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One Year Of Oli Administration

Issue February 2019

One Year Of Oli Administration

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Oli had done a lot of things in one year but not in the interest of the people. He had repressed the local folks in Kirtipur, Chovar, and Sundhara in Kathmandu bullying them to build what the locals did not like. He revived Prithvi Narayan Shah dead for more than 250 years only to repress the living folks today. He has been the most successful person to provide the common folks with disinformation about all the corruption cases and the development activities. And corrupt people have been encouraged contrary to the belief that the corrupt folks would be terrified. He has certainly failed in retrieving the billions of Nepalese rupees the Auditor General’s report has said to retrieve; that money were either irregularly spent or spent without following the laws. Never mind, this is the government of two-thirds majority.


On January 11, 2019, Prime Minister KP Oli took his President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah at the gate to the Singhdurbar in Kathmandu, and saluted the Prithvi dead for more than 250 years but Mr. Oli revived him to show that he would be not less powerful than Prithvi and could probably do what Prithvi had done.


At the same time on the same day, Mr. Oli sent not only his police but also the army to stop the Kirtipurians from doing what they had been doing annually for enturies to spit in the stone popularly know as the scar of smallpox stone to remind Prithvi Narayan Shah cutting off noses and ears of their ancestors for resisting the Prithvi’s assaults on them.


If Mr. Oli were the prime minister of all Nepalis he probably would have never taken such the most distasteful action, and he would protect the locals from such assaults even from the dead Prithvi apologizing the locals for what the atrocities Prithvi had inflicted on them, and assuring them of not repeating such things in the future. Instead what Mr. Oli did was he went to garland the statue of Prithvi calling him the unifier?


The lawmaker representing the folks including the Kirtipurians did not show up to protect his voters even though his house is next door. His name is Krishna Gopal Shrestha. Probably, he must have shut the windows not to see the army and the police confronting the locals at the stone with the scar of smallpox. Is it not only the shame on Mr. Shrestha but also on all the lawmakers that could not properly represent their constituents at the time of need? Would Mr. Shrestha get the votes in the next general elections?


Thus, Mr. Oli has been tending to be the modern Jung Bahadur: the most notoriously powerful man that had not only killed other courtiers but also his own maternal uncle only to usurp the power from the most inept Shah king of that time. However, Mr. Oli needed to understand that Jung Bahadur had been the most detestable character in the history of Nepal after Prithvi Narayan Shah whom Mr. Oli so revered for what Mr. Oli only could know, certainly not for doing anything good for the people after subjugating the entire people. Probably, Mr. Oli simply wants to follow Prithvi to do the same. Who knows?


The next great achievement Mr. Oli had done was laying the foundation stone of the dry port in Chovar, which Mr. Oli mentioned in his address to the nation done on February 14, 2019. Mr. Oli proudly said that the railways from the south and north would bring the goods to this port. Surely, those railroads would bring the goods if those railroads were to build and the dry port, too.


Mr. Oli had not been even able to complete the Melamchi Drinking Water project the previous governments had already completed more than 90 percent work on it. Could anybody believe Mr. Oli who could not complete the less than 10 percent of the work on the Melamchi River and could not bring water to Kathmandu, would really build the dry port?


The Melamchi Drinking Water project had been suspended for the indefinite period. That is for sure. So, nobody knows when the work on this project would restart. If the media reports are correct the Oli administration has been either talking to the fugitive Italian contractor or annulling the contract or searching for new contractors or the Oil administration itself is restarting the work on the Melamchi project depending on, which newspaper anybody reads.


Nobody knows when the water will flow from the Melamchi River to Kathmandu even after spending billions of rupees and digging almost all the roads in Kathmandu causing tremendous pollution and making the people sick, and making Nepalis heavily in debt because the project has been going on with the loan from Asian Development Bank.


The third noticeable thing Mr. Oli did was laying the foundation stone for constructing a view tower at Sundhara bullying the local people’s voice and disregarding the aesthetic situation of the area. Leaving the remains of the old tower the earthquakes of 2015 had tore down intact, and using the most culturally valuable area of the part of the ancient area of Kathmandu, Mr. Oli was determined to build a new modern taller tower not listening to the locals. That is what the power of the two-thirds majority Mr. Oli demonstrates.


What Mr. Oli could do but he did not.


The next great thing the Oli administration has been doing is probably trying to cover up or ignoring the irregularities in the so-called purchase of two wide-body planes for the National Airlines Corporation even after it has been proved that in fact those planes are taken on lease rather than purchasing them. Anybody could go to and find the video the Youth Aroma had posted on to understand whether the planes were purchased or the planes were leased from Hi Fly X company. The man in the video questioned how each plane costing NPR 26 billion could be purchased both for only NPR 24 billion. Whether Mr. Oli pretends he does not know it or does not understand it otherwise he would have taken immediate actions against the defaulters.


