‘State not accountable to market system’

The Russo-Ukrainian War and the Corona pandemic affected world supply systems and market prices. Even the United States is suffering from inflation at the moment. Our domestic agricultural production has not increased, the supply system has not been strengthened but the global economy has deteriorated, which has affected our country.

As per the provisions of public policy, agriculture could not contribute. The effect of non-growth in domestic production and decline in food production in the world market was seen in our market.

The cash impact also increased due to refinancing arrangements after covid. This increased the demand for non-products amid Covid. This put pressure on the demand for goods and services. Another important point is that our supply system could not rise above the archaic style. There has been no improvement in the domestic supply system.

Vegetables from India come to Nepal on the basis of a phone call made by a trader, but no system has been developed to transport the goods from Dhankuta, Dhangarhi, Itahari to Kathmandu or any other internal market in Nepal. We have not been able to develop the storage capacity. Villages should have such storage capacity.

How many years have we been talking about Karnali? Neither the private sector nor the government gave it importance. Nepal did not work on the infrastructure and development of the market.

Looking at the example of neighboring India, there are big mandis. Farmers can sell their produce and buy the produce they need. We have Kalimati market and its condition is very bad. It should be in every village. The main reason for this is the failure of the government’s agricultural policy.

As can be seen the support price of Govt. Agricultural produce is not being sold on the support price fixed by the government. The government fixes the price of paddy at Rs 2,900 but farmers sell the paddy for Rs 1,800. The government cannot buy farmers’ produce on support price.

No matter how much we talk, in practice we have become completely dependent on the international market. From human food to animal and bird food, we depend on foreign countries. There is no policy in this. Poultry has developed in Chitwan, which requires a large amount of grain, but there is no policy regarding its production. We were not alert even when the external system was deteriorating.

We talked but it didn’t work out. There are 753 local levels in the country and we have given priority to agriculture but no one has killed a single fly. The state could have worked in all the seven sensitive areas, but it did not. Everything became dependent on imports. Today our dependence is increasing more than yesterday. When problems are seen in countries like Brazil, America, Europe, Ukraine, the people who depend there will be affected. I don’t think the Nepali government will give relief at such a time.

First, there is no such system and second, the environment. Other countries have laws to provide relief to their citizens in times of crisis, but efforts to do so in Nepal are facing opposition. A variety of excuses are sought to do so through distribution-oriented budgeting. But it is opposed.

Therefore, it is more appropriate for us to work and earn a living because of open borders than seeking relief. Since the state does not give anything to the poor people, they have no option but to enter India to earn a living as they do not have access to a profession that can give them a sense of security from the state. Instead, there’s the same benefit. That’s why we are saved.

The state should have been held accountable, no. The private sector will contribute to capital formation, the state will create large infrastructure and the state will help the people by bringing in a distribution-oriented budget. The state will create an environment of public safety for the development of the society. If the state cannot make it, it will go to a good country, if it cannot, it will enter India. This is the country of Lahore, it has to be Lahore.

(Based on Naveen Dhungana’s conversation with Thapa, former Executive Director of Nepal Rastra Bank.)

Source: OnlineKhabar

Himal Sanchar