Skeletons in the Cabinet
Coalition politics brings out the best in a democracy. The five-party anti-Oli alliance has been in grabberment for less than a month and it already has a three-member Cabinet. That is quite an achievement, and confirmation that Prime Minister Dubya adheres strongly to the Common Minimum Program by having the minimum number of ministers.
However, Parkinson’s Law will sooner or later manifest itself and the Cabinet’s workload will expand to fill the time allotted to it. How will the wealth ever get spread around with such a small Cabinet? The PM will have to be prepared to expand his Cabinet for stability and prosperity (of ministers).
With five parties in the governing coalition, including a disgruntled faction, it will be a challenge to ensure a division (if not multiplication) of the spoils. It will not have only three full ministers, one minister of state, and a couple of others lying in state.
It is a shame that for a country with so much potential and kinetic energy, the government is so critically understaffed. GONe has to be an equal opportunity employer that believes in levelling the playing field by giving every citizen a chance to hit the jackpot.
The PM needs to be more decisive to immediately deploy an army of ministers, not just the pathetic squad he has right now. It is a skeleton Cabinet with skeletons in its closet.
We also need more ministers because that will kick-start the economy after the pandemic slowdown, and have an immediate downstream impact on the labour market. A larger council of ministers will have a multiplier effect by unleashing Nepal by creating more jobs in the civil service, manufacturing, and the service industry.
Every new minister will need a 15-member security detail, personal assistant, valet, peons, cook, driver, chamchas, power brokers, gundas, extortionists, and wives. Every new member of the Cabinet will also be transacting with quarry contractors, sand mining mafia, and medical school tycoons. Besides jobs, each minister will also need a new SUV, half a dozen pickups for bodyguards, a new sofa set with mini bar and attached bathroom, towels to drape on their chairs, and a large closet to store skeletons in.
That is just one minister. With the constitutionally-mandated size of the Cabinet, multiply all that by 25 and imagine the effect on the economy. It will create thousands of new jobs, and increase Nepal’s per capita GDP so we can attain middle-income status ahead of schedule.
Having been PM five times previously, Dubya has plenty of experience with splitting ministries to appease coalition partners. For example, the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Tourism and Culture can be divided into The Ministry of Civil, Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and Nepotism, and the Ministry of Vermiculture.
The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens can also be split into the Ministry of Married Women, Ministry of Unmarried Women, Ministry of Singleforeverwomen, Ministry of Teenagers, the Adolescent Ministry, Ministry of Infants and Babies and the Ministry of Wild Asses.