By PR Pradhan
Nepal is very rich in natural resources, but the Nepalis are very poor as they have failed to harness the nation’s natural resources. According to Dr Mahesh Kumar Maskey, Nepal’s former ambassador to China, the Chinese people believe that the Nepalis are sleeping on golden beds but they don’t know that they are on the golden beds. What I believe is that we, the people, know our potentiality, but we are exploited by our leaders very badly.
Just recently, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority filed a corruption case at the Special Court against director general of the Internal Revenue Department Chudamani Sharma and two others on the charge of embezzling 10.2 billion rupees when they were assigned for the Tax Settlement Commission in the past. The three-member commission was chaired by Lambadhoj Mahat (perhaps relative of the then finance minister Dr Ramsharan Mahat) and Umesh Dhakal as the member of the Commission. Sharma was the member secretary in the Commission. This is an example that how corruption has flourished in this “loktantrik” Nepal under the protection of the political parties in the government! Although, Sharma is in the Police custody for more than one month since the CIAA started investigation on the embezzling case, the two others, Mahat and Dhakal are yet out of reach of the Police and also the CIAA.
Recently, I read a report by Bikash Thapa in the Annapurna Post on how the government killed the 762 MW reservoir based the attractive Tamor Hydropower Project by providing license for the Kabeli, a hydropower project producing 30 MW electricity and Lower Hewa Project producing 21 MW electricity. Providing license to these two projects which belong to the Tamor affected area, is the design to finish the Tamor Hydropower Project, Thapa has argued.
Many of our high potential hydropower projects have been occupied by foreigners and most of them are occupied by the Indians. When the construction works of these projects occupied by the foreigners are going to be constructed, God knows. But, the country is facing acute shortage of electricity and at the same time it is ironic that the Nepal Electricity Authority has ended the 16 hours long horrible load-shedding by importing electricity from India.
In the 90s, the Arun 3 project was scrapped at the final stage of starting the construction works of the project. After 30 years, the Indian party Satluj company has decided to construct this project with the plan of selling electricity to India. Now, it is understandable that the political parties, specially the UML, had opposed this project which had been the main cause for scrapping of the project!
The Indians are continuously encroaching Nepali soil even by demolishing the old border pillars and by constructing new pillars in the Nepali side. The Indians have inundated the fertile Nepali soil by constructing embankments in the Nepal-India international borders even by violating the international rule and by stopping the natural path of the rivers. In fact, the Tarai people are suffering from such man-made floods, even though, the Tarai leaders and the leaders of the main-stream political parties have remained silent on such atrocity of the Indians. Instead, they are surrendering to the very Indians.
Having such political leaders without vision about the motherland, having such leaders having self-centered mentality or say making personal benefit by creating a huge loss to the nation, one cannot think about the nation’s prosperity.
If this is compared to the erstwhile panchayat system, the 30 years of multiparty democracy followed by the “loktantrik” era, our economy was far better than today in the days before. Of course, there was corruption, but not rampant corruption like today. The kings were committed for all round development of the country whereas the present day leaders are concerned about personal prosperity only. The vision of our leaders is to please the Indians and achieve power and earn money for their future generations. Having the leaders with such vision, one cannot think about the prosperity of the nation.