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Editorial: Policies and programs: Mere continuation of tradition

Editorial: Policies and programs: Mere continuation of tradition

The government has presented its policies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year  in parliament. The programs brought by the government are a mere continuation of the previous fiscal year. Some new programs with attractive slogans have also been included. It remains to be seen whether these programs will be implemented and yield desired results. Political parties, however, have done their part—ruling ones have welcomed it, while those in the opposition have said it lacks direction and most of the programs are unimplementable. 

Nepal has not left any stone unturned in formulating policies, programs and plans to make it a developed nation. However, development works are progressing at a snail’s pace while irresponsibility and lack of good governance are rampant. As a result, the issues covered in policies/programs and budgeted projects remain similar for decades. The country cannot move forward this way. Mere continuity of the tradition cannot yield new achievements. 

Programs like achieving agricultural self-sufficiency, completing national pride projects on time, increasing per capita income, building smart cities, creating jobs, boosting exports and constructing railways are featured in policies and programs and budget speech almost every year. These programs do not yield desired results as neither sufficient budgetary allocations are made, nor sufficient homeworks are done before their announcements. The government brings policies and programs with great enthusiasm every year. However, there is no mechanism to gauge the effectiveness of these policies programs. The effectiveness of these policies and programs are neither reviewed, nor agencies and officials responsible for implementing them are held accountable. 

This situation will persist unless a scientific basis is provided for how the programs will be implemented. So rather than focusing on what programs are included, it is more important to identify which ones will actually be implemented and prioritize them accordingly. For effective implementation of the policies and programs, the government needs to be stable. Even with the same prime minister, frequent changes in ministers and policies have been occurring, let alone the uncertainty of which party will ally with whom to topple or form a new government. Political parties need to be aware that development programs cannot deliver desired outcomes in such situations.