Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
"We don’t have to do as India says"


What is the 'Prachanda Economic Model'?
This is an economic policy that is relevant to Nepal's reality. We are in the process of ending the backward ultra-feudal economy and ushering in a progressive industrial capitalism. This is a unique case and we have called it the 'Prachanda Model'.

How is it different from what we already have?
Our excessive dependence on under-productive agriculture is an obstacle to economic growth. It is not creating jobs and people are forced to migrate. We have to replace this medieval and feudal means of production with a modern profit-oriented model. Absentee landlordism must end, land must go to the tiller and only then will agriculture be transformed. The state's job is to provide irrigation and infrastructure and join fragmented landholdings into cooperatives.

Doesn't your revolutionary land reform contradict your industrial capitalist model?
No one should be afraid of developing modern agriculture through a capitalist system. In fact we will encourage it and help it along with infrastructure support.

What are your other priority areas?
We must concentrate on areas where we have comparative advantage such as tourism and water resources, and invest in infrastructure to create the conditions for industrialisation. This way industries can be set up even in remote areas like the Karnali. We must get a railroad to join China with India. Invest in education and health.

What is the policy on education and health?
These are basic human rights and the responsibility to provide them lies with the state. We want to edge out the private sector from education in a timebound fashion and there should be public-private partnership in higher education and health. We welcome the private sector in projects where large investments are required.

How will you resolve the need to develop water resources with geopolitics?
By focusing on Nepal's national interest. We will develop small and medium projects for domestic energy to end the power crisis. Multi-purpose projects will be financed through shares, remittances and foreign investment. But we will choose the projects, not foreigners. Just because we are dependent on India on a few things doesn't mean we have to do as they say, we have to deal with them on the basis of mutual benefit.

Foreign aid comes with strings attached, how will you deal with that?
Past governments have accepted aid in a haphazard way. We won't let that happen. We will end the anarchy in foreign aid and drive it according to our national policies and priorities.

What problems do you see in the private sector?
The state's policy on the private sector is faulty. Private companies are in a crisis because of dependence, the open border is creating losses.

And the politicisation of labour?
The politicisation of labour is not the problem, there are other problems: loadshedding that is creating 40 percent losses, money is lost on commissions, there is feudalism. The relationship between labour and management has to be improved, if management can transfer money spent on commissions to increase salaries by just Rs 1,000 a lot can be achieved. And productivity can be improved if the state invests in energy and infrastructure.

How will you deal with the fuel and food crisis?
We will explain to the people why there is a price hike. We will provide relief to the poor with schemes similar to the ration card system in India. The distribution system must also improve.

How realistic is a 25-30 percent economic growth rate?
This has been achieved during revolutions, it's not unusual if you look at the history of different countries.

What kind of a party are you?
We are a communist party that believes in reaching the goal of communism through capitalism and socialism.

Have you renounced violence?
After the peace agreement, violence has ended for now. But this is relative. If someone uses violence there will be counter-violence. In the past we did not commit violence, we just reacted to the state's violence.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)