Nepali Times Asian Paints
ARTHA BEED
Economic Sense
What’s in store?


ARTHA BEED


We began 2004 with a government that had stopped functioning, an economy that had started crumbling and a population that was in deep depression. There was an omnipresent desire for peace.
A year later, nothing has improved. Economic growth and the revenue indicators are stagnant. So, in a sense, the good news is that things haven't grown much worse than they were in January 2004.

We have a new government that has nothing new to offer, we have two armies eyeball-to-eyeball who seem perfectly happy with the status quo as the business of war seems to be more lucrative than the business of peace. The political parties, of course have lost more than they had at the beginning of 2004.

In 2005, remittances from the increasing numbers of the overseas Nepali labour force will continue to lubricate the $6 billion economy. Donors will continue to pour in more money as funding a conflict-ridden country is both fashionable and moral. We will surely see a slew of more conflict management workshops and junkets to former conflict zones for our activists and experts. The business community will wake up to the WTO, too late as usual. They will try to find novel methods of protectionism while still getting away from not paying taxes or loans.

If the ready made garment industry is the trailer of the movie screening next year, other exporters better watch out. No one knows what is in store in a world where trade regimes have become more liberal. The government will have to enact more ordinances even if it is to bring domestic legislation in line with global rules.

The service sector better be prepared for foreign competition. Watch out: consultancies and travel agencies. State-owned enterprises will keep haemorrhaging the government. There will be no capital injection, better management or privatisation. The way successive governments handled Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to bring it to the brink of bankruptcy proves the noble intent of the people in power.

By the end of 2005, NOC will stand for No Oil Corporation. The Nepal Electricity Authority will continue to run up huge losses as it ponders new ways not be chased out of the Upper Karnali or how to manage contractor compensation payouts. Private telecom operators will still be struggling to get a dial tone because, surprise surprise, the private sector is as incompetent as the government.

Trading will continue to prosper as more retail shops open up in our booming shutternomics. With more bandas and blockades there will be ever more opportunities for hoarding and more profits. And our own media will ensure that the rumour mills are churning so that no one even has to call a banda anymore, just the rumour of one will be enough.

Donors will push banks towards the financial sector reform and lean on them to draw daggers at wilful defaulters. Perhaps this will be the only sector that will end in a different note than in 2004.

The Beed will of course continue to write in this space every fortnight through 2005. Hardcore fans can read it in hardcopy, follow it on the Nepali Times website (www.nepalitimes.com) or on yours truly's very own www.arthabeed.com. Comments and reax welcome.

e began 2004 with a government that had stopped functioning, an economy that had started crumbling and a population that was in deep depression. There was an omnipresent desire for peace.

A year later, nothing has improved. Economic growth and the revenue indicators are stagnant. So, in a sense, the good news is that things haven't grown much worse than they were in January 2004.

We have a new government that has nothing new to offer, we have two armies eyeball-to-eyeball who seem perfectly happy with the status quo as the business of war seems to be more lucrative than the business of peace. The political parties, of course have lost more than they had at the beginning of 2004.

In 2005, remittances from the increasing numbers of the overseas Nepali labour force will continue to lubricate the $6 billion economy. Donors will continue to pour in more money as funding a conflict-ridden country is both fashionable and moral. We will surely see a slew of more conflict management workshops and junkets to former conflict zones for our activists and experts. The business community will wake up to the WTO, too late as usual. They will try to find novel methods of protectionism while still getting away from not paying taxes or loans.

If the ready made garment industry is the trailer of the movie screening next year, other exporters better watch out. No one knows what is in store in a world where trade regimes have become more liberal. The government will have to enact more ordinances even if it is to bring domestic legislation in line with global rules.

The service sector better be prepared for foreign competition. Watch out: consultancies and travel agencies. State-owned enterprises will keep haemorrhaging the government. There will be no capital injection, better management or privatisation. The way successive governments handled Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to bring it to the brink of bankruptcy proves the noble intent of the people in power.

By the end of 2005, NOC will stand for No Oil Corporation. The Nepal Electricity Authority will continue to run up huge losses as it ponders new ways not be chased out of the Upper Karnali or how to manage contractor compensation payouts. Private telecom operators will still be struggling to get a dial tone because, surprise surprise, the private sector is as incompetent as the government.

Trading will continue to prosper as more retail shops open up in our booming shutternomics. With more bandas and blockades there will be ever more opportunities for hoarding and more profits. And our own media will ensure that the rumour mills are churning so that no one even has to call a banda anymore, just the rumour of one will be enough.

Donors will push banks towards the financial sector reform and lean on them to draw daggers at wilful defaulters. Perhaps this will be the only sector that will end in a different note than in 2004.

The Beed will of course continue to write in this space every fortnight through 2005. Hardcore fans can read it in hardcopy, follow it on the Nepali Times website (www.nepalitimes.com) or on yours truly's very own www.arthabeed.com. Comments and reax welcome.


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


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