Page last updated at 2014-09-16 13:03:54 RSS
  OPINION
Rotten Few
REPUBLICA
Cooperative movement

The idea behind the cooperative movement, which is as old as humanity itself, is that members pool their resources for mutual benefit. The sum, as such, is larger than its parts. Cooperatives have played a vital role in mobilization of resources for local development and employment generation activities. In developing societies, they fill the vacuum left by the absence of institutional investors.

Given their centrality in rural development, the drafters of the Interim Constitution were right to envision cooperatives as one of the three pillars of economic development, along with the government and the private sector. And it’s a flourishing sector. In 1990, there were fewer than 900 cooperatives in the country; less than 25 years down the road, the number has swollen to 26,000. But this mushrooming growth has also invited a host of regulatory problems, primarily in the urban hubs. Of the 19,600 cooperatives-related scam cases filed with the High Level Commission to Probe Troubled Cooperatives, over 10,000 were lodged in Kathmandu Valley alone.
Path To Prosperity
Avinash Gupta /Hari Sharma
Our financial institutions are awash with liquidity, pushing short term interests below one percent. About 26 percent of planned capital expenditure, which is close to 3.3 percent of GDP, remains unutilized. This does not bode well for Nepal’s dream of enlisting itself in the league of developing economies by 2022, especially with its huge infrastructure deficit. It is noteworthy that nearly 70 percent of our capital budget was spent in the last three months of the previous fiscal year.

According to a study, Nepal used to account for more than half of Indian imports from South Asia in 2001. Barely a decade later, it’s a fifth of the 2001 level. On the surface, we like to explain our underdevelopment as the absence of this or that input. Facts suggest otherwise. We live in an age where there is a near unanimous view among policymakers and researchers alike that economic growth and poverty eradication are highly correlated. Be it on the political left or right, the proposition that poverty cannot be eliminated without rapid expansion of output needs no proof.
Verses Of Discrimination
Rajendra Senchurey
Hindu scriptures
Amendra Pokhrel’s article “Defending Hinduism” (Sept 6) is a baseless rejoinder to my previous piece  “Satanic Verses” (Sep 2). He casts aspersions on me by saying that I had cherry-picked verses from Hindu scriptures showing Dalits in a degrading manner. But the truth is that he could not digest the bitter reality that Hindu scriptures discriminate against Dalits. Pokhrel seems to force-feed the readers his illogic junk with exaggeration and manipulation of facts. The twisted mentality of the author not only debars him from accepting the ground realities, but also compels him in making such a dismal reaction to my well-researched article.

My article did not intend to insult the sacred Hindu texts. Personally, I have no intolerance against Hinduism. It was more of a sharing of insights on discrimination against Shudras in Hinduism, based on rigorous analysis of the scriptures. It is my conviction that the oppressive mode of production in Hindu society has exploited Shudras in several forms: economic, moral, physical and mental.
Festival Of Faith
Ankita Jha
Jitiya
Jitiya, one of the most significant festivals for Madheshis and Tharus, is celebrated with great faith this Nepali month (Ashwin). It is believed that the fast undertaken by a mother during this festival saves her child from any kind of accident and misfortune. A woman celebrates her motherhood during this festival.

Jitiya is a Nirjala Vrat, a fast observed without taking even a single drop of water throughout. The fast lasts for 24 hours and sometimes even for 36 hours. Celebrated for three days from the seventh to the ninth lunar day of Ashwin Krishna Paksha, it is called Khar Jitiya when it falls on Sunday. It arrives every three or four years.
Destination Unknown
REPUBLICA
All-party conference
The four main parties—the Big Three plus CPN-Maoist—to the all-party conference scheduled for tomorrow have done well to come to an agreement to discuss only constitutional issues. This is a major breakthrough. Mohan Baidya’s CPN-Maoist had been insisting that issues related to the peace process as well as ‘unequal’ treaties with India also be discussed in the all-party meet. The question now is: Can there be a meaningful compromise between the 31 political parties in the Constituent Assembly and the 33-party alliance led by CPN-Maoist that boycotted the second CA polls? As much as we would like a meaningful agreement, it’s unlikely. Political parties, from across the political spectrum, will bring vastly different ideologies to the table. Among those present at the conference will be staunch monarchists (RPP-Nepal), those who still believe in ‘state capture’ (CPN-Maoist), reluctant federalists (NC and UML) and strong federalists (the mother Maoist party, Madheshi and Janajati parties). It will be difficult to reconcile such disparate interests.
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