A month ago when the Embassy of the Republic of Korea organised a beautiful evening of music, they had some of the best contemporary talent in Korea perform at a hotel—they had no other options for a venue. I kept wondering why we Nepalis still do not have a good venue for performances, even though decades have gone by since we built the last one. I kept wondering over the fact that we now have thousands of billionaires in terms of Nepali rupees, yet we have still not seen an investment for the cause of building a proper cultural centre.
भारतमा पहिले राजा र अहिले नेताहरू विशेष गरिकन प्रधानमन्त्री नै जानलाग्दा धेरै चासोको विषय हुने नै भयो । भ्रमणमा नेपालले केही उपलब्धि नपाए पनि केही नेपालीले अवश्य उपलब्धि हासिल गर्नेछन् । विमानमा प्रधानमन्त्रीसँंग पछिपछि गार्ड राखेको सेल्फी खिच्नुका साथै एक–दुई डिल पनि भैहाल्छ कि ? दिल्लीमा ओर्लेर त हामी नेवा:हरूको नख:ट्या: गएजस्तो भइहाल्छ । खानपिनको कमी हुँदैन, रमाइलो त भइहाल्ने नै भयो, आफूजन माझ । एक–दुई ठाउँमा खोक्न पनि बोलाउँछन् । दोसल्ला ओड्यो, दंग ।
When Emmanuel Macron was elected as the youngest president of France in May 2017, we in Nepal were busy counting votes in a style reminiscent of the 20th century. We have been consumed by the unfolding of events in Nepal. Further, we are bombarded by breaking news and analyses from aggressive and polarised private media in India. People shouting at the top of their voices has become a South Asian form of debate, and decibels are directly correlated to Television Rating Points (TRP).
In June, two events took place in two different parts of the Himalayas within a span of 11 days. These two events will have considerable impact on Nepal in the days to come. The first event was the beginning of protests in Darjeeling in reaction to a speech on June 5 by a minister of the Indian state of West Bengal; he announced that Bengali would be a compulsory language in the Nepali-speaking hill districts. The second event was the standoff between the Chinese and Indian forces on June 16 at Doklam, which lies in the tri-junction of Bhutan, China and India.
During this fiscal year 2016-17, two major decisions made by the Indian government have changed economic relationships between India and Nepal forever. The demonetisation of 86 percent of the currency bills in India in November changed how transactions are conducted along the border, and Nepal has yet to figure out how they want their currency stock exchanged. And, for the first time in 70 years, India is making an attempt at historic reform by introducing, from July 1, 2017, a country-wide uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST). This will have a big impact on trade and transit arrangements and costs between India and Nepal.
असार १०, २०७४- दस वर्ष पहिले प्रशान्त तामाङले इन्डियन आइडल जितेर दार्जिलिङ क्षेत्रमा अर्को राजनीतिक आयाम सुरु भयो । प्रशान्तलाई जिताउन लागेका विमल गुरुङले गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा पार्टी खोलेर गोर्खा राष्ट्रिय जनमुक्ति मोर्चाका सुभास घिसिङझैं पहाडको राजनीतिमा होमिए । विकास भनेको आफू, आफ्नो पार्टी र समर्थकको निजी आर्थिक विकासमा विश्वास राख्ने मनसाय देखिँदै गयो । पैसा सिद्धिन्न थाल्यो कि गोर्खाल्यान्डको नारा लिएर आउँछन् भनेर धेरैले भन्न थाले । दार्जिलिङ जिल्ला र अब भर्खरै घोषणा गरेको कालिम्पोङ जिल्लाका केही गर्न जाँगर भएका युवा पिढी मुम्बई, बंगलौर र दिल्लीतिर लागे ।
Last week at the Human Capital Conference organised by the National Banking Institute, it was heartening to see a room full of people—many of whom were women—keen to learn about the developments in the area of human capital. Last year in Nepal, the banks spent all their energy in ensuring that they meet the capital requirements enforced by regulators. For instance, for an A Class bank, the requirements stipulate that their capital has to be Rs8 billion. The regulators enforced this with the intention that it would make banks merge, but instead, we saw each bank successfully raising its capital. Therefore, the challenge now is to provide services to this big capital base.
Local elections are the key drivers of a functioning democracy, a responsible opposition, the rule of law and strong institutions. So when local elections take place after nearly 20 years, it definitely brings a lot of joy. It helps us to reflect on the connection we have with our culture and society, and gives us insight into how this connection can be enhanced.
A few Mondays ago, I received a call from a firm trying to explore investment opporunities in Nepal; the representative wanted to know the state of the market and stock exchange. He also wanted to confirm that the stock exchange was closed on that particular day. I had to admit that there was a state imposed closure on account of President Bhandari’s departure to India. He laughed. It was clear that he would rather not look into investing in a country where there are more holidays than weekends.