New economic model urged

Kathmandu, August 20:

Nepal’s economy can not develop as the country’s economic policy is guided by donors rather than its own necessity and reality, said Dr Baburam Bhattarai, one of the main ideologues of Nepal Communist Party (Maoists), NCP(M).

“An agriculture-based economy should be promoted,” he said while speaking at an interaction on Macro-economic policies, organised by the Centre For Public Policy Dialogue here today.

“The current practice of buying cars and luxuries using foreign aid should end. Most of the aid is being spent on unproductive areas, which really needs to be spent on productive and income generating areas,” Bhattarai added.

“Only after a rigorous discussion can we formulate the national economic agenda,” he said, adding that a common economic agenda from all political actors that encourages industrial capitalism is the need of the hour.

Dr Dilli Raj Khanal, an UML lawmaker supported Dr Bhattarai. “Nepal’s economy is donor guided,” he said stressing on the need for a composite economic policy. Khanal was against maintaining a fiscal balance by decreasing development budget. C P Mainali of United Left Front said that international donors have arbitrated on Nepal’s economic policy for far too long. “We have to decide which suggestion to take and which not, for the good of our country,” he added.

Similarly, Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat of NC (D), said that both the models of state-owned and extreme capitalism, have failed. “Now we need a convergence model of an economy, where private sector could also flourish,” he said.

Former finance minister Mahesh Acharya of Nepali Congress (NC) also stressed on the need to formulate an agriculture-based economic policy. “We should bring an economic policy that can address needs of the marginalised groups,” the NC lawmaker said.

The government should stress on maintaining a fiscal discipline and social security, creating more job opportunities and economic growth, said experts speaking on the occasion.

Experts also urged the government to declare a common minimum economic agenda as soon as possible. They expressed serious concerns over the delay in announcing the common economic agenda, “even after the political consensus among the eight political parties.”