Former minister Mahat’s new book launched

Kathmandu, December 11

Former finance minister and Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat launched his new book titled ‘Trails, Tremors and Hope: The Political Economy of Contemporary Nepal’ amidst a programme in Kathmandu today.

Speaking at the event, Mahat said the book deals with various ups and downs Nepal went through—regime changes, promulgation of new constitutions, 2015-earthquakes, armed insurgency and peace process. According to Mahat, the first chapter of the 12-chapter book deals with ideological underpinnings, specially socialist philosophy adopted by the Constitution. He has also talked about NC founder BP Koirala and his vision for socialism.

Other chapters of the book discuss Maoist insurgency followed by peace process and management of Maoist combatants, and issues affecting the final version of the constitution.

In the book, Mahat also discusses about Nepal’s foreign relation, specially geopolitics and how the concept of Nepal being a ‘yam between two boulders’ is changing.

According to Mahat, final chapters of the book dwell on economic issues. The book also dwells on Nepal’s hydropower potential, its present status, problems and prospects. Other economic issues discussed in the book are

remittance and its impact on the lives of people, and need for rapid economic growth by attracting foreign direct investment.

Mahat said the book also touches upon the issue of climate change and how Nepal has been affected by carbon emissions by two big fast industrialising countries—China and India. Mahat ends the book with challenges and tasks to be accomplished in the country’s march ahead.

The book has specially raised concerns about financial sustainability of local governments. Speaking at the event, former vice chairperson of the National Planning Commission Swornim Wagle said the most important chapter of the book is titled ‘Hope.’ He also lauded how the book explains that there should be no compromise with liberal democratic order.

Former finance minister Surendra Pandey said the author failed to express his opinion on many issues such as secularism and citizenship. He suggested the book should also have discussed the issue of land reforms.

Former minister Minendra Rijal said the book could serve as a good textbook on political economy at graduate level.   Also present at the event were former president Ram Baran Yadav and former foreign minister Bhekh Bahadur Thapa.