Focus On Implementation
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has unveiled the government’s policy and programmes for the fiscal year 2017/18. Addressing a meeting of the Legislature Parliament the other day, the President presented the document focusing on expediting the national pride projects and holding the second phase of the local polls and provincial and federal election in order to ensure the effective implementation of the constitution. Likewise, sustainable economic growth, self-employment, electricity generation and accelerating the reconstruction works are other key issues to receive emphasis in the policy document. The government has given due priority to expedite the ongoing hydro projects with particular focus on reservoir-based new projects to rid the country from the problem of load-shedding. The present government that received accolades for freeing the Kathmandu Valley and other major cities from the problem of load-shedding has included plans to lure private investment to develop hydro projects and expand inter and intra country transmission lines under the Ujjyalo Nepal Campaign with the sole aim of ensuring undisrupted power supply in the country. The government has also included a plan to involve the local bodies in the reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure and monuments besides enhancing the capacity of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA). On the economic front, the document has adopted a policy to boost agriculture, promote tourism as the foundation of the national economy and exports to achieve a higher growth rate. Likewise, in the social sector, plans to make secondary education free and compulsory, and to provide basic health services to all free of cost and ensure their access to quality health services are included.
Of course, the policies and programmes for the coming fiscal year have given continuity to the previous programmes without including new ones, considering the election code of conduct, as they were made public just after the conclusion of the first phase of the local poll and a few weeks before the second phase of the local election. The Election Commission has also instructed the government not to include new programmes. Moreover, the policies and programmes are presented by a caretaker government as they were unveiled a day after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda tendered his resignation, paving the way for the formation of a new government under the leadership of NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba. Hence, the responsibilities of implementing the policies and programmes, and probably the new budget, which will also be tabled by this government on Monday, fall on the shoulders of the new government. Indeed, almost all the policies, plans and programmes the government announced in the past failed to produce the desired results due to their poor implementation. For example, the policies and programmes announced by each government for the past several years had included plans to increase agriculture production, but in reality farm production has dropped, turning Nepal, a rice exporting country in the 1980s into a rice-importing nation. Hence, the government must be serious about implementing the plans and programmes included in the document effectively. Now that the reconstruction drive is moving at a snail’s pace and even two years after the earthquake many people are forced to live in temporary makeshifts, the government must expedite the reconstruction works as mentioned in the document so that the reconstruction works can complete within the stipulated timeframe. Indeed, only effective implementation can transform the plans and programmes into action, and the government should take this aspect in mind and act accordingly so that the document can yield the desirable output.