The transport strike called by the Youth Association Nepal (YAN), a sister wing of the CPN-UML, early Sunday morning brought transport to a virtual halt. Many people who had to commute in the early morning were inconvenienced. Meanwhile, the YAN threatens to carry on with such disruptive agitation unless PM Babu Ram Bhattarai quits office. Resorting to such violent activities is uncalled for as it is questionable whether the stepping down of Bhattarai will be a panacea to all the ills prevailing at present. Of course, the prime minister has committed one mistake after another, which he must own up and mend his ways, and not act as an arrogant office chief. The grievances, if any, have to be settled though peaceful means and not high-handed tactics like that of YAN. This is going to the extremes through trying to terrorise the people and throwing their day-to-day life out of gear, as if they versed in arriving at a solution, courtesy the strike.
Similarly, Nepali Congress leaders are claiming they can provide outlet to the current political imbroglio if they are given an opportunity to lead the government. NC is claiming that only a national-consensus government can resolve the current political stalemate. However, the NC is not proposing any real solution. A consensus government alone cannot resolve the existing political questions unless there are parallel agreements on how to draft a new constitution and how to form a new parliament. First, there should be an agreement on the decision-making process or mechanism for resolving the current political stalemate. The best mechanism for resolving the current political questions is a new parliament that can double as a Constituent Assembly. Therefore, the best solution is to go for fresh elections by removing constitutional and legal hurdles through the most efficient way. Without agreements on the mechanism and procedure to draft a new constitution and elect a new parliament, a consensus government alone will be meaningless.
It is understandable that a national or independent government could be a prerequisite for holding free and fair elections, however, changing a government merely for the sake of satisfying the desire of NC politicians could be counterproductive. As of now, both the NC and the UML are insisting that there be a change in government. In order to press their demand, the UML leadership is encouraging the Youth Force to organize bandhs and closures that are disrupting the life of ordinary citizens. It is criminal to disrupt people’s life without first being serious about holding political dialogue and agreeing on the way forward. The UML and the NC should desist from creating hardships for the people before holding political dialogues in order to arrive at a consensus mechanism to resolve the current political deadlock. Therefore, the major political parties should first agree on a real solution, a parliament or a CA, and only then talk about how to hold free and fair elections. People have seen enough of political gimmicks to come to power, and can only be convinced if a change is government is for holding free and fair elections.
Tax evasion as such seems to be a global practice. But, it is more magnified in developing countries. As far as it concerns Nepal, which is also a developing country, corruption in the form of tax evasion seems to be high on the list. In fact, no simpleton can ever think of corruption except for greasing the palms of officials to get his official task done. But, when it comes to big business and high offices, corruption in every form is practised with great efficiency. One or two convictions of the corrupt has not been able to terrify or deter those in such business from calling it a day.
Now, the auditors are employed where the turnover is quite huge. The entrepreneurs want to pay as little tax as possible. But, according to the Inland Revenue Department, some auditors are involved in providing suggestions and methods to evade tax compliances against the legal provisions. Such may benefit the auditors and the entrepreneurs concerned, but the state suffers from the loss of revenue. They must be punished for the illegal act, but the government too must in all earnestness invest for the welfare of the taxpayers in general.