Nepal will have a new leftist government in the month of February. But the outgoing PM Deuba is jumping on the bandwagon of populism, passing controversial policies and making decisions which are not democratic. Nepalis are haplessly witnessing Deubanomics: a so-called democratic party is making sure that the new government will inherit an unstable state economy. If political instability is seeming to be a thing of past in Nepal, economic uncertainty seems to be the new political card for Nepali politicians.
The controversial decision by Deuba on pension age is baffling. One can be 65 and receive old age allowance. Deuba didn’t decide to do it out of love for people, but, the Congress party simply wanted to make sure that the new Leftist government would hit the ax on its own legs. Is this even a democratic spirit? There’re voices among the public that post-Girija Prasad Koirala, Nepali Congress (NC) is suffering from a leadership crisis. More than that the recent polls proved that NC lacks a working ideology too. Hence, they have sought for the populism card, which the Leftist Coalition had used it effectively in the recently completed elections. Are we witnessing a new wave of populism in Nepal? Nepalis are skeptical whether the new government will be able to handle the mess created by NC or not.
A caretaker government shouldn’t make policies, which, will be overturned by the new govt. The impulsive decision made by the NC will not only put a burden on Nepal’s economy, it might rob the faith and hope of Nepalis too. This is purely political tactics by the NC knowing that CPN-UML and Maoist-Center resort to the populism card. It will be interesting to see as how the Leftist govt reacts in coming days.
K.P. Oli seems to fare well in terms of populist agenda but his recent mark about ‘underground money’ is surprising. There’s fear that ‘black money’ will increase under the Leftist govt. Olinomics might fail if Oli goes ahead without consulting with former NRB chief Yubaraj Khatiwada. If Nepal government, either present or upcoming, continues to juggle the populism card, then the talk about the nation developing economically will only remain in papers. It won’t be a surprise if Nepal becomes the next Greece or Venezuela. Nepali banks are under serious pressure and federalism will be expensive. Is Nepal’s economy falling apart?