The announcement of the expanded cabinet by the prime minister met with mixed reactions. The major political parties are busy criticising the move, but there are some sections that believe this could be the last chance to bring about some visible changes. Over the past month, the country's two leading political parties seem committed solely to their non-commitment to national interest. They have yet to provide any solutions. To be unable to answer questions on why our country's largest political parties have never worked towards a viable solution together is embarrassing. Our inability to take responsibility manifests itself in a strong Nepali brand of criticism laced with pessimism. That particular glass is always half empty.
The primary issues of the current cabinet are security, initiation of dialogue between the Maoists and the government, and setting election dates. However, while these are a priority, the government also has to deal with issues like the recent increase in oil prices. Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand has a tough job. It takes a strong person to lead a cabinet full of successful professionals who are leaders in their own right.
The Beed expects the current cabinet to effect two significant changes that will have direct bearings on the economy; a newfound voice for the private sector and a stronger foundation concerning water policy. The private sector has always felt neglected. Now the cabinet can redress this situation and chart a map for the economy. A business like approach may finally jog government machinery, including the bureaucracy, to aim for quick resolutions on pending issues. A definite yes or no answer should cut a swathe through the files decaying quietly in various ministries and government offices.
Nepal's water potential and related problems has been overemphasised over the years. Now, with the opportunity of putting a visionary in charge of affairs, perhaps the people can look forward to a revamped NEA that proposes feasible solutions for the pressing situations like the shrinking water table in the Valley. A new study is not required. Just turn all the previous studies into action.
The professionals in the cabinet are faced with another challenge-learning governmental processes for making decisions. Their journey will definitely hold surprises. Some of them may even provide fodder for the Beed's future columns. But at present, the bureaucracy need to realise aiding the cabinet through its teething stage will only improve their standing in the nation's eyes. It would be wise for cabinet members to also solicit help from independent sources like the business sector and aid agencies.
It's time for everyone to pitch in so the cabinet can deliver.
(Readers can post their views or comments at [email protected])