Print Edition - 2018-04-28  |  On Saturday

One thousand dollars!

  • Let us all congratulate our politicians and civil servants for doing all they can to make sure that we, the people remain poor while our thulo mancheys make more in a day from ghoos juice than what our average folks make in a year
- Guffadi
Our politicians need to focus first on the basic stuff rather than talk about so-called national pride projects and what not. We don’t care about ships in our rivers or trains from Lhasa to Lamjung to Lucknow

Apr 28, 2018-Our government tells us that our per capita income has now crossed the US$1,000 mark this year. Should we be happy that we have finally crossed the 1,000 mark or should we be angry that our politicians and civil servants have made this country and its citizens poor by looting us all?

We hear that our Emperor spends ten times more on bideshi whiskey each year. While average Nepalis can barely afford to buy a cup of milk tea each day, our politicians can afford to drink expensive wines and whiskey every night. 

But of course, our Emperor doesn’t need to open his wallet and spend his own money. He will always have byaparis bringing him Blue Labels and boras of cash. It’s funny that the man who promised to fight for the poor now resides in a mansion and enjoys the life of a billionaire. 

It seems that for our politicians, politics is a get-rich-quick scheme. We need someone to remind our chors that there is a difference between public service and self-service. But our Madame President is busy visiting temples rather than telling the juvenile delinquents running our country to get their acts right. And our PM Oli is busy doing what he does best, which is dreaming and asking us to dream with him even if those dreams may never come true. 

Yes, we all need to dream for a better tomorrow but what we need now is a doer instead of a talker. Our politicians need to focus first on the basic stuff rather than talk about so-called national pride projects and what not. We don’t care about ships in our rivers or trains from Lhasa to Lamjung to Lucknow. It’s about time our netas and civil servants focus on what needs to be urgently addressed instead of promising us to send a politician to Mars. 

It’s a shame that our Capital city is dirty, dusty, stinky and without adequate drinking, sewage and even transportation system. Most of us have to buy water from private tanker wallahs and most of it is filthy anyway. Most of us have to buy scooters and bikes because the private buses and micros don’t get to all the neighbourhoods in the city. Our government can’t even clean the Bagmati River and yet it promises to clean up the bureaucracy and the system that continues to drag us down. 

We wanted someone like Jose Mujica but instead we got ourselves a Zuma. Why do our politicians start out fighting the system with courage and not worry about their lives but once they are lucky enough to survive it all then change their colours? We have yet to find a politician who shuns a luxurious lifestyle. It seems that all those years of sacrifice were meant to finally loot us all and enjoy the life of a Maharaja once they get to power!

Our political parties never fail to promise us that we will all be making at least US$ 10,000 per year in a decade and more than 10,000 MW of electricity if they get the majority of the votes.  Well, they have been promising us the same thing for the past three decades. We have seen many political parties heading our government and none of them have done much for this country except to enrich themselves and their cousins and cadres. 

Yes, let us all congratulate our politicians and civil servants for doing all they can to make sure that we, the people remain poor while our thulo mancheys make more in a day from ghoos juice than what our average folks make in a year. 

There is nothing to be happy about when the bideshis tell us that we are one of the poorest countries in the world. How can the most beautiful land on earth with the most hardworking citizens remain poor forever while our civil servants and politicians can afford to buy apartments worth half a million dollars for their kids in New York, Sydney and London?

Many NGOs and INGOs make money by playing the ‘poverty’ card while the directors, consultants and employees of such organisations will continue to be happy as long as our government remains ineffective, inefficient and corrupt. 

We will know that we are moving towards prosperity when our annual growth rate hits at least 10 percent. Our chimekis are the next superpowers of the world. By 2030, they will be ruling the world while we will probably be making a little bit more than what we do today.  We have the potential to attract more than 100 million tourists from Chindia and we have not even achieved 1 percent of our potential yet. 

But that is possible only if our government supports those involved in the tourism sector. But in Nepal, the job of the government is not to encourage businesses to grow and support them with incentives and tax breaks. Instead, our civil servants would rather help businesses evade taxes so that the chiya kharcha will go to the hakim sahebs and our netas instead of our State treasury.

That’s what’s great about this country. Those who seek our votes make all the notes while the voters get nothing but false assurances. You know your country is in a bad shape when a villager in a remote area has to charter a helicopter and pay thousands of US dollars to take his pregnant wife to the city for medical treatment.  He will then have to pay off the loan by selling whatever he has or go to the Middle East.

Our Finance Minister tells us that our state treasury has little cash and we are almost broke but it seems that our government has no plans to take drastic steps to cut down wasteful spending on benefits and perks to our civil servants and politicians. It seems that no one is ashamed to ask for free lunch from the State. It’s time we asked our politicians and civil servants what they can do for this country rather than what this country can do from them. Yes, JFK’s words are still relevant to all of us today.

Guffadi is a grumpy old man who blogs at guffadi.blogspot.com. You may contact him at maguffadi@gmail.com

Published: 28-04-2018 09:13

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