Nepal | June 03, 2020

EDITORIAL: Passing the buck

The Himalayan Times
Share Now:

The black market will continue to rule the roost until the government makes its concerned ministries and agencies accountable to the public

It was expected that supplies of essential commodities, including petroleum products and cooking gas, would become normalised across the country with the lifting of the five-month-old blockade at the border points, particularly at the Birgunj customs point. India had eased the supplies of the essential goods from its Raxaul customs points on February 5, three days before the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) officially decided to open the blockade and change its modus operandi of agitation. The government had also assured the public that the petroleum products and cooking gas would be easily available within a week. The state-owned fuel supply monopoly Nepal Oil Corporation had also said that the things would improve for the better within a week. It has been more than two weeks since the lifting of the blockade. But the consumers are still facing acute shortage of the fuels and are seen queuing up in all fuel stations to get a few litres of petrol and diesel.

NOC officials had said they would be providing around 600,000 litres of petrol in the Kathmandu Valley per day after the Birgunj customs point started importing adequate fuels from the Raxaul Depot. But the petroleum dealers said that NOC has been providing only 460,000 litres of petrol per day. The actual consumption of petrol in the Valley a day stands at around 350,000 litres. Even if the petroleum dealers association’s claim is to be believed there should not be any shortage of fuel in the market as NOC has been supplying 110,000 more litres of petrol per day as compared to normal time. The biggest question is where has the additional fuel supplied by NOC gone? Looking at this scenario what can be said for sure is that petroleum products have gone to black markets, and the situation would not normalise unless the government, particularly the Ministry of Supply, promptly sets up an effective monitoring and distribution mechanism.

Even the Prime Minister has instructed secretary at the PMO Kedar Bahadur Adhikari to handle the situation and make effective coordination with the Ministry of Supply regarding the smooth distribution of fuel. But it seems that nobody has taken the PM’s instruction seriously to normalize the supply situation. The concerned departments are passing the buck to others for the mess in the distribution of fuel captured by the black marketeers hoodwinking the government agencies. The monitoring and distribution mechanism became dysfunctional after the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies were bifurcated and their related departments of Commerce and Supplies were also split into two separate entities, making both the departments lame ducks. The newly-formed Department of Supply and Consumers’ Welfare Protection, responsible for monitoring and distribution of fuel and other commodities, has not been fully functional due to lack of organizational strength. Both the ministries should have worked in tandem in the time of crisis. The black marketing is flourishing taking advantage of the government weakness, ineffective monitoring and distribution system. The black market will continue to rule the roost until the government makes its concerned ministries and agencies accountable to and responsible for the public.

Skilled labourers

The nation suffers from the lack of skilled manpower as a result of which it has not been able to develop despite the vast potential it possesses. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays an important role for fulfilling this need. Humans are economic assets and it is expected that Support to Knowledge and Lifelong Learning Skills (SKILLS), a three year programme from (2015-2017), will assist the nation in realizing its true potential. The promotion of technical and vocation education has so far failed to work due to limited access to TVET, among other reasons. SKILLS was launched last year which provides the opportunity to link with TVET sector capable of   transforming the nation.

TVET can play a vital role in economic development, poverty reduction and other development endeavours. This was done to enable the country to meet the demand of skilled workers in the labour market. We could make use of the traditional skills by adopting modern technology for their revival.


A version of this article appears in print on February 19, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Timo Werner

Leipzig move into third spot with 4-2 win at Cologne

BERLIN: RB Leipzig reclaimed third place in the Bundesliga with an entertaining 4-2 victory at Cologne on Monday that put them firmly on course for a Champions League spot with five games left in the season. Leipzig's second win in their last six league games put them two points ahead of Bo Read More...

Yubaraj Khatiwada

Idea came from private schools: Khatiwada 

Education Minister Pokharel says he had no clue about it  Kathmandu, June 1 Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada today said the proposal to make each private school responsible for improving education quality of at least one public school was brought in consensus with the private school owners. Read More...

Nepal's Constitution

JSP-Nepal registers private constitution amendment bill 

Kathmandu, June 1  Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal today registered a private constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat seeking to change several provisions of the constitution to address the demands of Madhesis, Janajatis and other marginalised groups and communities. The J Read More...

Plan to evacuate Nepalis from abroad unveiled

KATHMANDU, JUNE 1 The government has released an 11-point action plan to bring back and manage citizens who have been affected by COV- ID-19 and want to return home. Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel, who is also coordinator of the High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and C Read More...

Quarantined people’s swabs collected after minor’s death 

Bajura, June 1  The swab samples of people kept in the quarantine facility at Dhuralsain Secondary School were collected after the death of a two-year-old child in Budhiganga Municipality, Bajura. Municipality Mayor Dipak Bikram Sha said the child, who was infected with COV- ID-19, died Read More...

Tourist standard hotels agree to government rate for quarantine

KATHMANDU, JUNE 1 Tourist standard member hotels of the Hotel Association Nepal are ready to provide quarantine service at Rs 2,000 per night with four meals a day. Disclosing member hotels’ decision today, Binayak Shah, first vice-president of HAN, said, “Our proposal was to charge Rs 3,0 Read More...

Ten new Covid-19 cases detected in Gandaki province, five each in Parbat and Syangja

POKHARA: As many as 10 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Gandaki Province on Tuesday morning, taking the provincial tally to 37. According to Gandaki Health Directorate, Parbat reported its first five confirmed cases while the other five hailed from Syangja. Among the infecte Read More...

12 migrants returning from India killed in accident

NEPALGUNJ, JUNE 1 Twelve persons were killed and 21 were injured when a vehicle carrying migrant workers returning from India met with an accident in Thuriya forest of Banke’s Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality last night. According to District Police Office, the accident occurred when a bus ca Read More...