LETTERS: Cups missing the lips

Apropos of the news story “Investment pledge surges by 256 per cent” (THT, January 8, Page 10), the government needs to work on converting all pledges into hard cash so that they do not turn into cups that miss the lips.

Is the government following up on the US$14 billion pledge announced with great fanfare at the Nepal Investment Summit last year? What about the Nepali NRN in India who pledged on the sideline of the summit to pour a billion rupees on a resort at Bardia National Park? Where are they now? The current commitment of Rs15.72 billion in five months or so should pull us out of the hallucination of the Nepal Investment Summit.

Meanwhile, the government must open all sectors of economy for foreign investment, including banking and insurance, on 100 percent foreign ownership like tiny Qatar has announced recently “Qatar allows full ownership for foreign investors in most sectors” (THT, January 5, Page 9).

There is not much point in concentrating investment in such products like cements, bricks, small hotels, trekking companies and tea shops among others. The locals can and must enjoy these prerogatives. We must invite foreign investment in international airlines, banking, insurance, IT, business colleges like Stanford, AIM, IIM, road, rail, mass transportation cable cars and ropeway, traffic lights and other infrastructure, international resorts, and last but not least, solar, wind and nuclear energy.

We can leave the hydro and lower star hotels, travel and trekking and groceries and fisheries to the local business partners. While inviting FDI, it is important that the government does a thorough background check to ensure that the money is not laundered or the non-residents or residents investors are not used as the fronts.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Cold wave

This is with reference to the editorial “Out in the cold” (THT, January 9, Page 8).

It is shocking to hear that people are still dying due to cold spell because of lack of winter clothing, proper shelters and firewood. The social workers and all the citizens of the nation should pay attention to what is happening in various districts of Tarai where cold wave has taken its toll on the members of the public for the last two weeks. It is extremely necessary to immediately provide help for those people who are in dire need of help.

The government must act so as to control this adverse situation which recurs every winter. The government, policy makers, local level elected officials and even civil society all know that the cold wave is a natural phenomenon. In order to deal with this situation the government, especially the local level authorities, must take measures by providing warm clothes, firewood and even shelters to those in need. It is the poor and homeless people who suffer the most during the winter season in Tarai.

The local level can identify the most vulnerable section of society and provide them with shelters to protect them from cold wave.

Shiva Neupane, Melbourne