Timid machinery

The many constitutional bodies sans their chiefs all because of the unbelievable delay in making political appointments sees the country heading downhill as far as maintaining a civil semblance is concerned. Add to it, the unprecedented haggling among the three major parties in choosing the nominee for Nepal’s central bank, and the economic scenario becomes all the more gloomy. It is inaction and the lack of will power that the government characterizes, and that sees the country on faltering knees. Take for example the appointment of the Nepal Rastra Bank Governor for which three names were forwarded, but it is almost two months now, yet no decision has been taken. This is reflective of the fact that the concerns for the fiscal direction that the country needs in these financially fluid times have been underestimated by the government and, for that matter, by the other stakeholders as well. If it had been an unusual situation prior to Bijay Nath Bhattarai being reinstated by the apex court to his post, the present time only shows that the political parties concerned want their man in the NRB Governor’s seat. This is a mere narrow minded approach that can submerge the economic, or rather, fiscal planks that the country so urgently needs.

The same sort of indecision had been the fate for the appointment of the Chief Justice. This happened despite the fact that the present CJ Anup Raj Sharma was to retire soon. Moreover, the Constitutional Council (CC) meeting had been hampered by absentees. However, it has come up with the needed recommendation the other day which is a better late than never syndrome.

The disregard for appointments to constitutional bodies to be done within the mandatory time period is but a pointer to the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government failing in its immediate tasks. If the country had been going through perceivable turmoil, the focus on issues with greater ramification could have been understood. But, even a casual observer can understand that the government’s dilemma is only limited to not displeasing any of its allies who may have a stake in the said appointments. It all points to the fact that the decisive state of mind is visibly missing, and the support has been the lingering tactics. Prime Minister Nepal should have had a more resolute tone in addressing at least this particular issue concerning the appointments to the constitutional bodies, including the NRB, CIAA and others. But, what is seen is that no path has been identified in filling the vacant seats, which is costing the day-to-day functioning of the said bodies in terms of the national interest, while the miseries have piled up on the ordinary people. In this regard, the tall talks

of a meeting point has proved elusive, and no political party concerned wants to back out by making

an amicable way out for the appointments. It is but

a reference to the same old mentality to have your own clout in the all important bodies. It is to deaf ears that the pleas fall for a clear settlement of

the problem with the resolution of the political appointment issues.

Money spinner

Nepal is rich in medicinal herbs some of which are rare and highly priced. As a result these are often smuggled. The trade of herbal medicines should be managed properly for it would be difficult to replenish them if they are picked haphazardly. Meanwhile, precious herbs like Yarsagumba and other valuable medicinal herbs are found in Mustang, and every year there is a rush of people to collect them. Last year seven persons from Gorkha district who had gone to Manang to collect Yarsagumba were murdered by the people of Mustang. Others from districts like Lamjung, Dhading and Tanahun also go to Manang to collect the herbs.

The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) is to forbid people from other districts from collecting the medicinal herbs in Manang district. This prohibition is to take effect from this year apparently to prevent a repeat of last year’s tragic incident, among other things. Besides, those collecting these herbs often do so at immense risk to themselves from the hostile climate and terrain. So everything possible must be done for their safety. Judicious method of exploiting herbs and medicinal plants is a must so that they do not vanish leaving us the poorer.