26 June - 2 July 2015 #764

Give and take

Editorial in Annapurna Post, 25 June

Prime Minister to head Reconstruction Authority

Following the devastation caused by the earthquake in Nepal, the international community and donor agencies have pledged to support reconstruction and rehabilitation. But the government needs to be clear in its policies and programs on rehabilitation to reassure them about transparency and delivery.

Donors have major reservations about the lack of accountability of the government and the widespread corruption. It is not that the donors themselves are a 100 per cent clean since the amount they pledge for Nepal comes from taxpayers, and provided with evidence any dishonesty will and should be investigated.

Unfortunately, the government failed to show necessary diplomatic skills even when inviting heads of delegations from our two neighbours. Why didn’t anyone go to invite the Chinese, when we sent the Finance Minister to invite the Indian Prime Minister? While we may interpret it differently, the question of how China views this lapse remains.

In the midst of all this, there is criticism that the rehabilitation agency to be headed by the Prime Minister is dominated by political expediency. During the donor conference, the government needs to present clear plans and policies, and assure them that they will be implemented transparently with clear lists of expenditures. With the government and political leadership coming under severe criticism time and again about relief delivery, it is imperative that the government explains the reason why the prime minister had to head the new agency.

Calling on the donors doesn’t mean we go begging. No affluent country has become poor by giving and no poor country has become rich by receiving. Nepal should be able to convince the international communities that we are dependable and competent to change and develop our nation and all we are looking for is humanitarian assistance and soft loans.

Read also:

25 June Donor Summit, Om Astha Rai

We need help to rebuild Nepal

Trouble in the rubble, Editorial

How to not reinvent the wheel, Bihari K Shrestha

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