Category Archives: Economy

दोश्रो चरणको आर्थिक सुधार तर्फ

सन् २०१५मा  ‘नेपालको संविधान’को घोषणा भए संगै, नेपालमा एकात्मक राज्यव्यवस्थाको अन्त्य भई संघीयता कर्यान्वयन भएको छ । यस २ वर्ष ४ महिना नेपालमा पर्याप्त प्रगतिहरु भएका छन्  र यी सबै मध्ये संविधानको मर्म अनुरुप तीनै तहको निर्वाचन र नयाँ स्थिर सरकारको गठन सबै भन्दा महत्तपूर्ण  हो । मताधिकार पाएका लगभग  ७०% जनताले  निर्वाचनमा भाग लिई स्थानीय, प्रादेशीक र संघीय तहमा आफ्नो जनप्रतिनिधि चुनेका छन् । बितेको एक दशक हेर्ने हो भने सबै भन्दा धेरै राजनैतिक, आर्थिक उतार चडावहरु भए  बावजुत एक वर्ष भित्र तीनै तहको सफल निर्वाचन सम्पन्न  भई  हामी अब राजनैतिक स्थिरता र आर्थिक समृद्धिको बाटो तिर अघि बढ्ने संकेत गरेको भन्ने बुझ्न सक्छौं ।

नेपालको विकास नहुनुमा प्राय हामी राजनीतक अस्थिरता र एकात्मक राज्यव्यवस्था प्रणालीलाई नै दोष  दिने गर्दछौं । पश्चिमी मुलुकहरु हेर्ने हो भने आर्थिक विकासका  लागी राजनीतिक स्थिरता संगै त्यहाँका नीति नियमहरुले उद्यमीहरुलाई के-कस्ता व्यवस्था गरेका छन्  भन्ने कुरा विशेष महत्व राख्दछन्  । केन्द्रिकृत राज्य व्यवस्थाले देशका विभिन्न क्षेत्रमा बसोबास गर्ने मानिसलाई राज्यको सेवा सुविधाको  पहुँच हुन सकेन भनेर नेपालमा नयाँ किसिमको लोकतान्त्रिक शासनविधि सुरु भएको हो । साथै विभिन्न प्रशासनिक कामका लागी राजधानीनै आउनु पर्ने बाध्यकारी व्यवस्थाले जनतालाई थप पिडा थपेको थियो । अत: संघीयताले सम्पूर्ण जनतालाई छिटो, छरितो र चुस्त सेवा प्रदान  गर्न सक्ने भएकाले नेपालमा यो व्यवस्थालाई संविधानले आत्मसाथ गरेको छ ।

नया सरकार बने संगै संघीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्रात्मक शासन व्यवस्था सहितको नेपाल पछिल्लो ७ दशकमा  विभिन्न आरोहका साथ यहाँ सम्म आइपुगिसकेको छ । अगाडी हेर्दा झन् ठुला चुनौतीका पहाडहरु छन् तर अब फर्केर जाने वा स्थिर रहने सवाल छैन । समय गतीशील छ । नेपालका अबका चुनौतीहरुमा संविधानको मर्म अनुरुप संघीयता  कार्यन्वयन, अधिकार सम्पन्न प्रदेश र स्थानीय सरकार, दिगो आर्थिक विकास, भौतिकसंरचनको निर्माण, प्रशासनिक सुगमता, सुशासन, भ्रष्टचार मुक्त समाज,रोजगारी सिर्जना, उद्यमशिलताको विकास आदि हुन ।

