Incoming foreign tourist numbers in Nepal may remain suppressed for the earlier half of the decade as potential tourists can be expected to be less confident in traveling overseas destinations as Nepal in where the ability and effectiveness of the government to ensure tourist safety and handle crisis situations is uncertain. Given that, international tourism is likely to face significant disruption, and therefore the Nepalese tourism industry may again have to depend on domestic tourism to prevent the industry from hard landing.Continue reading
Following the need to abide by the social-distancing measures in public zones, travelling via air will not be the same after the pandemic. The new standard of hygiene and sanitation to be maintained among the passengers in aircrafts is likely to significantly shrink the global supply of airline seats in comparison to that of the pre-pandemic era. Because, airlines will have to seat passengers such that they are at a safe distance apart, and therefore, will have to operate their airplanes below full capacity. International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects airlines to operate at nearly 40 percent lower capacity if the middle seats have to be eliminated. Meanwhile, the price of airfare is also likely to hike substantially whilst markets correct to the new equilibrium. IATA, for instance, expects airfares to soar by 54 percent for travellers in Asia-Pacific region. As a result, the repercussion is likely to be felt heavily in the tourism sector in years to come.Continue reading
Covid-19 at its apotheosis has certainly put the world into a dire strait. It has drawn the global society into an acrimonious situation with significant disruption seen on the governance, economy, and personal lives. And, it can be well presumed that the repercussions of the pandemic will be felt around the world in wide spectrum of areas in times to come. The post-traumatic distress is likely to remain vivid among the societies, civil organizations, and governments at least until the rest of the decade. In the meantime, the Covid-19 is likely to dominate the concerns of mass-media and general conversations alike.Continue reading
It is highly imperative that the identified measures to counter the outbreak of the Covid-19 should effectively occur at the community level. Effecting identified control measures as recording the movement and activity of people with recent international travel history, inspecting health condition of the returned migrants and their families, enforcing proper self-quarantine of individuals and households under suspicion, and testing individuals showing certain symptoms at community level is especially significant while the country is still at the early stages of contagion. As such, containing the contagion by taking actions at community level whilst the local transmission is still deemed exemption should be a priority in order to avoid further spread of the contagion.Continue reading
Provided above is the composite picture of the pieces of info-graphs retrieved from Starting a Business section of Doing Business Report 2016 published by the World Bank Group. The picture attempts to convey that Nepal remains as the only country all over Asia that urges entrepreneurs to employ third party legal agent (i.e., the most expensive procedure to start a business) to get their business incorporated.
Technically as per the Companies Act 2006, incorporating a business doesn’t require an entrepreneur to gain authorization by attorney or notarization. The procedure simply expects one to submit the Article of Incorporation and Memorandum of Association along with personal identification documents while paying minimal registration fees. However, the opacity of the law and inefficiencies in the judicial system has made the registration process far too complex for entrepreneurs to navigate through it without securing professional assistance. Hence, World Bank finds it better for entrepreneurs to use professional services by hiring expensive laws as it happened to be the only way for entrepreneurs to save time and be ensured that the process goes smoothly.
Nevertheless, the need to involve third-party professionals only imposes a cost that can be prohibitive to entrepreneurship. Even though such cost of employing third party legal service is not enlisted as a legal charge for incorporating a company, the bureaucratic hurdle present in the system that requires entrepreneurs to take legal assistance implies such cost to be relevant.
Business registration process should be designed in such a way that deems the use of legal services to be unnecessary. Entrepreneurs, especially those starting a small business, should be able to complete the registration process without having to pay exorbitant lawyers’ fees. After all, having to deal with cumber regulation procedure always creates room for bureaucratic corruption and larger informal economy with more unregistered businesses.
Every one of us commuting in public vehicles in the city can recognize the awful experience in travelling by heavily crowded unmaintained buses while being squeezed up among commuters in most uncomfortable ways. The chronic victims are in fact the ones traveling to work on busy commuting hours when this recklessness is at its peak. For such commuters as we know, travelling between home and work has mostly been the area of tension besides work.
In recognizing the tragedy of the commuters, the central government has made a decision to urge the municipalities of Kathmandu Valley to jointly form a company to operate 50 large buses running around the city. And, given our common belief that state is somehow responsible for taking care of our fundamental necessities like proper public transport system, this decision can easily be perceived as virtuous effort. After all, this government commitment to provide better public commutation service to people seems as a move to rescue us from the daily bad commutation experience. However, this common logic doesn’t draw the complete picture for this matter. There are actually relatively unaddressed but severe realities that can lead us to come at more thoughtful conclusions.
In digging deeper down in search of the root cause of the terrible realities of our public transport service, one has to come across the existence of mafia-like transport syndicate. The transport syndicate being formed by influential associations of transport operators has enabled them to dominate the public transport sector in Nepal despite the horrible transportation service they are providing since decades. By preventing the entry of new transport entrepreneurs in the public transport sector by means of coercion and vandalism, the syndicate of public transport associations has heavily protected the limited number of below standard service providers from the mechanism of free competition that guarantees quality service. Meanwhile, their strong political connection and presence in regulatory committee (i.e., Transport Management Committee) that awards permits to new entrepreneurs in this sector has retained their impunity from law despite their illegal attempts to maintain monopoly.
The idea of government running its own bus fleets to put competitive pressure on the syndicate is understandable. But, it may not be the most sustainable solution to the benefit of public vehicle commuters and taxpayers at large. To clarify such contention, one can always refer to the misery of the state-run enterprises in having to hugely rely on state coffer financed by taxpayers to somehow run its inefficient and loss making operations producing below standard services. Though they carry the objective of running in a profit-model concept that expects them of surviving on their own revenue, the state-system instead offers them the facility to encroach on tax payer’s wealth indefinitely as they lose track of profits. And, given the upcoming transport company is to be functioning within the same system and incentive, we can logically expect same fate for this transport based public enterprise too. Alas, state could be only adding another avenue to leech taxpayer’s wealth in name of providing so-called “basic transport service” to the people without considering the financial burden it generates among the very people.
Having said this, utilizing regulatory tools to establish competitive market environment in the public transport sector can instead lead the state to create an effective solution that doesn’t require manipulating taxpayers’ wealth. By neutralizing the condition generated by the syndicate to keep new transport entrepreneurs away from the market, such measure will compel service providers to compete among each other to provide competitive service efficiently to survive in the market on profits. Most importantly, besides preventing taxpayer’s from the burden of financing transport service, it will enable commuters to travel more conveniently with impressive solutions that yield out of continuous innovation through sustained competition.