Nepali bureaucracy is highly politicized, its service delivery slow and ineffective. It is also often accused of being thoroughly corrupt, exclusionist and a byword for nepotism. Are things really that bad? Former Secretary and Chief Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokhrel shared his insights with Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal at his Thapathali residence Wednesday afternoon.
What would be your response if we say Nepali bureaucracy has been a total failure?
It would be injustice to Nepali bureaucracy if we jump to conclusions without weighing both its good and bad sides. The country has seen great many political changes in the last six decades. It was the bureaucracy which worked as a stabilizing force right through this period.
Govind Raj Pokharel, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, was executive director at Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, a national nodal agency for renewable energy, before joining the apex policy making body of the government. The government aims to end load-shedding within three years and has endorsed a reform plan for the energy sector by forming a powerful mechanism led by NPC to sort out problems related to land acquisition and forest clearance and to coordinate with all the government agencies for construction of transmission lines. Republica´s Rudra Pangeni caught up with Pokharel to know about the government´s reform plans for ending load-shedding.
Why are parliamentarians skeptical about finance minister´s announcement that the government would end load-shedding within three years?
Times have shown that plans seldom get implemented. We have decided to take several measures to attain this goal. Firstly, we should construct transmission lines to evacuate electricity generated by projects meant for domestic consumption and to facilitate electricity trade with India. Secondly, to meet seasonal imbalance of the energy supply and demand, we should barter electricity with India for which we need energy surplus. Thirdly, we should promote financially attractive options like solar power and adopt other energy-efficient measures.
The new budget for 2014/15 unveiled on Sunday has received mixed reactions from political parties, economists and development experts. While ruling parties, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have strongly supported it, UCPN (Maoist) and Madheshi parties have called it ‘regressive’ and an attempt to revive neo-liberal market economy of the 1990s. What is the truth? Mahabir Paudyal and Rudra Pangeni spoke to renowned economist and Professor of Economics at Tribhuvan University Dr Bishwambhar Pyakurel Wednesday afternoon.
How does the budget look to you in terms of its objectives and policies?
Interview with Krishna Pokhrel As CPN-UML’s ninth general convention is underway in Kathmandu, whether the second largest force in the CA still qualifies to be called a communist outfit has become the topic of discussion in various quarters. UML itself is debating whether Nepali society is still feudalistic or has reached capitalistic age. What is the case? And how will UML politics evolve in the days to come? Professor of Political Science at Tribhuvan University Krishna Pokhrel shared his insights with Mahabir Paudyal and Ashok Dahal.
UML has been saying that Nepali society is no more capitalist.
As the 9th General Convention of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) kicks off on Thursday in Kathmandu, all eyes are now rested on its leadership election. Observers believe the contest between two top leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Sharma Oli will be a close one. Even Jhalanath Khanal, chairman of the party, agrees that the contest will be tight. This leads the ball to Khanal’s court, as his backing would be crucial in deciding the fate of the two leaders. Khanal, however, refused to budge despite constant prodding on whom he will support. Kosmos Biswokarma and Thira L Bhushal caught up with the UML boss Wednesday morning. Excerpts:
It looks like your party is heading towards election to choose the new leadership. Who will you support?
The ninth general convention is being organized at a historical juncture, the time when country has both challenges and opportunities. Thus there is a clear need for UML to emerge as a united and even more proactive force. Thus all cadres and representatives are in favor of consensus. So am I. I have been making the last ditch efforts for consensus. If the consensus efforts fail, we will go for voting. But I cannot tell you who I and my supporters will vote. Secret ballot should not be made public beforehand. I have asked my followers to use their voting rights judiciously and support the camp that can lead the party in the positive direction.