Three decades of political grandstanding promoted by a pliant media who cannot but carry partisan analyses as coverage of economic policies makes the budget session merely part of the overall dramatics that is our democracy today. Both K.P. Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal have separately and jointly introduced fiscal policies in parliament previously and the latter went so much as to cross over to the opposition bench in course of the budget session the last time they did so. In doing so, the Nepali parliamentary system was so blatantly put to ridicule that the erstwhile Maoists could even make another dramatic turnaround by contesting elections in partnership with the opposition while still retaining their seats in government. Of course the excuse this time for the supposed optimism that one hears voiced amongst the intelligentsia is the two-thirds majority that government sees in parliament for the first time since the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in the country. Deeper analysis of Nepali politics should make this hardly a permanent feature in Nepali politics since the source of partisan fragmentation is within individual parties, much less amongst allies be they joined in alliances or united.
The Nepali skeptics cult perpetually on the increase have very good reason for the open ridicule of stated government targets and the negativity in the population fuels further the open nonchalance. However the concerned population cannot but wish that a price freeze would happen somehow and the local population see benefits in investments that could somehow aid their incomes. They are aware nevertheless that public indifference emanates from the now common knowledge that political defeatism has surrendered the tools of such government mechanisms and must merely rely on foreign largesse to enthuse the economy as depleting national resources and incomes and spending helps dwindle tax capabilities. It is here that the system is threatened. Agrarian Nepal is said to have been converted into urbanized Nepal to prey on tax possibilities of the new township but limited actual urban reach has so discouraged the actual agricultural productivity of the land that land productivity has diminished to the perils of tax possibilities. Indeed, what was predictable was that our graduation from the ‘crisis phase’ to the ‘management phase’ would mean our gradual immersion into an economic sinkhole. The period unfolds.
Of course our political masters have themselves to blame for their incredibility. The more dangerous aspect of this is how they reflect in the foreign policy front. The post – blockade Modi kept bowing his head to Nepali gods while post-blockade Oli was seen bending his back in welcome. And now Oli must make amends prior to his China trip by removing the Indian embassy field office from Biratnagar and announcing how close new road linkages are to China. Subtly perhaps he must announce to the world that he is in firm control here by de-linking Hinduism from monarchy and inviting the ex-monarch for participation in next year’s republic day management (this year’s being too late). By doing this though, he has set a deadline which will be very keenly watched by all at home and abroad who do seek the restoration of national credibility. Coming as this does after the Modi visit and before Oli’s China visit, the announcement would seem of quite come significance. Indeed, for someone who sees the Monarchy as gone after king Birendra’s massacre, there is a pinch of wishful thinking here it seems.