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Oli Style Of Running Administration

Issue February 2019

Oli Style Of Running Administration

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Whatever we have been seeing the Oli administration has been doing so far since he has taken office makes it clear that Prime Minister KP Oli has been smart enough to ride to the power; however, he probably does not know how to run the administration so that his reign will last at least for the period he is elected to if not forever. Almost everybody including most of his party members and even the lawmakers have been totally dismayed with his performance. The opposition party: Nepali Congress (NC) has launched the street protest against the Oli administration on February 4, 2019; however, NC leaders could have saved energy and resources spent on such things for the future better use. Mr. Oli has not been tired of saying that he has the zero tolerance of corruption; however, he has disastrously failed in taking measures to correct the policies, laws, rules and regulations that promote corruption not to mention implementing the recommendations the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and the Auditor General’s annual report have made to minimize the corruption cases. Economic policy has been nothing more than a failure but the foreign policy has been matured one. However, Mr. Oli has been successful to launch the misinformation campaign at the highest level possible.


The news posted on on February 4, 2019 has the following. Speaking at an event held in Kathmandu on Sunday, February 2, 2019, Standing Committee Member of the ruling CPN and former Home Minister Janardan Sharma said, “The country is moving in an opposite direction.  We cannot accept this.” “The government is not complying with the constitution. I am not trying to criticize the government but should it not bring bills in accordance to the constitution? Should it not integrate employees? How can federalism function if all the rights are concentrated at the center, and the provinces and local bodies are made toothless?” “Why should they keep a CDO (Chief District Officer) above the provincial government?” “We cannot accept this anti-federalist connivance.”


The main opposition party NC has held protest marches across the country on Monday, February 4, 2019. The party held a nationwide demonstration against the government for not investigating the wide-body procurement scam, 33 kg gold smuggling case, and failing to book the perpetrators of rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, the news on stated on February 4, 2019. The news also stated that the media had accused the NC of abandoning to expose the corruption in the purchase of wide-body planes as its President Sher Bahadur Deuba was implicated in the scam; however, its spokesman Bishwa Prakash Sharma said that NC would not remain quiet even if its party president were involved in this case.


How many millions the NC leaders had spent on taking their cadres to the streets with the shinning four-star flags, which alone might cost hundreds of thousands of Nepalese rupees because these flags have to be across the country. It was one time mobilization of cadres spending millions of Nepalese rupees to bring the cadres to the streets. This might be the show of strength no doubt about that. Why NC needs to show such strength when everybody knows it has sufficient strength to win the next general elections if Mr. Oli is to continue to behave as he has been doing today. So, NC leaders need to save their energy and resources to overturn almost the two third majority of CPN at the center and the majority at the six provinces in the next general elections. NC lawmakers needed to keep calm and sober in the parliament, and they needed to understand that how the CPN lawmakers had passed the Medical Education Bill was really the beginning of the end of the CPN reign.


The Oli administration has been successful to force Dr Govinda KC to complete his hunger strike after the 24th day on Friday, February 1, 2019. The main opposition was alarmed by the Oli administration bullying the opposition in the parliament and successfully passing the Medical Education Bill totally ignoring the opposition in the parliament, and Dr KC on the street. NC has been almost sure that it would not able to do anything except for launching the street protests. So, its president Sher Bahadur Deuba went to Dr KC and advised him to end the hunger strike as the Oli administration has been adamant that it would not bow to the demands of Dr KC no matter whether Dr KC dies or not. Dr KC’s hunger strike even his death would not be able to change the Medical Education Bill that did not cover all the elements the agreement Dr KC reached with Prime minister Oli. The Oli administration has also repressed the support for Dr KC weakening the position of Dr KC. NC did not want to make Dr KC a martyr letting him die.


The Oli administration has been doing the things that will not make any results but failed to do the things that will immediately give the results.


For example, the Oli administration is holding the first Nepal Investment Summit on March 29-30, 2019. However, Mr. Oli might have no idea what the result had been the Nepal Investment Summit held in August 2016. About 500 hundreds interested parties and individuals had participated in the summit, and they had made the commitment to invest in Nepal; the amount reached NPR 14 billion but nobody had made any investments following the summit so far.


“The embassy is concerned that holding this forum before real, bold, and tangible reforms are made, both to laws and practices, is premature and risks undermining Nepal’s credibility and investment prospects when investors see the reality on the ground,” said the US embassy spokesperson Andie De Arment, according to the news posted on on February 2, 2019. “The United States wants to see Nepal succeed, and we believe that can best be achieved by real, bold, and tangible reforms in place to woo prospective investors,” she further said. “The US embassy would love to attract a large portion of that to Nepal.  Once reforms are made to law and practice, the Embassy would be pleased to be the loudest champion for a Nepal that is open for business,” the spokesperson further said.


