KATHMANDU: Main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) may boycott the Nepal Development Forum (NDF) meeting, slated to be held in the capital from May 12 to 14.
The party is peeved since it was not consulted while preparing the strategy document that will be presented at the forum.
Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, NC leader and an ex-finance minister, blamed the Maoist-led government for lack of consensus on the Nepal Development Strategy Paper (NDSP), which will be tabled at the NDF meeting.
“A vision paper calls for consensus among parties,” he alleged.
As per the tradition, development agenda has to be discussed with the donors on the basis of consensus. “Strategy papers are never kept secret. They should be discussed with the opposition, intelligentsia, civil society and economists,” explained Dr Mahat.
The senior NC leader is also cut up with the pre-consultation meeting that was held recently. “The posting on the NDF website is a clumsy political slogan. It lacks the rigor of analysis,” he alleged.
The NDSP is tipped to replace the current Three Year Interim Plan (TYIP) by next year.
The documents are allegedly mum on the agreement reached between the government and donors in mini-NDF, which was held last year.
An understanding has been reached on post-conflict rehabilitation and to fast track growth, including plans to hold an international conference to solicit aid. He also advised the donors to think of the consistency of programmes.
But, Dr Mahat is clearly not done yet with the tirade against the government.
“Ironically, the document is silent on major issues
like infrastructure, peace and development, poverty alleviation and reforms in the social and financial sectors. Also, the past progress has been glossed over,” pointed out Dr Mahat,
an ardent advocate of free market.
He claimed that the estimate of growth and attendant macro economic variables was exaggerated in the document.
Professor Dr Bishwambher Pyakurel, a senior economist, concurred with Dr Mahat’s perception.
“The government has presented a grossly distorted statistics that undermines growth in a big way,” he said.
The Maoist-led government has been blamed for its failure to create employment and control price rise. The duo advocated additional homework on the document since it showcased immediate reconstruction and growth.