Fruitful First Year

The government led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has completed its first year in office with remarkable progress towards institutionalising federalism, building vital infrastructures for economic prosperity, ensuring social security and enhancing Nepal’s diplomatic relations with immediate neighbours and beyond. Oli had begun his second innings as Prime Minister with a promise of good governance and economic prosperity and in its first year PM Oli’s government has been able to regenerate hope among the countrymen that Nepal can be turned into a prosperous nation in the next few years. Right since being elected PM, Oli started sharing a dream of Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali; he floated the dream of railways and inland water ways though many people outright refused the feasibility of these projects. However, the government has taken measures to link Nepal with Indian and Chinese railways while the government has set up Nepal Ship office. Besides, the pace of building key infrastructures like Kathmandu-Terai fast track, international airports in Pokhara and Bhairahawa, dry port at Chobhar in Kathmandu, highways and link roads, hydropower projects and many more has been expedited. Detractors may say that the country’s economy is not dynamic enough to achieve the economic growth rate of 8 per cent in the current fiscal year, but the government has enacted a number of laws and prepared institutional mechanism for economic activates to gain momentum in the years to come.

Obviously, institutionalising federalism was one of the key responsibilities of the incumbent government, and it has done a commendable job towards this end. Scores of laws have been enacted for successful implementation of federalism while a number of legislations and regulations are being revised to harmonise them with the new constitution. PM Oli in an address to the nation Thursday over the completion of the first year in office informed that the Federal Parliament had passed a total of 25 laws while 23 bills are under consideration of the legislative body and 24 bills are at the final stage for being tabled for deliberation. Many laws are being aligned with the provisions of the constitution and the work to amend 165 laws, which are inconsistent with the constitution, is underway. These works will have a far-reaching impact on how the federal system will come into operation in the years. Employee adjustment is another key issue for successful implementation of the federal system and the government has managed to address this thorny issue, with about 90 per cent of the employees opting for the plan. Once the process of adjustment is over, the countrymen will experience the gains of the federal system and the fruits of social security schemes.

In the last one year, Nepal has made its presence felt internationally. With a stable government in the country committed to peace and prosperity, the global community has started taking interest in Nepal. For the first time, Nepal was invited to World Economic Forum Summit in Davos, Switzerland in its history of half a century, while the United States invited Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali to discuss issues of bilateral interest after a gap of 17 years. Closer home, the government has been able to further cement the ties with India and China by embracing balanced foreign policies. These developments indicate that Nepal shall enjoy better international support and cooperation in its development initiatives in the days ahead.

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