LETTERS: Slip between cup and lips

Apropos of the news story “FDI commitment plunged 77.5pc in last fiscal” (THT, September 3, Page 12), this is akin to the proverbial slip between the cup and lips.

The brew in the cup i.e. the area of investment, must be of highest quality, aromatic, tasty and well presented for attracting discerning FDI lips.

After a few sips, the brew must offer double the value to the lips. Meanwhile, people are at a loss to know if the local lips are industrialists or entrepreneurs or brokers. Every time a new industry minister takes over, our trade parties make a beeline to his office with several demands, the first being ‘encouragement’ for FDI for development of the country.

For a change, why can’t they assure the new industry minister that they will invest their own billions for the good of the nation, as Mukesh Ambani and Adnani had recently done to usher in game-changes in telecom and energy sectors in India.

It is the local industrialists’ responsibility to invest huge amount to encourage and assure the FDI of unlimited money making opportunities in this most vibrant South Asian economy. When FDI see the locals sinking in billions and reaping trillions, it will naturally encourage the FDI.

There is no need for them to always lobby for FDI. Who are the FDI people anyway that they are lobbying for as many FDI have lost interest in Nepal as is evident by 77.5pc slump? Lest illegal money flows in as FDI to fictitious companies from illegal and bogus offshore accounts, the government needs to put tough riders for FDI including, in co-ordination with international agencies, background checks on companies and their owners.

Nepal has already turned into a vibrant bridge for drug smuggling; we might become a safe haven for illicit money.

There is strong possibility of black, illicit or even blood money returning to the country as FDI or NRN investments.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmadu


Pope Francis has denounced indifference to hunger, exploitation and other sufferings as “a grave sin, modern sin and a sin of today” before Mother Teresa’s canonisation.

While there is no doubt this is a grave sin, such indifference cannot be viewed as something new. In fact, Tagore criticized our indifference to human sufferings in his song, “Oh, what a spring!” indeed, in the nineteenth century.

Tagore wrote, “Let those who are enjoying, enjoy themselves/ Let them enjoy the enjoyable spring to its last / Those happy guys must not see/ The teardrop of a poor girl. They pretend not to see/They pretend not to understand,/They turn their heads..

Then, Bob Dylan did a Tagore by exposing our hypocrisy and callous indifference to human sufferings in his famous song, “Blowin’ in the wind” in the twentieth century. The song said, “Yes, how many times can a man turn his head / Pretending he just doesn’t see?

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind / The answer is blowin’ in the wind”. So, we see that this human callousness is not a modern phenomenon but our chronic disease for centuries.

Sujit De, Kolkata