Sep 10, 2011

Government's relief packages: My thoughts--I

The government has introduced a series of relief packages and as you might already have guessed, I am as  skeptic as ever. But since his holiness Dr. Bhattarai could do no wrong, I would rather present my curiosity and inquiry than slam criticisms. 

Government to instruct local administrations to immediately return seized land and property: 

Well, that's something we all would welcome. I just hope it really happens because the new "revolutionary" land owners seem to be making themselves pretty comfortable and enriched with their new acquisitions. They might be a little reluctant to give up their acquisitions and "immediately" could easily turn into "ages" and just to help Dr. Bhattarai make "informed" decisions, local administrations have been proven weak and ineffective for the job. I think his holiness should employ YCL cadres for the job if he wants to get better results.

By the way, just a small curiosity: How come returning the land to their rightful owners a "relief" package? I used to think land ownership was a right not a "relief" package. But never mind, what's in a name? I really welcome the move!

Government to provide Rs. 200000 each to 50,000 youths under youth employment program:

Last time's youth self employment scheme generated really huge fanfare and tons of accolades for his holiness before fading into oblivion. For a research purpose, along with my friends, I had gone to the finance ministry to inquire about the status of the scheme. The scheme had been confined to a single room in the ministry and was providing generous employment to about half a dozen people. Besides the employment, the scheme had also provided additional perks to its employees as we found a lady vigorously scanning some question papers and a text book when we visited the office. We were pretty surprised to find the lady extremely reluctant to talk about her additional perks though. So, I think his holiness should consider employing more than just a dozen (already relatively well-off) people.  

And maybe his holiness should consider letting enterprises like Surya Nepal Garments run. Despite being capitalists and bloodsuckers,  20 such enterprises, if allowed to run, could easily provide jobs to 50,000 youths without spending a dime from the government treasury.

Government to subsidize LP gas (a cylinder a month per family) and kerosene (5 liters for oil lamp users): 

Well, I love this move and I believe so do majority of the Kathmanduites. Getting subsidized LP gas is awesome even though it might mean using poor people's (who have never used LP gas and majority of people in Nepal can't afford LP gas) tax money to help relatively well-off people to consume LP gas. I am really surprised why almost every government relief package has a subsidy on LP gas provision. But as they say, आम खाओ पेड मत गीनो, I shouldn't really keep dwelling on it I guess.

By the way, recently, a businessman who had been tampering with gas cylinders and regulators posing great risks to thousands of LP gas consumers walked free after paying minimal fine. Your holiness, if you could punish (and I mean severe enough punishment here) criminal such as those, consumers could feel more "relief" than a subsidized gas.

I will continue my ramblings in another post as well. Do help me figure things out with your comments!