News / Economy

Nepal’s Political Crisis Paralyzes Economy

Nepal’s Political Crisis Paralyzes Economyi
X
July 01, 2013 4:21 PM
Five years after Nepal abolished the monarchy and become a democratic republic, the Himalayan country remains at the center of a political crisis, with elections now postponed to November. VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from Kathmandu on how the political instability has affected Nepal's economy and people's faith in the country's future.
Aru Pande
Five years after Nepal abolished the monarchy and become a democratic republic, the Himalayan country remains at the center of a political crisis, with elections now postponed to November.  The political instability has affected Nepal's economy and people's faith in the country's future.
  
It’s nearly 5 p.m. and Sunil Lamichhane has yet to make a sale at his new clothing store in downtown Kathmandu. The retailer says Nepal’s political turmoil and its effect on the local economy means less money in people’s pockets for a new shirt or shoes.

“It has directly affected our fashion store. Because fashion comes in third, in terms of priorities, after food and shelter,” he said.

Since the end of the 10-year Maoist insurgency in 2006, the inclusion of the former rebels in the government in 2007 and the abolishment of the monarchy in 2008 - Nepal has been hit with one political crisis after another.

The country has been without a parliament for more than a year, after major political parties missed yet another deadline to write a constitution and reach a consensus on the structure of the government.

The political paralysis has not only hit day-to-day life in Nepal, it’s also deeply affected people’s confidence in their government. A recent poll found that if Constituent Assembly elections were to be held tomorrow, more than 50 percent of the people would not know who to vote for.

Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit said although it may be optimistic to think that a country can go from civil war to peace and monarchy to republic in a few years without any problems, political leaders have squandered key opportunities to define a new state structure that would lead to stability, development and economic growth.

“Directly in the domestic economy, the fact that politicians cannot agree has led to the third year in a row where we haven’t had a full budget, which has an impact on everything, on infrastructure, on salaries, on long term projects,” he said.

He said the only reason Nepal’s economy has not collapsed was because of the more than $4 billion in remittances sent home by Nepalis working abroad - roughly 22 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Deepak Pandey is one of Nepal’s young people who are now considering leaving the country for work.

Frequent strikes called by political parties have made it harder for students to attend classes at his institute.  He said many have a difficult time finding a job in Nepal once they finish their education.

“The youth are not feeling secure inside the country due to this instability. They feel like there is no point in even working hard,” he said.

For now, he and other Nepalis look to the November 19 election of a new 491-member Constituent Assembly in the hope that political parties can put aside their differences, come up with a constitution and put the future of their country first.

It’s a hope also shared by neighboring economic giants India and China, who fear any instability in the former Himalayan kingdom could spill over the border.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7878
JPY
USD
106.98
GBP
USD
0.6230
CAD
USD
1.1220
INR
USD
61.226

Rates may not be current.