Absence of strategy stalks development

Kathmandu, June 26 :

While development experts have stressed on the role of an individual to boost socio-economic development of the country, they also underlined the need for the government to come out with a sound strategy document to ensure development activities take place across the country.

Dr Shankar Sharma, former vice chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), talking from a development perspective, opined that the government should not miss this ‘opportune moment’ to work effectively in the development sector.

In this liquid environment, the government has to come out with a ‘strategy document’ which is also being urged by donors, business community and people as a whole.

Experts also underlined the need to expedite the development process with non-controversial issues such as health, drinking water, road, rural reconstruction and rehabilitation of displaced people with increased grants.

Rajendra Pande, minister for local development, at a debate forum on ‘What is my next role for the country’ organised by the International Visitor Program Alumni Association (IVAAN) expressed his commitment for creating lasting peace without which development would not be possible. As we have just started the political transformation process, every individual has to contribute from his or her respective sectors to advance development activities.

The development plan may be for three years which can be formulated following a big national conference involving the civil society, donors, business community, intellectuals, economists, development thinkers and concerned experts, Dr Sharma suggested.

The government, at the same time, has to openly come out with a statement on a sensitive issue like property rights, he said.

Sharma expressed his concerns on the deteriorating revenue mobilisation efforts which is estimated at Rs 73 billion while the government’s recurrent expenditure soars to Rs 83 billion. With this backdrop, the government is sure to suffer revenue deficit of Rs 10 billion in this current fiscal year.

As people are asking for peace dividends from all quarters, from the socio-economic point of view, a clear plan has to be prepared in which all concerned people can cooperate, he said.

Raghav Raj Regmi, secretary general of IVAAN, opined that a time has come for all of us to act responsibly from our own professions.

“If we are serious in playing a role in our country and to contribute effectively for boosting development, professionals such as development planners, teachers, doctors and political actors, can bring visible changes in our society”.

Speaking from the chair, Lok Deep Thapa, president of International Visitor Program Alumni Association and former editor of The Rising Nepal, suggested the new government to pay serious heed on inclusive and rights issues if we are looking for equitable development in the society.