Debilitating Economy Of Nepal

Posted by: Anup Sharma

In 1996A.D. Nepal saw the emergence of a new clique of people with a new set of rules and ideas to bring back so called reforms in different sectors. Well the idea was great had it not been for the weapons. How Gandhi helped in bringing back the independence in India is an exemplary achievement, which was spearheaded with a common theme of fight through non-violence. May be that was possible (in our context) or might have been the other way, but once you make a plan that is going to involve the …

…entire nation and people, a thing called vision should have been there. What it looks like today is a totally uncontrolled set of movements which are not only creating political unrest in Nepal but also creating havoc in the daily life of the people of this nation. That has impaired our economy by leaps and bounds.

The burning question right now is that “Can Nepal be economically stabilized?”

Many say only the “time” can answer that. But hello sir we simply can’t wait time. What didn’t come yesterday guarantees that it might not come today and tomorrow as well. So we can’t just wait for the time to bring back the much needed stability to Nepal.

What Nepal needs right now are the following things, in my view.

1. Political reform.

2. Economic reform.

3. Educational reform.

I did my engineering in computer science from N.I.T Durgapur(formerly R.E.C), West Bengal, India. In my four years stay in India I saw some awe-inspiring things. I was highly impressed by the economic boom in India. The rise in M.N.Cs and domestic companies is something that has been the talk of the town.

The only reason why I have taken the example of India is because it is one of our close neighbors and many of us have fair bit of idea about India. Not only India but see China and other countries in the region. And compare the economy with Nepal. We get out of the scope. As my field being computer engineering I am trying to jot down my view keeping focus on computer related topics.

Our country can be a good destination for outsourcing and off-shoring. There are like thousands of engineers graduating every year in Nepal. So seeing this one can say that we have a good amount of work-force. But the stark reality is that many of these graduates go overseas for further studies and to make money. In doing so, many of them end up staying there hence, the decrease in technical professionals here in Nepal.

Now with the entrance of new government, we expect it to consider all these factors and try to increase the workability in different fields. If the government is able to provide that then I am sure that Nepal can see the improvement in economy.

But for encouraging the foreign companies to enter into Nepal, the government should assure them of security and better work space. According to CIA – The World Factbook, the unemployment rate in Nepal is 47% (2001A.D.). That just goes to show, how even in the presence of good work-force, we lack improvement. The government has to do something to alleviate the unemployment. Until that has been dealt with precision, I am sure that we can’t move ahead and the ever increasing debt for Nepalese will never find its way back.

Well you will have an idea of the job scenario in Nepal when you go through my next few lines. The only job that the engineers are getting in Nepal is teaching. A person who has just finished his engineering is teaching the going to be engineers. That is like blind leading the blinds. If you go through the engineering colleges and other providing similar courses, spread around the country and coming up like the mushrooms, you will find engineers (freshers) teaching. I am not complaining that, but that should have been the last thing on the minds of the engineers which, I find today as the top most priority. None of the engineers would probably go for teaching this early. First he would like to work and see what he had studied and gained. But no application field is there to see what have we learnt!!!!!!! And thus, every year, we get to see the seasonal migration where by many skilled persons leave the country in search of work and money.

(This article was published in The Telegraph on Wednesday, 22 September 2004)

The million dollar question now is has anything changed in more than these two years. What do you say?

Debilitating Economy Of Nepal was last modified: July 2nd, 2007 by Anup Sharma

Blog Comments

  1. Anup Sharma

    Hey Geeta:
    Those were some good words of wisdom.
    There are some points i need to mention though.
    a. This article was written in 2004.I uploaded this article to get views about the current position of Nepal and not about Nepal in 2004.
    b. Nepal has witnessed major political upheaval past 2004. the entry of maoist in the mainstream politics alone suffices that point.
    c. People have much more faith in the economy as whole than what they did in 2004.

    Hence with respect to all the above points, we are now all set for the economic boom. You may want to ask “How can you say that?”. well my answer is simple. the confidence of nepalese in nepal has increased immensely. the stock market is consistently Marathoning. more private sector companies are coming up. and guess what a full blow foreign company can enter nepal in 2010 and start business from the scratch. that is something great and good for nepal.
    i know the domestic companies should show the way for economic development. but if you closely observe the stock market itself, most of the companies that are having sweet rallies are foreign companies with domestic equity participation. Now tell me WHAT IS WRONG IN BRINGING THOSE FOREIGN COMPANIES TO NEPAL?
    we need not copy what india is doing. but we can learn from them. India is in the current position because of the foreign policy reform Manmohan Sing h introduced when he was finance minister during early 90s. whats wrong in learning a lesson from that. we are also in par with india with respect to strategic location, human resource. we simply need people and government to realise that. we need and must support trickle down effect. and i am certain that in 3 years’ time Nepal will riding high in economic boom.

