Dr. Bhattarai was one of the few political leaders who is liked by the public and wanted to see him become PM of Nepal despite the divisive intra party bickering. Now that he has become the 35th PM of Nepal, Dr. Bhattarai has an opportunity to prove that he can deliver on the promises made by his party and meet expectations of the people.
As someone who is keenly following developments in the economy, my expectations are listed below (not a comprehensive list but something that is doable—or work can be started in the right direction—for whatever timeframe he is as the PM):
- Restore private sector confidence and smoothen troubled industrial relations
- Monitor markets against unjustified price hikes and effectively end the syndicate system
- Ensure that remittances are channeled to productive activities and avoid having Dutch Disease effect in the Nepali economy.
- Do everything to ensure that the country see more investment in hydropower sector (and avoid strikes in hydro sector at all costs). We should at least have someone as capable and dedicated leader as Gokarna Bista at the Ministry of Energy. Another important sector is infrastructure (mainly roads network and rural electrification).
- Give a right direction to tackling our macroeconomic challenges (they can’t be resolved overnight, but reform on the right direction now is essential): low economic growth, high and sticky inflation (and food security in food deficit districts), widening trade deficit, low employment, low investor confidence, banking crisis, reform SOEs and boost morale of civil servant.
The baseline with all these reforms is that they will help to kick-start economic activities and generate employment (growth should be broad-based and not skewed to few sectors). Avert the faultlines of the past and give a new direction to both politics and economy.
Here are some of the articles related to Dr. Bhattarai (or during his tenure as FM) that I wrote in the past years:
Good luck, Dr. Bhattarai!