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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Dilemma of Economic Development of Nepal

Naturally, Nepal is one of the beautiful countries in the world but economically it is considered to be among the bottommost countries of the world economy.
Only the capital city of Kathmandu cannot represent the true picture of Nepal. Nepal stands at the top in Asia as far as inequalities are concerned. The innumerable patches on the clothes of the majority of the population of Karnali Zone of western Nepal and the traffi c jams in Kathmandu valley are just examples of the inequality.
According to the population census, poverty in the rural areas of Nepal is increasing much more than in the urban areas. Besides, the scale of poverty is increasing in far-western and mid-western regions of Nepal. There is reproduction of poverty, rather than poverty alleviation, in Nepal. The economic gap between the developed districts like Kathmandu, Biratnagar and Birgunj measured against the undeveloped districts like Jumla, Baitadi and Bardiya is as stark as the inequality between Europe and Africa. Poverty has multidimensional effects to worsen development. Vicious cycle of poverty has affected every sphere of the nation and the social structures are not much accommodating for development due to their traditional feudal structures. Too much politics and high attachment of economic agenda with politics have been afflictions to the nation. The majority of the poor are from remote areas. For them, development has little meaning.
Millions of young people are working abroad as cheap, unskilled labourers. There is very low opportunity for jobs for the people inside the country. The small children and the general people walking for hours to reach schools, health posts and to fetch water is a normal phenomenon in the mountains of Nepal.
The productivity of most of the plain land of the south is diminishing and the agriculture sector is incapable to feed the fast-growing population. The centuries-old western development replica can be revisited in Nepal. The real development procedures in Nepal have not been yet started due to continued instability.
After the introduction and restoration of democracy in 1951, 1990 and during the 30 years party-less system, Nepal has never been profi cient to exhibit incredible enhancement in its economy as well as national development, the whole system is not functioning properly and it appears that the system is digging its own grave.
South East Asian countries that were in similar position as Nepal during the 1960, have brought great revolutions in their economy. Even the South Asian nations other than Nepal are in good positions in relation to growth and development due to their concrete policies and correct strategy.
There were some hopeful moments some decades ago in Nepal. Unfortunately, it could not be sustained. For example, I felt pleased and surprised after witnessing queues at shops of Nepalese woollen carpets across the streets of Frankfurt during my visit there around the nineties. In the same period, in a western newspaper, a photograph of Queen Elizabeth wearing Nepalese pashmina shawl was published. Export of Nepalese pashmina and garment in the USA and the western countries was at satisfactory levels by that time. And export of many Nepalese products to India including edible oil, ghee, black pipe, yarn, etc. had given good impetus to Nepalese export industries. After the beginning of this decade, export of these entire products was shrunken in a dramatic manner. The condition has not improved. There were many domestic factors responsible for the export breakdown of Nepal. The external factors were much more dominant compared to domestic factors. Export of low quality woollen carpet produced in the name of Nepalese carpet both in Nepal and India, export of sub-standard pashmina shawl branding as product of Nepal, but imported from China and locally made, quota restriction on garment import by the USA and quota and non-tariff barriers imposed by India on major Nepalese production were key elements for the crumple of exports of Nepal. The tiny and primary industrial and export base of Nepal could not bear these heavy shocks and the whole economy became ailing after that intolerable fright.


1 comment:

  1. Merchant Processing :The use of credit cards and Merchant Processing is so commonplace, that it might seem hard to believe that there are actually some businesses that still don’t accept credit cards.