Taxing task

It is excruciatingly painful to be jobless. But it is a greater ignominy to have a job and not be paid. Employees at the Nepal Drugs Limited (NDL), a state-owned drug manufacturing company, are faced with a similar tribulation. Not only are they deprived of the bonus and allowances they were entitled to earlier, but also of their monthly pay that they should rightfully receive at the end of each month. Though NDL administration purports that the quality of drugs it manufactures are better than private companies that have mushroomed over the years, it has been unable to meet the market demands, ostensibly due to lack of sufficient resources and funds. But the glaring fact is superfluous recruitment of employees and irregularities in the past which have led to redundancy and financial crisis in the company.

Similar examples abound in other state-owned companies which either had to close down being unable to check irregularities or convert themselves to private enterprise. The Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Trolley Bus Corporation (TBC) are cases in point. In order to survive competition, government-owned undertakings need to check irregularities and inculcate a working culture among the employees. The NDL should stop repeating its past mistakes, and the government should take steps towards that end. Inviting private participation in the enterprise is a proposition that merits attention.