Nation moving fast on path of development: PM Oli
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Mar. 29: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said on Thursday that the nation was moving rapidly towards the path of good governance and development with the objective of achieving the great goal of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’.
In an exclusive interview with The Rising Nepal and its sister publication Gorkhapatra Daily on the eve of the Nepal Investment Summit 2019, Prime Minister Oli said that the country was moving on the path of progress by concluding the political movements launched for realising political rights, tentatively finalising the transition, managing conflict and ending secessionist tendency.
“We cannot move ahead with a sluggish pace but need to move with a rapid pace. For this purpose, our capital, initiative and technology may not be sufficient. So, we should accept external capital and technology,” he said.
The Prime Minister further said, “We are expecting investment from our friendly countries.”
“Those countries, which have enough prosperity or are already developed, need not to work much for attracting foreign investment. However, the country like ours that is not developed needs capital and technology for the development of infrastructure, establishment of industries and many such projects,” he added.
He said, “So, we receive and accept assistance from others. But it is not true that we are not receiving and mobilising our internal capitals.”
Stating that Nepal should bring in capital in order to forward the country ahead in a fast pace on the path of development, Prime Minister Oli maintained that the country would not have to ask for foreign investment once it would be developed.
“In the past, China had to attract foreign capital and technology. Now the country is looking for places abroad for making its investment. Now, China has reversed the situation completely,” he added.
He expressed confidence that Nepal would be a self-reliant country and would be looking for destinations for making its investment in the future.
“But today, we are looking for foreign investment. So, we are organising the Investment Summit. The participants will remarkably be high in the Summit. It is a good sign,” the Prime Minister stated.
It is the need of hour to acquire prosperity and equality with social justice, said Oli, adding that the country was moving in the right direction in terms of prosperity and development.
“The domestic businessmen and entrepreneurs should equally be valued and encouraged. We give even more importance to them because it is the issue of mobilising international investment. It is a matter of the internal resource mobilisation,” PM Oli stated.
“We have to mobilise our international technology as well. We have to utilise the human resources of our country,” he added.
PM Oli pointed towards the need of being self-sufficient and employing own resources and capabilities.
“But our development will be very slow if we only rely on ourselves. That is why we must also focus on attracting foreign capital and technology. So, we are working towards attracting and safeguarding foreign investments in order to establish Nepal as a lucrative investment market,” he said. “Our focus should be on safeguarding investments, ensuring ample returns for investors and reaping immense benefits for the nation. To label foreign investment as crony capital and calling for their end is nothing but primitive and medieval thought. Our current efforts should be concentrated towards bringing in investment from all the nations,” he added.
According to him, the foreign investors should be able to reap ample returns on their investments and be able to take those returns back to their home countries. He assured the investors that through the simplification of countless legal, technical, practical and administrative procedures and amendment to many laws, and one-window policy, there will be greater facilitation in establishing and doing business.
We are currently concluding double tax elimination agreements with many countries so that double taxation will not be a problem any more, he said.
Stating that there were many problems in the past, but those problems have been confined to history, PM Oli urged one and all not to get entangled with them and move forward with the issues of today.
“Occupying ourselves with nostalgia, singing glorious songs of the past will do no good. We cannot devote ourselves to merely recalling the earthquake of 1934 nor can we be saying things like Panchayat were like this, this was in present, this was not, etc. We cannot be recalling the problems of the past while we have real problems to solve today. It is just like looking at a shattered mirror,” he said.
He said that the government had presented a new vision for the future and the country would move forward according to that vision.
“Nepal is an ideal place for investment because we are extremely investment-friendly and won’t face labour problems in the industrial sector. Investors have to operate in an environment of stiff competition elsewhere whereas in Nepal, one can say that there is almost no competition at all. Any factory started here will be one of its kinds,” he said. “That is why Nepal possesses a very favourable environment for investment, we merely have to observe and monitor,” he added.
He assured that the government was ready to work with the private sector and move forward with both the private sector and cooperatives.
Prime Minister Oli also said the government was not in favour of monopoly or oligopoly. “Nor do we say that everyone needs to be in the public sector. We are already here to work from the public sector. But we must also acknowledge that once there was a time when the term ‘privatisation’ was used to justify the selling of public businesses. Today is not the time for such selling but rather the time for entrepreneurship,” he said.
He encouraged the private sector to establish businesses and industries and said that it should profit both the state and the people. The government will leave no stone unturned to create a constructive environment for foreign investments and private businesses, he said.
“I have even gone a step further and asked them to directly bring in draft amendments or improvements that can be made to the existing laws. I don’t think that any prime minister before me has ever dared to say such thing,” he said. “There are no two ways about it, bring in drafts; tell us what we need to do, where the improvements need to be made and we will do it.”
According to the PM, abstract statements like ‘This is not good’ will not work any more. “Tell us exactly where we are lacking and how we can fix it. We are undertaking a grand campaign of nation building. We cannot wait any longer for economic growth. We must move ahead quickly and we must move ahead now,” he said.
He highlighted the national aspiration, “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” and said that in order to achieve this aspiration, there was absolutely no alternative to increasing the pace of multidimensional development. “For this, we must utilise all our internal and external resources,” he said.
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