LETTERS: Create labour bank
Apropos of the editorial “Ad hoc plan” (THT, Dec.1, Page 6), if Agriculture Minister Gajurel wants to improve and augment agricultural production in the country he should first create a government labour bank from which to rent farm workers at dirt cheap rates. Such a bank would keep details of all farm workers that can be hired at government rates on daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Unless this (labour issue) is addressed his dream to make the country self-reliant in two years will remain a pie in the sky as much as Oli’s to end load-shedding in one year.
Nobody wants to work in the farms for money including the descendants of peasants. Is he aware of this? It is important to know the problem well before unveiling the government plans and programmes that are never translated into action. He must come up with a practical action plan and should not depend on the bureaucracy that always wants to put the spoke on the wheels.
We have seen the great degree of harmony, social cohesiveness and social responsibility among Nepali people. The government is doing its best to resolve the situation from its side. It looks like all the social, cultural, and economic mechanisms have been paralyzed. What should be our next step? Should we stick in this kinds of survival strategy or move forward with an aggressive growth strategy? It all depends upon the thinking and mental status of the people. Preparing meals on firewood and Induction Heaters imported from India or China is not the solution. We should keep in mind that this is not the first time we have experienced this kind of blockade. Did we learn lessons from the past two blockades? There are 48 countries in the world which have their own strategy for growth and survival. Switzerland is also a landlocked country, but its economy is very strong because it has adopted an export oriented strategy.
Landlocked countries like Nepal should find competitive advantages so as to hold high bargaining power with other countries. We should develop interdependency with neighbours, not total dependency. We should develop hydropower projects that can be exchanged with petroleum products to run the national economy. In this hour of crisis, the country has not got active lobbying from our diplomatic missions. It is our diplomatic missions abroad that can take up the blockade issue at the international level. International lobbying is the best tool to raise the issue of landlocked country’s transit right and access to sea which India has violated. India cannot prevent us from exercising transit rights. This is the issue that out diplomatic missions should raise at the international level. In addition, strategy of the landlocked country should transform the term “Landlocked” into “Land linked” developing possible trade routes. On the other hand the SAARC member states should sign an agreement on motor vehicles movement at the earliest as recently suggested by Bangladesh.
Suraj Paudel, Pokhara