Apropos of the news story “10-year-old boy murdered in the name of sacrifice, (THT, July 26, Page 6), the nation is truly sliding back into the Stone Age. This and other killings like the one in Rautahat, the constituency of a former prime minister, where a woman was beaten to death by her husband and in-laws for refusing to cook bread prove just that (Husband, in-laws beat woman to death ‘for not making chapatis’, (THT, July, Page 5). The gruesome sacrifice to appease gods must be the first known record of a human sacrifice in the country in the last hundred years. These killings are certainly going to raise international fingers over our various vainglorious claims of progress in our society. Despite proliferation of pugnacious but enlightened people-centric political parties and hardworking I/NGOs in the Terai region, killings and rapes seem to be rising by the day. But the horror killing of a 10-year-old innocent boy at the altar of a ‘deity’ will certainly smash the façade of our social progress and will eventually further dent our international reputation.
J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur
Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat presented the budget of Rs 819 billion for the fiscal year 2015/16 in the Legislature Parliament on July14. The budget has nothing new to cheer about as most of the programmes are routine and some of the new ones are also not going to be implemented. Providing skill training to 50,000 youths, one village, one doctor, the poor with Bisheshwor, one village, one production are some proposed programmes which will never be executed if the past experience is anything to go by. A few years ago, ‘revolutionary’ Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai had also come up with a programme of providing skill training to 2,00,000 youths along with a package of cash to run self-employment projects. But the money allocated for the programme is said to be misused by the party leaders, cadres and those close to power corridors. Such programmes never reach the youths who really want to be self-employed by taking skill development training. But one of the concepts unveiled by Finance Minister Mahat is to utilize the remittances in productive and infrastructure development under the “Remit Hydro” scheme. Experts had been calling for creating a mechanism under which the remittances can be best utilized in the hydropower sector. Now, the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Energy have to work out a plan of action about the ways of using the surplus remittances in the hydropower projects identified by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). But looking at the track record of the state-owned power utility most of its projects are never completed within the set deadline and, even if they are completed, they become the most expensive due to corruption, poor management and political inference. So, the government must address these issues first before using the remittance money in this sector.
Bipul Bhandari, Bhairahawa