  2. Geeta

    Private sector orgs learn as they compete and knowledge become institutionilzed. Govt is mostly lousy and less the govt control is, better off the country is. You can always trust private sector as long as Govt make sure people in its circle do not get bribed and private sector pays the tax.

    Fo example, why don’t we let Provate sector build highways and allow them collect toll. But, the Govt has to make sure monopoly and oligopoly is punished (this does nto need a lot of regulations).

    Geeta – the Geeta Lover!

  3. sameer

    how much private sectors can be entrusted ?
    and r u sure that, sitting in kathmandu,private sector can cover the bigger picture of this country

  4. Geeta

    You guys never think out of the box. You all Nepali try to copy India – that’s why you are always behind India. Try to do sth that Inida never did. You do not need to import multinationals to develop your country. The most sustaining development plan is to be able to produce products to serve local markets if possible using local raw materials. You have market of 30 million people (size of Canada) and you are the top 50 country in the world by population size. Recongize the strength and move forward. Here is what you need to do:

    1. No government initiated reform required as prescribed by some powerful multinationals and INGOs (becuase reform does not precede development and reform introduced by the government of poor country can’t be implemented) – forget about the reform that you learned in book – just do bear minimum that can be monitored – no rules, no hassles.
    2. Decentralize everything (expect national security and monetary policy) and expect the toughest measure from government to free riders and defaulters
    3. Privarize as much as you can and private sector will push government for reform – that is the best reform.

    Be different and think different! You as a person can bring the change. Think positive and be posiitve. It is a chain reaction as Krishna says.

    Geeta – the Geeta Lover

  5. sameer

    in a country like nepal where education has merely been a matter of debit and credit and students are tamed as source for securing banking transactions,it is no wonder that why we are bound to face the ongoing upheavals.

    we people desparately need a mentor in its true sense.

  6. Anup Sharma

    Nice comments. But teaching is not what any Tom, Dick or Harry can do. To be a teacher, one has to be able to convince the students what he or she is teaching. What i see a common thing these days is the famous principle of Marketing. IF YOU CANT CONVINCE THEM CONFUSE THEM. but this line doesnt work for the students.
    I dont oppose the “Teaching” theory and have zillions of respect to all my teachers and my seniors. But the word Teacher cant simply be labeled to any one. Being GURU is a tough job.

  7. LG

    This article is indeed a good one and no wonder you have raised some critical issues while there has been talks of reformation all over the country.

    One of the issue here about “Fresh graduates of Nepal making choice of going abroad or teaching”. This could be due to the least no. of employment opportunities and insecurities about future. The way the colleges and academic institutions are mushrooming, there should have been mushrooming of software off shoring or outsourcing companies in the similar proportion or more giving opportunities to implement their skill and talents and of course a learning experience, unfortunately that is not the scenario. The fresh engineering graduates start up as Teachers in Institutes or Colleges or Volunteer Teaching to utilize their knowledge rather than being a burden to your parents. Teaching or tutoring is not a bad job either; it makes you realize so many things you could have neglected while being a student. The irony is you get to be in the shoes of the teacher for real and may be you will sympathize those teachers who had all that patience and perseverance to make you understand that simple logic which might now eat your brain up every now and then.

    The temptation to go abroad may be prevailing in mind of each and every graduate and it’s natural because of the notion of better opportunities out there. Even if you go abroad it’s not a felony, actually the sanity and devotion is in returning back or how you can contribute to your community while residing abroad, you learn and see the dedication and their ambition to build, develop and deployment of resources whether India, China, US or Europe and then be responsible enough to come back and utilize what you have learnt and seen so as to reform and develop the society.

  8. Aabhushan

    Nice work Anup dai. Brain drain is a great problem now that slows down the development process. Not only engineers but also the high school students after completing their +2s apply to foreign country in search of good future. They are not aware of the college they are going to attend. They just think of the developed nation of US or Australia and the modern life there without doing any kind of research about the future after completing education from a low profile college. I do not say that America does not have good colleges but not all are good ones. I heard from a friend that there is a college in Texas where more than 50% of students are from Nepal. The students transfer their from other colleges because its cheap and they do not have to work hard to pay the fees. What about the education? What about the knowledge they will gain?

    Not all the students who apply get visa. Limited of them get. Those who get are the good ones who has good academic background or good economic background. Those who do not get are poor in academics and economic status. Just observe what is happening. A good student is being traded for another country along with big sum of money. Who is in loss now? I don’t think I have to say anything about it.

    Even I am guilty for this crime of leaving my country and studying outside. I study in NIT ,Surat, India and the reason why I am studying is because I could not take a risk of studying here where the political instability has questioned the safety of lives. How can I feel secured to study here where even safety of life is not guaranteed?

    My opinions might be jumbled up but I am sure you understand what I mean. Because its happening here, in front of us. I appreciate personality like Dr. Rudra Pandey who studied outside but has served Nepal in various ways towards development.

    Jay Nepal!

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