Reconsider oil price hike:

The Deuba-led government has hiked the price of petro-products for the third time in a row. Ironically the CPN-UML which claims to be a people’s party has only supported the price hike decision. At the same time, the government has increased the perks and other benefits for the ministers though it has not been able to dent institutionalised irregularities in government offices. The reason behind each price raise is said to be adjustment of the domestic petroprices with the global oil prices. However, it is an open secret that price balance is not the only the reason for yesterday’s price hike. If the government lost any sleep over the global fluctuation in oil prices, it should not have taken so long for it to get its act together. The prices have now plummeted compared to those few months earlier. But far from reduction, what we now get is a steep price hike. In fact, so high is the raise, it will hit all sectors and cause long lasting effect on the public.

The ministers’ salary has gone up but the commoners are unlikely to get a salary raise even though everything costs more these days. This said, the opposition parties need not find oil price hike to be an issue because they too have no firm idea of economic principles involved in petro-business. The hike comes at a time when the credibility of the government is at stake. The fate of the government despite the election rhetoric is short-lived. If Deuba and Madhav K Nepal do not want to get washed by this political tsunami, they need to reconsider this unpopular decision.

Eakprasad Duwadi, via e-mail

Partisan row:

The ongoing row over the appointment of the Rastra Bank governor is indicative of the lack of democratic principles in the present government. How can such a non-political portfolio become the issue of partisanship for nearly a month now? The Rastra Bank cannot be headed by anybody and everybody picked from a wish list of either the prime minister himself or for that matter, anybody. It has to be given to someone who has all the qualifications for the job. In any case, it should be an economist who knows the nitty-gritty of monetary policies, the on-going economic slump in the country and how it can be revived.

It is not like some other portfolios which can afford to fall into other hands, irrespective of the office bearer’s academic credentials. Besides, a committee was formed to appoint the governor. So why not stick to the recommendations that it forwarded? The row has only sent mixed signals to the donors and the global lending agencies, who have watched the tussle with great interest. It should be resolved without delay.

Pratibha Moktan, Kathmandu

Tsunami fund:

The rapid relief work and rescue operations going on in the tsunami-hit regions is remarkable. Not only have the developed countries made huge contributions in the form of cash donations and other essential relief materials for the victims, the developing states are also not far behind the generous bandwagon. Nepal too sent one lakh dollars to Sri Lanka to help the devastated country. We must show this kind of solidarity towards our neighbours during the time of grief. However, millions of dollars collected in the name of the victims should not be misused. The UN along with other social organisations involved in the operations must see to it that the fund reaches those for whom it has been collected.

Shalin Shah, Godavari