The spokesman for CIAA has told the anchor of the Radio Nepal morning program called “antar-sambad” on February 5, 2019 that there are policy corruption, legal corruption means the polices and laws are so designed that to expose corruption at the high places becomes very difficult; in addition, the rules and the circulars the government has made become so easy to interpret them as the officials want; consequently, the officials at the service delivery offices could turn down the service delivery even all documents are perfect; however, if the same documents are submitted by agents then the officials accept them. The spokesman also said that every year the CIAA submits its annual report and it has made recommendations; some recommendations go on carrying forward for three years or more but except for one case the government has ignored the recommendations that would have curbed corruption in most of the cases.


Similarly, the Auditor General prepares and submits the annual report to the president that in turn sends it to the cabinet for implementation. The report contains many suggestions and recommendations made for taking the immediate actions to recover the money irregularly spent or regularize them following the rules and regulations. The Oli administration could take up such recommendations and recover the money irregularly spent. The amount such recovered might be in billions if the Oli administration were sincere to Mr. Oli’s statement of the zero tolerance of corruption.


“Nepal Airlines has taken delivery of its first wide-body jetliner, an Airbus A330, one of two it will lease from Portuguese lessor Hi Fly,” the news posted on stated on June 28, 2018. It clearly stated that Nepal Airlines has not purchased the airbus but taken on lease.


The news on stated on June 28, 2018, “Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), the national flag carrier, has purchased a wide-body aircraft for the first time. The airbus A330-200 landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) from France on Thursday morning. The airbus having a seat capacity of 274 has 18 business class seats. The airbus with registration number 9N ALY has been named Annapurna.” “The airbus will prove to be a milestone in the tourism industry of the nation,” said General Manager of the Airlines Sugat Ratna Kansakar, the news stated.


The news on stated on July 26, 2018, “The new aircraft bought by the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has landed at Tribhuvan International Airport Thursday morning. The addition of the new aircraft is a part of NAC plan to purchase two Airbus A330-200 series wide-body aircrafts. Earlier, first aircraft purchased by the NAC arrived here on June 28. The NAC in April last year had signed a purchase agreement with the United States-based AAR Corporation to buy the two 274-seater aircraft worth $ 209.6 million.”


“Vrasta-char ko vanda-foor, 52 aarab parne wide-body ja-haj 24 aarab ma kasari kha-rid ga-riyo?” Dipendra Kandel Speech 21:29 minutes, the video with this title is available in the Nepali language the “Youth Aroma” has posted on if anybody wants to watch. The translation of the video title could be as follow “Revelation of corruption, how the wide-body plane that cost 52 billion was purchased at 24 billion?”


Dipendra Kandel an civil aviation expert with one proof or another clearly presented that the A330 plane cost US$ 260 million, and NPR 24 billion paid to Hi Fly was only for taking the two planes on lease. Dipendra Kandel revealed in this video anybody could watch that Hi Fly X bought two A330 planes at the price in between NPR 48 to 52 billion. The question is how two A330 planes could be purchased with NPR 24 billion.


Here in Nepal, the Oli administration has been giving the impression that it has purchased two planes. The news on on December 5, 2018 said, “Speaking at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the parliament on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has urged everyone to not doubt the fact that Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) owns the two Airbus A330 planes it is operating. He urged the lawmakers to not doubt about ownership of the planes after they asked the government’s position about ownership. He revealed that he cross-verified about ownership after questions were raised and found that NAC owned the planes.” “It is clear that the planes that came to Hi Fly X from Airbus have come to NAC,” he reiterated. “Our regulatory authority has issued registration certificate on the basis of that.”


Pradeep Yadav of the Oli government coalition partner: Federal Socialist Forum Nepal had charged some people with removing a leaf from the report the sub-committee on investigating the purchase of wide-body plane had prepared and submitted to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in which mentioned that ministers had been involved in the irregularities in purchasing the planes. Pradeep Yadav was the member of sub-committee.


The economic policy of the Oli administration has been nothing more than a failure. The news titled “Pan-dhraun yeo-jana ko ava-dhara-na ma-thi chhal-fal” on the 17th page of “gorkhapatra” stated on February 5, 2019 that the Planning Commission held discussion with the provincial government and the chiefs of the local governments in Biratnagar on February 4, 2019, and stated that the Planning Commission in its draft of the 15th periodic plan has included the concept of having the target of increasing the current per capita income of US$ 1,012 to US$ 1,500 in 2021 (2078 BS), and to US$ 4,100 in 2030 (2087 BS), to US$ 12,500 after 25 years.


