Sharma has had to hit the ground running, getting straight into helping out with the government's policies and programs and in the budgetary exercise. Sharma says he wants to make the NPC much more effective in planning Nepal's development, so that the government takes its policies seriously. He is especially interested in the economic viability and the demarcation of future federal units.
"In a federal state, we want to make clear the responsibilities of the National Planning Commission and the federal government," he says. Sharma has a PhD in urban and regional development from Cornell University and is a professor at Tribhuban University. He has taught and researched subjects like geography, national population, non-agricultural employment, tourism and urbanisation.
Even though Dr Harka Gurung has already introduced the concept of regional development in the fourth national plan, he believes that it cannot deliver the expected results because of a lack of proper implementation. If the fourth national plan had been implemented properly, he says, the interdependence between the Tarai and Hills would have increased thus defusing tensions. He sees the NPC's mission as preventing only the clever and powerful from benefiting from development. He says: "It's not distributing poverty that brings development but distributing prosperity. And to do so, the plan itself must be rich in ideas."