FinMin urges greater focus on economy

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 29, 2015-

Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat has complained that economic issues are being sidelined with the discussions being focused on the delineation of provinces.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the annual general meeting of the Society of Economic Journalists - Nepal (Sejon) on Friday, he criticized the way the new constitution was being approached with an emphasis on rights and little regard for duty.

“There hasn’t been adequate discussions on economic issues and agendas. The new constitution should place the economy at the core,” Mahat said. The new constitution should also allot space for winning investor confidence while ensuring workers’ rights, he said. “While you talk about your rights, it should not impact others’ rights,” Mahat added.

The country’s business associations including the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) have criticized the revised draft of the new constitution for not addressing the concerns of the private sector.

One of the major points irking the private sector with regard to the upcoming constitution is the reference to “right to labour” while there is no mention of the rights of employers. Apart from this, the country’s private sector has also raised reservations over the mention of a socialism-oriented economy in the preamble. During the inauguration, Finance Minister Mahat lauded the development of economic journalism in the country stating that it had grown up and become mature. “Still, no prominence is given to the economic agenda in the media. And this is largely a reflection of the country’s political situation,” Mahat said, urging economic journalists to work more proactively to bring out economic issues more prominently.

Likewise, FNCCI President Pashupati Murarka hailed Sejon’s role in disseminating economic news, views and opinions. “The FNCCI has been working in close coordination with Sejon, and it will continue doing so in the days to come,” Murarka said.

Prateek Pradhan, the founding president of Sejon and press advisor to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, stressed the need to enhance the capabilities of economic journalists and said that Sejon had been established with this motive in mind. “Every journalist should enhance their capabilities to the extent that the government or the private sector will want to consult them before making any crucial decision,” Pradhan said.

Published: 29-08-2015 11:50

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