These are very nice figures of the per capita income growth rates the Planning Commission had presented. However, the Planning Commission did not mention at what rates the economic growth should be to achieve these per capita incomes in the coming years whether the current Oli administration could achieve such economic growth rates. The current rate of economic growth at six percent or even less would certainly not allow the Planning Commission to achieve the targets, the economists of the commission surely knew it. Withholding the economic growth rates from the public, the Planning Commission probably wanted to misinform the public on the rosy economic growth.


The Oli administration seemed to be totally confused about the trade, commerce and industrial policy. Apparently under the pressure of the sugar mills, the Oli administration set the quota of importing certain quantities of sugar causing to hold 2,500 tons of sugar the Salt Trading Corporation (STC) imported from India, at the dry port for the last five months.


Chief executive officer of STC said, "We have imported 2,500 tons of sugar worth Rs. 130 million from India for Dashain, Tihar and Chhat festivals of 2018.  But, it got stuck at the port owing to the quota system introduced by the government. The corporation had opened the Letter of Credit (LC) to import the sugar before the cabinet took the decision to impose the quota system,” the news on quoted the official on February 4, 2019. Chief executive officer also said that STC might need to pay the demurrage to the port warehouse, and the price of sugar might go up once the stock of sugar ran out. 


Chief executive officer of STC said that the recent cabinet meeting directed the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies to send a letter to the port official to release the sugar. Spokesman for Ministry of Commerce and Supplies: Nabaraj Dhakal said that the ministry had already sent a letter to the STC and the concerned dry-port official for the release of the sugar, the news on stated.


If Prime Minister Oli were to read the “Artha Bazaar’ supplement to ”gorkhapatra” of February 3, 2019, he would find on the page ‘kha’ that a farmer had bulldozed his cauliflower crop in his farm because he could not sell it either at the farm or at the Kalimati whole sale market in Kathmandu. So, he had no choice but to bulldoze the crop. Then he was worried about how to pay off the loan he had taken from the bank. Why the Oli administration could not help the farmer to sell his products because Mr. Oli had no plans on assisting such farmers and keeping them alive in the volatile market so that both the consumers and the producers would benefit and help to make his slogan: “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali” a reality.


One correct approach of the Oli administration might probably be its stance on not interfering in the internal matters of Venezuela. On January 29, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the following press statement concerning the current political crisis in Venezuela. “The Government of Nepal has been closely following the recent political developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In line with its principled position, Nepal believes that internal political problems of a country need to be resolved within its constitutional parameters in a democratic manner, free from external interferences. The people of Venezuela have the ultimate authority to take a decision on the country’s political and constitutional course. We stand for peace, stability and unity of Venezuela and call for resolution of differences through peaceful means.”


The foreign ministry press statement on Venezuela came out on January 29 after the US Embassy in Nepal from the foreign ministry and the US State Department in America from Nepalese ambassador Arjun Karki sought the official stand on Venezuela after the powerful statement Chairman of CPN Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda showed up in the Nepalese media.


The news on has the following statement of Pushpa Kamal Dahal. CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal issued a press statement on January 25 saying, “Communist Party of Nepal issues this statement in support of the people of Venezuela, the sovereignty of the state and the recognition of democratically elected constitutional President of Nicholas Maduro. Communist Party of Nepal also strongly denounces the US and its allies intervention in the internal affairs of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with the intention of increasing the violence by dividing the people and challenging democracy, sovereignty and peace. It’s a serious challenge to the UN Charter and Principle of peaceful co-existence. Therefore, we call the US and other countries to respect the principle of noninterference, national sovereignty and peaceful co-existence.”


The ruling CPN of Prime Minister Oli and Chairman Dahal also released the statement on the Venezuelan political situation. The party’s secretariat meeting held at the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar on Monday (February 4, 2019) made clear the party’s stance on the American interference in Venezuela, and warned everybody concerned to not have any illusion about the issue and not indulge in misinformation about it, according to spokesperson for CPN Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the news on stated on February 4, 2019.


“Our party is committed to the UN Charter and the principle of Panchasheel (five principles of peaceful co-existence). Our party respects sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of every country,” Shrestha said briefing about the party’s decision. “It believes that there should be no external interference in internal affairs of any country, and any kind of problem in any country must be resolved by the people there in an independent and peaceful manner.”


