All talk, no work hitting economy

Kathmandu, January 24:

Economists at an interaction programme here today were of the opinion that the country’s economic development had lagged behind as those who occupy high positions only talk big about development but do very little in reality.

The senior economist Prof Dr Bishwombher Pyakurel said poverty in Nepal has been increasing day by day as there is a tendency among Nepalese to struggle for posts. He added that once they get the post, they do not care for the real development of the country and the people.

Experts voiced these views after complaints by businessmen regarding increased dependency on imports and reduced exports. Businessmen are disheartened as Nepalese products like pashmina, carpet, cardamom and vegetable ghee lost the international market just a few years after popularity there.

Krishna Rijal, a member of the Trans-Himalayan Trade Association, said although Nepalese products were popular, the country’s high-ranking officials did not take any strong steps to counter negative publicity of Nepalese products by some neighbouring countries.

Nepal can take the market at the national and international level with its own brand of apple from Jumla, coffee from Panchkhal, honey from Chitwan and cardamom. But, the scenario remains bleak as the high ranking officials have not taken any initiative for that.

Honey from Chitwan had started getting a good footing in the international market. However, the honey market came down as the European Union found insecticides in the honey. Although those in the high ranks knew it, the concerned bodies did not care for it, said Prakash Mani Adhikari of the Department of Nepal Standards and Metrology. There is a lack of technicians and testing machines for testing the quality of Nepalese honey, he said.

At the interaction organised by UNDP and the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, former member of the National Planning Commision (NPC) Poshraj Pandey said the government should evolve a strong strategy for making Nepal’s trade competitive.

Commerce Secretary Purushottam Ojha said the Ministry would do its best for accessing the world market. Those in high ranks understand the situation but keep things swept under the carpet, said Prof Dr Pyakurel.

The country cannot be developed only with remittances, the state should increase export, said Binod Karmacharya.

Nepal joined WTO in 2003, but in 2009 the economists are still talking old concepts said Karmacharya.

NCC president Surendrabir Malakar said there no concrete works had been done in the interest of businessmen.