The Auditor General’s 55th annual report has stated that more than NPR 500 billion spent irregularities so far. In the fiscal year 2017 alone, the irregularity figure has been more than NPR 100 billion. The Oli administration could force the folks spending the taxpayers’ money irregularly to pay back to the State. However, the widely known corruption has been the way of life for all the politicians and most of the bureaucrats in the high places; however, the Oli administration had been mute on this matter except for Oli endlessly talking about the zero tolerance of corruption. Probably, if Mr. Oli were to hit the corruption then it might be just hitting on his own knee. Is it not one of the great achievements of the Oli administration in a year?


The news posted on on February 9, 2019 stated that the study the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had done identified fourteen public offices that did not provide services without bribe. What Mr. Oli had to say about it nothing so far? This is the vivid example of his zero tolerance of corruption. However, Mr. Oli had not stopped parroting his zero tolerance of corruption. He even went on saying that he would not involve in corruption not allow others to involve in, too. Obviously, it has not happened even after one year of Mr. Oli in office.


Singer Pashupati Sharma sang a heavily loaded sarcastic song titled “loot na sa-kay loot kancha” means loot as much you can Kancha, you don’t find this freedom in other countries only in Nepal. Mr. Oli needed to appreciate this sarcastic song and take the message gladly what the singer wanted to given him. The rule of law is what the folks want not the rule of the Yamraj (Lord of death in the Hindu world) in the heaven-like country. This song indicates how far the folks have been disgusted with the speeches of Mr. Oli nothing more. The song is posted on for an easy access of all folks to it.


Mr. Oli could use his two-thirds majority power to retrieve the money reportedly some Nepalis had parked at Swiss Bank. An attention of Mr. Oli has not been drawn to such a serious matter so far.


Mr. Oli needs to comprehend that his slogan: “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali” would really be true if he were to decease the widespread prevailing corruption among the politicians and most of the bureaucrats just by 10 percent every year for the five years of his term. Mr. Oli’s name would be written in the golden letters in the history of Nepal if he could shed some sweat to achieve this meager 10 percent target of reducing the endemic corruption every year.


Ironically, the corruption has not been reduced but even increased during the one year Mr. Oli in office. Probably, his name would be as dark as of Prithvi if Mr. Oli were to blindly follow Prithvi: his hero of the 18th century knowingly or unknowingly rather than making right decisions in the 21st century, and then letting the corruption becoming the way of life for the politicians and bureaucrats.


Mr. Oli could expedite the fast track highway from Kathmandu to Terai. Such a highway could make a huge contribution to the fast economic growth and to his dream of “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali”. Probably, such a good idea has not clicked his mind or brain so far for unknown reasons.


Another important thing Mr. Oli could do but he has not done so far is the construction of an international airport at Nizgad in the flat land in the south. This airport alone could make the fast economic growth possible. This airport could contribute to bring a large number of tourists that Mr. Oli has dreamed of bringing.


If Mr. Oli could not push the Nizgad airport project to build in the near future then he could at least upgrade the international airport in Kathmandu to cope with the growing air traffic if he is serious enough about his slogan of “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali.” If it is only a joke then never mind those infrastructures.


Probably, Mr. Oli could have better done the job of laying the foundation stone for building the railroads along the east-west highway in the southern flat land for easy transport of goods and the people, too. However, Mr. Oli said in his address to nation that the work had been going on this project.


Such railways would contribute to the fast economic growth to help his dream of “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali” come true. His economic growth claim of 6.7 percent per six months as stated in one of his recent speeches would never make “Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali” possible.


Mr. Oli must have read or heard the news about farmers bulldozing their vegetable crops in Terai because they could not sell the crops in Kathmandu and in other areas, too. Where is the finance minister or minister for supplies or the prime minister himself who have been shouldering to assist the farmers to grow more foods to make the country self-sufficient in at least vegetables to respond such grave and serious matter?


The country has been importing food grains, onions and potatoes and what not but the concerned ministers not to mention the responsible State agencies did not respond to the woes of the farmers that could not sell their products. Similar problems would crop up in the poultry sector soon.


The trade deficit has been alarmingly high and growing every year. Why Mr. Oli did not act in response to the farmers that have been working hard and risking their labor and capital only to produce the crops that could not be sold in the market? Their products could offset the huge trade deficit to some extent no matter how small it might be.


Our youths working in the Middle East or the East Asian countries have been supporting the trade deficit; however, upon return at the airport they have been facing the problem of taking their personal effects home. Recently, the Oli administration has been harassing the returnees at the international airport in Kathmandu confiscating a few extra items they have brought for the family use instead of awarding them for earning so much of foreign currencies for the country.


Physical Achievements


If anybody were to read or listen to the Mr. Oli’s address to nation delivered on February 14, 2019 s/he would hardly find any hard figures on the physical achievements except for the few hundreds of roads constructed, paved or repaired and a few hundred suspension bridges.


These figures are hard to believe because most of the construction work is done at the last quarter of every fiscal year when the monsoon rains became the daily events.


