Wednesday, September 16, 2015

End of transition could lead to prosperity

If things go as planned, Nepal will get a new constitution on September 20 since it has been endorsed by overwhelming majority of two-thirds in the Constituent Assembly (CA) today.
The much-awaited supreme law of the country is expected to pave the way for a prosperous Nepal, according to business leaders, who, however, are still cautious about the Tarai unrest.
After continuous efforts of eight years, the CA finally approved the Constitution of Nepal 2015 by two-third majority today late evening. The promulgation of the new constitution on September 20 at 5 in the evening is expected to end the prolonged political transition that has bled the economy blue.
"It is indeed a historical moment," Pashupati Murarka, president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce (FNCCI) said. Stating that he was hopeful that the promulgation of new constitution will be the stepping stone for a prosperous Nepal, Muraraka said that the country will now move forward with economic agenda. "Political parties will now have no excuse to focus on economic agenda," he added.
Private sector, however, knows that constitution is not a magic wand. "But it can be a base for a stable and prosperous Nepal," Murarka said.
Business leaders also said constitution can be amended to address concerns of Madhes-based parties and other disgruntled forces. "The amendment process should be made easier," senior vice president of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) Hari Bhakta Sharma said. He further said the new constitution should be the stepping stone toward a stable and prosperous Nepal. "The political parties should make clear that constitution is not an end, but a means to achieve economic prosperity," he said, adding that everyone should get a chance to earn a living and right to economic activities.
The constitution has ensured the right to economic freedom that can ensure people's access to economic opportunity. "Most of the ills of the society is also due to lack of opportunity," Sharma opined.
Everyday around 1,500 youths leave the country searching for greener pastures abroad due to lack of employment opportunity at home. The youths are the precious human capital – one of the assets of the country for development, according to pundits of development theory that states human capital, natural resources and capital as prerequisites for development of a country – have been wasting their productivity in foreign land.
More than 50 per cent of the population is youth – from age 15 to 35 – according to the recent census. The country also has abundant natural resources.
With the promulgation of new constitution, foreign investors will be eager to put their money into different projects in Nepal. It would, in turn, create more jobs within the country. More investment mean naturally more employment opportunity. The end of political transition will therefore create employment opportunities at home making the best use of youths.
More investment in mega projects and infrastructures will not only create employment opportunity but also push economic growth upwards. With increased investment, historical growth rate of 3.5 percent will also get a boost, according to business leaders.
Likewise, Nepal, which has set a target of graduating to a league of developing countries by 2022 from the current status of Least Developed Country (LDC), needs growth rate of more than 6 per cent growth which will no more be a distant dream.
The constitution is certainly not a panacea for all ills, but it can solve most of our problems, a hopeful Murarka said.

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