By Prakash Silwal
KATHMANDU, March 6: The draft approach paper of the 15th plan along with the long-term vision prepared by the National Planning Commission (NPC) envisions graduating the country to the status of a rich nation by 2099 BS (2043 AD).
NPC has prepared the five-year plan with the long-term vision of 25 years to materialize the national goal of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ set by the government. The plan will remain under implementation from fiscal year 2019/2020 to fiscal year 2023/2024.
The NPC has presented the draft plan to the stakeholders today for their feedback.
It is stated in the plan that the per capita income of the country would be increased to 12,500 US Dollars by the year 2044 AD. The per capita income at present is 1004 US Dollars while the GDP is Rs 3 trillion 7 billion. Of the total population of the country, 21.6 per cent is under the poverty line.
The human development index of State-2, Karnali State and the Sudur Paschim (Far-west) State is low in comparison to that of other States. The governing Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had declared in its election manifesto that Nepal would be graduated to the status of a rich country by 2043.
GOAL OF INITIATING TRANSFORMATIVE PROJECT
The concept of sector-wise planning has been aligned with the draft of the approach paper and brought for consultation after holding discussions at the level of Prime Minister, ministers, related ministries, the States, local level, private, community and intellectuals. The approach paper has set the vision, goals and strategy in six thematic sectors including economic (industry, commerce, supply and tourism), infrastructure, agriculture and natural resource management, social sector, democracy and good-governance and cross-cutting issues.
The 15th plan has set the goal of completing the ongoing 17 national pride projects.
It has also named the Pashupati Area Development Trust, the President Chure Tarai-Madhes Conservation and the Railway and Metro Development Project as the projects of national pride.
It also envisions starting the Budhigandaki Hydroelectricity Project and the West Seti Hydroelectricity Project as the national pride projects within the plan period.
The approach paper has proposed for thematic thought, goal and policy. The goal of beginning the transformative projects by establishing National Planning Bank of the Commission has also been included in the approach paper.
The approach paper has incorporated the strategy of guaranteeing rapid, long-term and employment-oriented economic growth, quality and accessible health service and education, internal and inter-country connectivity and long-term development, increase in production and productivity, dynamic society, conservation of natural resources and mobilization and development of entrepreneurship.
It has also adopted collaboration among private, community and development partners.
Vice-Chair of NPC, Dr Pushpa Raj Kandel, said that the three different national goals—prosperous economy, social justice and socialism-oriented state have been set.
The NPC will do further homework for 25-year long-term thoughts as it has to brought 15th planning immediately.
NPC Secretary Laxman Acharya said that the planning would become milestone in achieving the goal of prosperity.
Commission’s Joint-Secretary Khem Raj Koirala shared that a discussion was held among the participants after presenting approach paper on economic sectors envisioning the implementation of constitution, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and double digit economic growth of the country.
SUGGESTION TO BRING BALANCED AND PRACTICAL PLANS
Participating in the consultation are the members of the federal parliament lawmakers, former ministers, human rights activists and representatives from various organizations.
Participants had raised questions on how to implement new plans and programs in the context of lack of implementation of budget and planning.
Lawmaker Top Bahadur Rayamajhi commented that this approach paper which had planned in traditional model and style, could not determine the base for the balanced and sustainable development.
Another lawmaker Gaurishankar Chaudhary demanded to devise a clear plan aimed at reducing poverty in State 2.
Similarly, Ganesh Pahadi suggested to address the issues relating to the untimely completion of the projects in lack of preparations and coordination among the ministries.
Dalit NGO Federation President Bhakta Bahadur Biswakarma recommended to introduce plans and programs that would secure the welfare of the Dalits below the poverty line in the country. “Their inclusiveness and equity should be taken into account,” he said.
Nepal Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Kamalesh Kumar Mandal viewed that the foreign investors were discouraged to invest in Nepal due to the new taxation system in the country which was launched to make it more progress.
Likewise, Community Forest User Group National Federation President Bharati Pathak argued that the Chure forest conservation plan would not come to fruition by displacing the human-less human settlements in the Chure Area.
The Commission will consider amendment in the Draft after holding six thematic discussions and presentation.
Nepal first introduced five-year plan in 2056 to outline a practical program for economic and social development in the country. During this period, nine Five-Year Plan and five Three-Year Mid-Term Plans were implemented.