Nepali Times Asian Paints
ARTHA BEED
Economic Sense
Barricades to growth


ARTHA BEED


On Shivaratri day, as the Beed was driving back to Kathmandu from Bandipur, the car was stopped more than 50 times by children collecting money for the Shivaratri bonfire (see picture). Smiling parents looked on as their children got better and better at intimidating and forcing people to pay.

We have always relied on others paying for our fun, whether it's seeking money from state agencies to celebrate festivals or passing vehicles to pay for evening barbeques. When those children grow up they may use similar extortion tactics in the world of business, and it may be tolerated in the name of 'culture'.

In the same way as we allow stoppages to add hours to journey times, perhaps waiting years to achieve economic growth just because we are not willing to change simple fundamentals has become a way of life.

Bandipur provides glimpses of great opportunities for economic growth. A village that is close to the main road yet a world away from the disorganised mushrooming of houses in other small Nepali towns. With magnificent views it can be developed as a tourist destination for overseas visitors and a getaway for city dwellers from Kathmandu, Pokhara and Narayanghat.

But such projects have to be run in proper businesslike fashion and not driven by donors. We have seen in Nepal that donor-driven projects never metamorphose into large-scale businesses because funding is given for the pilot phase only.

Donor supported projects rarely attract commercial investors because they are dependent for their continued survival on subsidies, which when withdrawn can kill the project with one swipe.

If projects like Bandipur are to expand commercially, they have to do so by increasing the accommodation at the same time as preserving the character, heritage and beauty of the village and architecture. It could mean recreating villages with rows of houses with period architecture but modern amenities. The kind of tourists who are attracted to the village for its stunning, pristine views, will also be lured by a high standard of accommodation, food and service.

Nepal's economic growth will only happen if we capitalise on these opportunities for large scale projects and that in turn will lead to the creation of jobs and a new generation of entrepreneurs. Donors should not be the ones to stand in the way of big business ideas. There are enough people already who are there putting that bamboo pole across the street.

www.arthabeed.com



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


ADVERTISEMENT









himalkhabar.com            

NEPALI TIMES IS A PUBLICATION OF HIMALMEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED | ABOUT US | ADVERTISE | SUBSCRIPTION | PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS OF USE | CONTACT