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Nepal Braces for Socialist Economy

Nepal’s left – alliance government has decided to adopt a pro- socialist economy in order to address the country’s post- conflict situation and to boost the sluggish economy which has annual growth of 3-4 percent annually.

The announcement was made by Nepal’s President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday while presenting the policies and programs of the incumbent government. Some democratic parties of Nepal objected to the government’s move, criticizing that it would ruin the fragile economy of the country.

President Yadav has said the government will do away with all remnants of a feudalistic economic system which pervades in Nepal. The government will place stress on equitable development and form a commission on those who have disappeared, he added.

President Yadav said the government has given priority to implementation of a series of pacts, including the Comprehensive Peace Accord, signed with various groups in the past.

“The Government of Nepal is of the view that, while protecting national unity, integrity and sovereignty, all discriminations based on class, region and race must be brought to an end, all forms and remnants of feudalism must be eliminated in line with the objective of state restructuring, thus laying the foundation of a self-reliant, modern, just, inclusive and prosperous new Nepal through the adoption of a popular and welfare-oriented economy with a socialist approach and the general people must be liberated from all kinds of inequalities, discriminations, exploitations, oppressions and injustices.”

However, the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) dubbed the government’s policies and programmes as being similar to that of an authoritarian regime.

Under the socialist program unveiled, the Nepali government will focus on sustainable socio-economic development, integration and rehabilitation of 19,000 former Maoist combatants in security agencies and society. The program will ensure that the transitional judiciary system and rights of agricultural labourers will be improved through scientific land reforms.

Likewise, the government would give priority to a scientific land-utilizing strategy, support of female entrepreneurs and a three-pronged economic policy to be adopted by the government and private sector. In order to lure the votes of the marginalized and poor class of society, the government also decided to chart out economic programmes for the dalits (untouchable), madhesis (a big section of the population in the Southern plain of Nepal), and ethnic groups.

The policy also focuses on insurance policies for journalists, revision of the acts pertaining to working journalists, formulation of a Women’s policy to address the widowed and special programmes to reduce gender violence.

“The government will give emphasis to incremental improvements in agricultural and industrial production, development of tourism and infrastructure, employment generation, creation of national capital, investment promotion and equitable distribution, social justice and just development for meeting the objectives of a prosperous life, civilized society and independent nation-building,” said the President.

About Anil Giri

Writes for The Kathmandu Post, the leading English newspaper in Nepal. Earlier, he was stationed in New Delhi as a Chief of Bureau for The Himalayan Times. He has worked for AHN, the US based new agency, The Guardian, Korea Times and others.

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