अत: आर्थिक समृद्धि र सुखी नेपालको सुनिश्चितता गर्ने काम लोकतान्त्रिक पद्धतीमा जनताद्वारा निर्वाचित जन-प्रतिनिधिहरुको हो । आम जनताका लागी घर घरमा सिंहदरबारको सुनिश्चितता गर्ने काम यिनै जनप्रतिनिधिहरुको हो । उचित नतिजा निकाल्न मनग्य मिहेनत र लगनका साथै उत्तिकै समय र परिश्रम चाहिन्छ । ज्ञान, शिप र कौशलले जस्तो सुकै समस्याको समाधान गर्ने बाटो देखाउঁछ । नेपालले सन् १९९० को दसकमै  आर्थिक उधारीकरणको सुरुवात गरेर पहिलो पुस्ताको आर्थिक सुधारिकरण गरी नेपालले  ८% भन्दा बढी आर्थिक बृद्धिको सूचांक  हाँसिल गरेको उदहारण छ । दोश्रो चरणको आर्थिक सुधारिकरण गरी कम्पनी दर्ता तथा खारेजीमा सहजता र सरलीकरण ,अन्तर विभाग समन्वय, कम्पनी बिघटनका वाध्यकारी व्यवस्था हटाउने , दामासाहीको प्रक्रिया छोटो र सजिलो गर्ने , तथा करार कर्यान्वयनलाई सजिलो र छिटो बनाउन तत्काल कार्य थालनी गर्नु पर्छ । यसका साथै विदेश व्यापारलाई चुस्त दुरुस्त बनाउन बहुआयमिक मालसामान बिल, कम भन्दा कम कागजपत्रको प्रयोग व्यवस्था, एकृकित नाका व्यवस्था, नीतिगत सामन्जस्यता, विद्युतीय तथ्यांकको प्रयोग तथा सूचना आदान प्रदान, प्रविधिको उचित प्रयोग गर्न जरुरि छ । हाल नेपालमा कर भुक्तानी गर्ने प्रक्रिया निकै झन्झटिलो  र समय लाग्ने खालको छ। अत: नेपालले छिटो भन्दा छिटो डिजिटल प्रबिधि अपनाई विद्युतीय मध्यमबाट भुक्तानीको व्यवस्था मिलाउन जरूरी छ ।

हाम्रो सरकारले के कति काम गर्यो भन्ने कुरा अहिले बनेको सरकारको कार्यकाल सकिएपछि ५ वर्षमा थाहा पक्कै हुन्छ तर कुन कुन समयमा के के गर्यो भन्ने पनि महत्वपूर्ण कुरा हो । हामी कहाँ बिगतका उदहारण हेर्ने हो भने  आर्थिक वर्षको अन्त्य तिर या चुनावका  नजिकै, विकास निर्माणका कामहरु तिब्व्र रुपमा अघि बढेको देख्न सक्छौं । सरकार र  ठेकेदारहरुको लापरबाहीका कारण राजस्वको दुरुपयोगले देशलाई झन् दरिद्र बनाएको छ । त्यसैले यस्ता क्रियाकलापले  स्रोत र साधनको उचित प्रयोग नगरी आमजनताले तिरेको करको दुरुपयोग हुदै आएको देखिन्छ । जनताले अब बन्ने जुन सुकै सरकारलाई  निग्रानीमा राखेर उचित मूल्यांकन गर्न पर्छ । सरकारले लिने निणय  आमजनताका दैनकीलाई सजिलो एवं सुलभ बनाउने र  सुशासनलाई आत्मसाथ गर्ने हुन पर्छ । सरकारले जनताका भावनालाई बुझेर नतिजा मुखी भई आफ्ना सेवा तथा कार्यक्रमले जनताको दैनिकी सहज हुने गरी गर्नु पर्दछ । निर्वाचनको जनादेशलाई सम्मान गर्दै अल्पकालीन तथा दीर्घकालिन योजनामा के कतिको प्रगति भएको छ भन्ने कुराहरु  जनप्रतिनिधिहरु निरन्तर रुपमा जवाफदेही हुनपर्दछ  । नागरिक समाज, बुद्धिजीवी वर्ग, पत्रकार तथा पत्रपत्रिकाहरुले सरकारका खराब निर्णय र कदमलाई निरन्तर खबरदारी गर्न जरूरी छ ।

 

Sujan Regmi

About Sujan Regmi

Sujan Regmi is a researcher at Samriddhi Foundation.

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Why Use Behavioral Sciences in Nepal’s Policy-Making?

