Expert comes down heavily on budget

Kathmandu, October 2 :

Former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission Dr Jagadish Chandra Pokharel today termed the Maoist-led government’s budget a political document rather than an economic one.

Addressing a programme organised by Centre for Consolidation of Democracy, Dr Pokharel said the budget was the fourth political document in a row. The other three political documents, according to Pokharel, were the white paper presented before the budget, the

government’s programmes and policies and the Common Minimum Programme signed by

the three major coalition partners.

“The budget has termed the post-1991 model of democracy as a complete failure despite the fact that the state, the market and the civil society played a role of check and balance to each other during that period. He said, “The private sector, which should have taken the leadership role, has been given a third place in the budget.”

Saying that the state should play a role of a facilitator and regulator to establish social justice, he said, “The budget, however, has stressed on control of state mechanism by one political party. The civil society, whose role is to advocate solutions to social problems, has not been given any role in the budget.”

He said the national capitalists in the ‘New Nepal’ would be defined by the aoists. “According to the budget, the guidelines of the national capitalists will be based on political parties and industrial development will go hand in hand with the unions,” he said.

Dr Pokharel added that the budget speech repeatedly mentioned ‘New Nepal’, ‘continuity of the break of the tradition’ and implicitly, which stated that parliamentary system was a complete failure.

Saying that the budget would lead to inflation, he said, “Foreign communities have serious doubts for investment.”

“The budget has put a huge emphasis on the growth of the state-controlled, political party guided concept of cooperatives. It has negated the concept of spontaneous and independent growth of cooperatives.

“Deploying of volunteers for tax collection is an example of political party controlled state mechanism. Many programmes are to be chaired by the Prime Minister himself, which means that they are going for a centralised development,” he added.

Yogendra Shakya, a hotel entrepreneur, appealed to political parties to work towards eradication of politicking in private sectors.