The security situation is appalling considering that even areas supposed to be secure are
found to have security lapses. The shooting in the Central Jail Thursday is a glaring example which shocked the nation. Here, it is inconceivable that this could have taken place without the involvement of those responsible for security in the jail, and they clearly had floundered in their task. This has the common man all worried, and unless remedial measures are taken with immediate effect the security climate would deteriorate. The parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) has issued deadlines to the government and its agencies to submit reports on how to improve the worsening security situation. The sad part is that the implementation is often found lacking. Much noise is made at the heat of the moment, but the campaign to provide security is not sustained and fizzles out. The SAC has also instructed the government to provide the blue print of the security policy and also reports on the progress on the commitments made to provide security, in the past. The culture of impunity shows no sign of abating despite resolutions made to do away with it. This is an aspect to be dealt with.
Meanwhile, if we take things as they are now, it is difficult to envisage that the government will deliver and make good its commitments. What can we expect from a government that has still to form a full-fledged cabinet of ministers even after about one and a half months. There are hosts of complaints to be made. Apart from its inability to provide adequate security, the economic front is also suffering. The industries are closing down because of labour unrest and the industrial production is plummeting. Efforts to resolve the disputes between the labourers and the management are heading for more confrontation. Virtually all sectors are in turmoil. The price of petrol and aviation fuel has been hiked by as much as 10 per cent. It will probably be only some time before the price of diesel and kerosene will be raised and that of cooking gas too. The power outages are something that appear to be a permanent feature now. Despite the realization that more hydel plants should be built, such plants are very slow coming up. These are some debacles which are as pressing as that of providing security.
Now, it is for the government to implement the requirements of the SAC. It is strange that there should be a dual administration in prisons that permits the inmates to run a parallel administration inside jails. This needs severe action. Clearly, the intention of the authorities to run the prisons as rehabilitation centres has failed. The biggest threat to security is perhaps organized crime. Criminals are found to enjoy the patronage of some influential politicians and what more criminal activities are found to be conducted by the inmates of prison. The SAC has asked the government to improve the law and order situation within 15 days, but seeing the lethargic pace at which the government is progressing, it will be a miracle if the government succeeds in curbing crime and mitigating the hosts of other problems even to some extent
It is always the ordinary consumers who have to shoulder every price hike that comes along. With the eroding purchasing power, they are hard-pressed to fend for themselves. Prices of the essentials do go up as a natural rule, but not the steep way that is practiced in Nepal. Just think of petrol prices going up by almost 10 per cent, or the Nepal Electricity Authority planning to raise its tariff by 22 per cent. No one respects the rights of the consumers. The fact remains that the consumers are victimised with no relief from any quarter. The biggest irony is that the government itself does nothing, and remains a mute spectator despite the fact that it has the duty to provide relief to the people.
The present government is also no different so far as its apathy to the plight of the people is concerned. It only knows how to widen the tax net but has no plans and programmes to utilise the revenue raised for the people’s welfare. Generating more revenue is good, but that has to go hand-in-hand with increased development activities. Without development activities the treasury will be overflowing, while the people will remain deprived of even the basic services.