Economy

The “Economics in Crisis” theme has become one of the favorite themes of discussions among the journalists, economics commentators and the academicians. All of them, in particular, take examples of failure of modern economic theories to correctly predict Global Financial Crisis 2007-2008, Brexit and Trump Presidency in the US and their overall consequences on world economy to justify their arguments.

As a consequence, there has been an ongoing debate that seeks to try to integrate theories from other academic disciplines into the mainstream economic theories to design more holistic policies that result in better policy outcomes. A 2017 work by Neil Irwon, a senior economics correspondent for The New York Times also highlighted this changing shift in economic thinking and policy-making in the US and other major world economies. These shifts in economic thinking became even more evident after Professor Richard Thaler received last year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to behavioral economics. Professor Thaler was long been considered as one of the main critics of economics, especially after he published his much debated paper – Toward a Positive Theory of Consumer Choice.

These recent changes in economic thinking, especially those related to incorporating behavioral science components into the long-standing economic theories, go beyond simple debates and have long been affecting lives of the people across the world. The governments, private institutions and policy makers in different parts of the world have long been using behavioral science theories to better the net outcomes of their economic and related public policies. Some of the countries that have been using and also benefiting from behavioral science theories include USA, The Netherlands, UKSingapore and Turkey. Furthermore, besides their considerable influence in economic policies, behavioral science theories – Professor Thaler’s Nudge Theory in particular – also have significant in framing a variety of public policies. For example, countries like Austria, Belgium, France and Spain have proved that effective use of Nudge Theory in organ donation campaigns not only encourages more people to voluntarily donate their organs but also makes overall campaigns more efficient.

In the light of these issues and Nepal’s existing realities, I see ample opportunities for concerned stakeholders in the country to invest in and also engage in researches and discussions focused on identifying applicable behavioral science theories that could best be utilized in ameliorating present economic theories. I have tried to highlight some of these issues in one of my past opinion pieces for The Kathmandu Post.

We all are well aware that Nepal started adopting liberal policies as early as in early 1990s. However, country’s growth since then has been minimal. As expected, people normally blame the decade long Maoist insurgency (1996 – 2006) and ten more years of political transition (2007 – 2017) as key reasons for Nepal’s more than two decades of stagnated growth. But I think, besides aforementioned crises, our failure to update our policies and also formulate new policies as per the changing national and global circumstances also played their roles for minimal growth of the country. I am sure that some of these issues will also be highlighted in World Bank’s upcoming Nepal – Country Diagnostic report. Thus, it is high time that we start discussing about usefulness of behavioral science theories in developing and adopting proper policies that not only drive country’s growth but also help us to maintain existing social, cultural and environmental harmony. What do you think?

Jaya Jung Mahat

About Jaya Jung Mahat

Jaya is a researcher at Samriddhi where he leads a research on public debt management in Nepal. He has an MPP from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and is also an alumnus of Evidence for Policy Design, Harvard Kennedy School's BCURE Program.

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Obtaining Tax Clearance Certificate in Nepal

The infographic depicts the process of obtaining tax clearance certificate from Inland Revenue Office.  A taxpayer has to go through a number of steps before he finally obtains tax clearance certificate. Out of all the steps, some of the steps seems redundant and they can be clubbed into a single step without affecting the efficiency of the entire system. For example the Dues section checks if any previous dues are left or not. If previous dues are left, the tax payer has to go the bank and pay the due amount, and present a photocopy of the payment slip at tax office. Again, the Tax payment Unit, verifies if the self- assessed tax amount payable by the tax payer is correct or not. If the self- assessed amount is lesser that the amount to be actually paid, the tax payer again has to go to the bank and pay the remaining amount and bring a photocopy of the payment slip.

Here, we can see that if a taxpayer has his previous dues left and if his/her self- assessed tax amount falls short of what is actually to be paid, he/she has to go to the bank twice. If checking previous dues and correcting the self- assessed tax amount can be done in a single step, the taxpayer would be spared from having to visit bank twice for similar purpose. This will reduce total time required to pay taxes and will also make tax payment process more easy and convenient.

