendment bill over the redrawing of the boundaries of two of the seven proposed federal provinces continues to divide several ethnic groups and major political parties, every attempt by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal seeking safe passage is fast turning into a political trap. His calculation that declaring elections to local bodies will be held in mid-April would take political parties to the electoral arena, deflecting their criticism of the government, has fallen apart.

 

Nepal lies between two most populous and economically powerful countries. The power politics is influenced by its geopolitical location. It is unfortunate that Nepal could not diversify its trade and transit due to heavy economic dependency on India. So it has limited freedom to maneuver foreign policy and development activities.

 

The term ‘Bangladesh’ has been in use since as long as we can remember. Our parents’ generation, despite the fact that they lived through the Partition of 1947 and became, willingly or compelled by geography, citizens of the new state of Pakistan, generally referred to Bangladesh rather than to East Pakistan despite the division of India. Of course, it was a sentiment they shared with the Bengalis who, after 1947, became citizens of the Indian state of West Bengal.

 
Equality is the most measured issue of democracy and baseline reflection of freedom. It positions top among all principles of human rights. Thus every state across the globe tries assuring that people are equally treated. Besides government, NGOs and INGOs too claim to work for the very notion. So is the case in Nepal. Still many people are discriminated, left devoid of freedom and sacked away from equality.
 


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