Hundreds if not thousands of development projects are done a little or half done or only partially done or even not done at all. Mr. Oli did not like to talk about them, never mind. However, he repeatedly talked about the waterways and water transport asking folks even to buy tickets for travel on boats making himself a laughingstock.


The recent news has it that most of the development projects take at least twice the project schedule. The Kulekhani fourth was supposed to complete soon but it has been rescheduled and would be completed next year or so. So many hydropower plants are supposed to be completed soon but none of them has been completed so far causing to import hundreds of megawatts of power from India causing the trade deficit even more.


One thing Mr. Oli has skipped in his address to the nation is what percent of the capital budget allocated to various development projects has been used. Mr. Oli must have been shy to state because it might be too small for him to state boldly. One source has stated that it is just 22 percent for the six months of the current fiscal year. However, Mr. Oli must be aiming at this budget to spend in the last quarter of the fiscal year when the monsoon rains would be helping him to expedite the construction work done everywhere. The province three has succeeded to spend six percent of the capital budget thanks to Mr. Oli’s lackluster attitude of empowering the provincial governments.


Mr. Oli has been probably attempting at making the mockery of federalism. The Oli administration is trying to make the Chief District Officer (CDO) more powerful than the provincial governors or the chief ministers. One of the leaders of Mr. Oli’s party: Janardan Sharma came out strongly at the House of Representatives and in the media stating he strongly opposed making CDOs so powerful.


What Oli did for his party?


Prime Minister Oli made the Prime Minister Employment Program public on February 13, 2019, the news in “gorkhapatra” stated on February 14, 2019. Following this program, the Oli administration would pay 50 percent of the basic salary as the subsistent allowance for 100 days as an unemployment benefit to one of the family members living under the poverty line not anybody of the family having any job in country or abroad for a year.


This amount would be sufficient surely for having one meal a day for a year if anybody managed to get a meal at less than the market price, as the minimum wage is set at NPR 517; half of it per day for 100 days would be just NPR 25,850 whereas a single meal cost NPR 100. If a person eats two meals a day means s/he needs at least NPR 200 a day means s/he needs at least NPR 200x365 days= NPR 73,000 (US$ 730) per year.


This tool Mr. Oli or his advisors must have prepared for in view of the general elections when they might need to pay cadres to keep them working and might be even others that might be the potential voters for their party. Is it not a good election strategy rather than keeping the unemployed people alive?


Mr. Oli could increase the allowances to senior citizens but he did not on the advice of his least competent financial minister. However, Mr. Oli has prepared to provide an unemployment benefits to. However, Oli might double the allowances to senior citizens just in time of the general elections.


Keeping the election campaign pledges


The Oli administration had already set up the office of the water transport, as the State media reported that Mr. Oli opened it up on February 14, 2019. Mr. Oli’s pet project has been the water transport. He wants to see Nepalis travel on boat. That was his election campaign pledge. He wanted to keep it.


He had other election campaign pledges such as increasing the allowance for the senior citizens to NPR 5,000, and increasing the income per capita. He has done nothing to keep those campaign pledges even though he could do so. Probably, Mr. Oli had the habit of doing impossible things first and then the rest of other easy ones.


What about the income per capita his party election manifesto had pledged to increase fantastically? Mr. Oli did not want to remember it because probably, he knew it, it could not happen in his lifetime then what was the use of talking about it not even worth to make joke about it. That was only the election pledge it could be easily forgettable for his party.


Foreign policy


One of the chairmen of his party and the central committee of his party in his presence opposed the external interference in Venezuela. However, when he held a meeting with the envoy of the United States of America, he told the envoy it was surely the slip of the tongue of his colleague it could happen in America, as the president said that Nepal was a part of India. What an American president is he even did not know Nepal is an independent country throughout its history unlike America and even India.




Mr. Oli made many jokes in his address to the nation rather than making any serious commitments to the fast socio-economic development. So, as already mentioned he could not say anything about the capital budget his administration has used during the last six months of the current fiscal year. It is one of the main indicators of the Oli’s performances as a prime minister but he did not want to show it off because it would be shameful to a person like Mr. Oli who actual wants to boast only.


Mr. Oli also did not say anything about the purchase of a bulletproof car, and a helicopter for the use of the president at the cost of billions of rupees. Mr. Oli did not mention it in his address to nation because it also might be shameful to any person with the sense of humor and dignity to dwell in such a trifle matter.


Mr. Oli in his address to nation has said that the investment friendly environment has been created in the country for anybody to invest in. However, the report on the ‘Status of Corruption and Good Governance in Nepal, 2019’ the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) stated that political leaders, high-level government officials, and advisors to ministers work in collusion with each other to make a policy decision in their favor and for the benefits of a handful of persons, the news on has it. Is it the investment friendly environment?


However, the common folks would evaluate the performances of Mr. Oli not only of one year but also of all the years of his term in office and then deicide whether to vote him in or out in the next elections. Probably, majority of the voters in the Kathmandu Valley would stay out of Mr. Oli and his party giving a chance once again either to the Nepali Congress or some other promising political parties. That is surely a prediction only, of course.


February 17, 2019

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