Currently, a taxpayer has to allocate an entire day for obtaining tax clearance certificate (given no previous dues are left and self- assessed tax amount is correct). But, if previous dues or left and/or self- assessed tax amount is incorrect, it can take up to 2- 3 days to obtain tax clearance certificate. The large amount of time required for just paying taxes and obtaining tax clearance certificate has increased the cost of doing business. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the number of processes and time involved in obtaining tax clearance certificate so that entrepreneurship would not be discouraged.

Ashesh Shrestha

About Ashesh Shrestha

Ashesh Shrestha is an independent researcher. He has an Economics background and is interested in Monetary economics and Public finance.

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The Power of a Gentle Nudge!

RINGG. RINNGGG. RINNNGGGG. Snooze. Repeat.

Most of us are unfortunately too familiar with this scenario: we set the alarm for early morning with the intention of getting some extra work/study done, squeezing in a run before getting to work or hitting the gym. However, we end up either hitting snooze till eternity or turning off the alarm altogether.

Being the rational people we are set out to be, shouldn’t we be making the most efficient choices? In this case, getting up bright and early to tackle our tasks head-on!

Richard H. Thaler’s Nobel Prize-winning Nudge Theory explains with refreshing clarity that we as human beings are wired to act on convenience rather than rationale. Simply put, we opt to do what’s easier than what’s wiser.  It comes as no surprise then that the “far-sighted Planner” in us – who roots for our long-term welfare – is generally at odds with our “myopic Doer”, battle-stricken in a tightrope act of temptation vs. self-control. Continue reading

Sneha Pradhan

About Sneha Pradhan

Sneha Pradhan is a Researcher at Samriddhi Foundation with an interest in good governance. She is a graduate student at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pursuing a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Statistics with a minor in Complex Organizations from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.

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Special Economic Zone: Not So Special?

The concept of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has become ubiquitous as an infrastructural facility. These SEZs provide a combination of tax and tariff incentives, streamlined custom procedures, and less regulation by offering an investment climate that attracts both foreign and domestic investors to invest and establish industrial and business units. With an aspiration to promote and diversify the export market, the GoN, in 2016, had introduced the SEZ Act which evoked immense interest among the investors’ community in Nepal. But it seems that the much-hyped SEZ is losing its appeal among the domestic investors. Continue reading

Ankshita Chaudhary

About Ankshita Chaudhary

Ankshita is working as an intern in the Research as well as the Communications and Outreach Department at Samriddhi Foundation.

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Land Rights for Women in Nepal

“Earlier, we had tongues but could not speak. We had feet but could not walk. Now that we have the land we have the strength to speak and walk!” This quote from women who received land titles in India’s Bodhgaya Land Rights Movement perfectly portrays how land rights empower women.

The struggle for women rights in Nepal has been an on-going battle with property rights being an important component. Although the situation as detailed below is pretty dismal, we have come a long way. From a civil code that limited inheritance rights for women and biases that determined property rights according to marital status and age, to passing of the Gender Equality Act and the Constitution forbidding gender based discrimination, thus granting daughters and sons equal rights to inherit property, progress is evident.

Furthermore, numerous progressive policies are currently in place to help increase land ownership of women. These include:

  • Tax exemptions of 25%-50% (depending on geographical area) available to women during land registration, provided she does not sell the land within three years.
  • 35% tax exemption for widows during land registration.
  • 50% tax exemption when land is transferred within three generations of daughter or granddaughter.
  • Joint Land Ownership which can be obtained for just Rs.100.

Why then is women land ownership in the country still dishearteningly low?

  • Many women are unaware of the rights and benefits they possess.
  • Women do not receive help in the implementation of their rights.
  • Deep seated patriarchal norms make women feel that they do not need to own land, especially because of the fear that they risk divorce if they ask for land.
  • Families are concerned that women owning land will deprive the family of an asset in the event of marriage or re-marriage and so they are discouraged from getting citizenship certificates.

Sneha Pradhan

About Sneha Pradhan

Sneha Pradhan is a Researcher at Samriddhi Foundation with an interest in good governance. She is a graduate student at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pursuing a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Statistics with a minor in Complex Organizations from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.

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