On January 23, 2019, head of Venezuela's National Assembly Juan Guaido declared himself an interim president, as the constitution allows him to do so temporarily when the president is believed to be illegitimate until he holds new elections. The US and 16 nations of the Organization of American States immediately recognized Guaido as an interim president, later the EU followed the suit. However, the entire African countries, and India remained neutral while China, Russia, Cuba and some other countries including Turkey supported President Nicholas Maduro, who has the backing of the army.


The BBC news on Feb 6, 2019 stated the following. US President Donald Trump said in an interview the use of military force remained "an option". In his State of the Union speech delivered to the Congress on Feb 6, 2019, he reiterated his support for Mr. Guaidó, saying, "We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom."


It won’t be surprising if President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela has said that he recognizes Hillary Clinton as the president of the United States of America, as Donald Trump has been illegally elected with the Russian support, and as Trump also has been trying to destroy the democratic system not only in his own country but also in the entire democratic world supporting the dictators, and saying repeatedly the media is the enemy of the people following such practices of the dictators.


Main opposition Nepali Congress objected to the statements on the Venezuelan crisis the Oli government and his party’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had issued, stating the statements as “insensitive, immature and against national interest,” the news posted on on February 4, 2019 stated.


In a statement President of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba on February 3, 2019, said that the United States has been the Nepal’s dependable and old friend for more than 65 years, and had been the source of an assistance of $500 million to Nepal under the Millennium Challenge Corporation compact program for infrastructure development; against this backdrop, the statements the CPN chairman and the government on political developments in Venezuela had issued supporting the country Nepal did not have any significant relation, were not only immature, but also against the Nepal’s national interest, the news on stated. Thus, NC President Deuba wanted to run the foreign policy based on the amount of foreign assistance Nepal receives or received rather than on the internationally accepted principles of non-interference in the internal matters of other countries.


Speaking at the live television program called “PM with the people” on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Prime Minister Oli said that Chairman of CPN Pushpa Kamal Dahal had really slip of the tongue while talking about the Venezuelan political situation, and Oli conceded that the issue also came up during his meeting with US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry on Tuesday evening, February 5, 2019, the news on stated on February 7, 2019.


Oli pointed out that US President Donald Trump also has slip of the tongue from time to time. “The big ones also slip sometimes. We can see that. Should we not be more hurt if someone says that a small country like ours is a part of another country?” he pointed to the news reports about Trump saying Nepal and Bhutan are part of India during security briefing about South Asia, the news stated.


Answering to the question of reporters in Chitwan, what he would say in response to the comments of Prime Minister Oli on his statement made on the Venezuelan political crisis, Chairman of ruling CPN Pushpa Kamal Dahal said, “I have not watched in what context PM spoke. What one individual says does not have any meaning now that the secretariat meeting also participated by PM himself has already called out American interference in Venezuela and issued a statement condemning that. That was a political statement. It was issued to prevent external interference in political developments of an independent and sovereign country. The Foreign Ministry also later issued a statement in the same spirit,” the news on stated on February 7, 2019.


The US, along with other members of the international community on January 24, 2019 in the statement the embassies of Australia, Germany, Finland, France, Norway, Switzerland, the UK and the US, delegation of the European Union and the UN in Nepal urged the government to make public its plans to take the transitional justice process forward in 2019. In reply to this statement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali in his briefing to the diplomatic community done in Kathmandu on Friday, February 1, 2019 said the ‘internal matter’ of transitional justice would be resolved with Nepal’s commitment and efforts, the news on stated on February 3, 2019.


How dare the international community including the UN to interfere in the internal matters of Nepal? Nepal could ask many questions including not accepting the Syrian refugees to the European countries, and to the US about the deteriorating democracy in the US, and external interference in the US elections and eligibility of the current US president if Nepal wants to interfere in other countries’ affairs.


The western diplomats have not shed their old mindset of preaching others the ethics but not following the same in their countries. What Americans and western Europeans could teach Nepalis to follow the political ethics when their own current politicians did not have any political ethics as they have continued to work against the democratic system in their own countries giving rise to the neo-Nazis both in America and Europe? Let those diplomats trying to urge the Nepalis what to do and what not better try to curb the undemocratic forces rising up in their own countries today threatening the world democratic setup.


In conclusion, the Oli administration seemed to have lost the track of how to run the administration to make the slogan: “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali” for a certainty. Prime Minister Oli making people laugh with a comedian style speech would not make Nepali happy nor Nepal prosperous. That needs firm determination of the Oli administration, and move fast without looking left and right for making money.


February 8, 2019

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