Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Grand Success

Our Finance Minister, Ramu Uncle calls the 'International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction -2015' (ICNR) a grand success. Yes, 300 thulo mancheys from 60 nations showed up at Soaltee Hotel, had wonderful dinner and drinks and probably enjoyed the tour of the affected areas in the city and neighboring districts. 

A grand success is when 30 million tourists visit Nepal every year. A grand success is when we have more than 10,000 MW of electricity and we make money selling it to our chimekis instead of begging for another 100 MW from the Desis.

I think our incompetent politicians should be reminded that begging for a few Dollars and getting some is not something to be proud of.  It would have been a grand success if you reached your target or exceeded it. 

It would have been the greatest begging extravaganza ever if we had received US$10 billion and all that in grant. But of course, our bideshi friends do not give us cash just for fun. They have their own self interest to fulfill and at the end of the day, their consultants and companies take home most of the dough anyway.

Minister Ramu tells us that he is very happy because our bideshi friends pledged more than what he had expected. I guess he was expecting only half of the US$6.6 billion needed to rebuild the homes and lives of his near and dear ones. 

But our bideshi friends have pledged to give us US$4.4 billion in grants and loans. Majority of the pledged amount will be soft loan. Ramu won't have to pay back the loan. It will be the successive governments' decades later figuring out how to pay back the cash taken by the current government. 

Ramu believes that our country's financial scenario will strengthen in the future. Let us forget about our country and its common citizens. It's the corrupt clowns, civil servants and contractors who will find ways to strengthen their bank balance. 

Yes, just ask Ramu's former personal aide (PA). The guy knows all the deals and schemes. Well, he wasn't selling the zinc sheets. He was just delivering it to his near and dear ones. This is the only country in the world where a PA is as powerful as the mantri. The PA is the go to person for all 'get rich quick schemes'. The PA is the power broker. 

Our bideshi friends have pledged half of the US$4.4 billion in grant and the rest in loan. We will now have another two billion dollars that needs to be paid back on top of the five billion we already owe to bideshis and domestic lenders. Our netas will be rich while our kids will be poor.

Our incompetent government should have instead asked for investment from our foreign friends. Let the bideshis all get together and invest in hydropower, tourism, agriculture and infrastructure. 

If we had all the resources and skills then we would not  have to beg from the bideshis. But we have nothing. The government allows builders to build high-rise apartments but yet it doesn't have any equipment, to demolish such structures. We don't even have an equipment to tow a stranded aircraft on our only international airport and we expect our corrupt politicians to move this country forward.

We don't have anything and it's better to allow them to invest without having to worry about trade unions burning tyres and manhandling management. Give them tax breaks. 

Let the bideshis generate 40,000 MW of electricity. Let them make some money for themselves while we get free electricity and millions of our youth can be employed for at least a decade in their own land instead of being exploited overseas. 

The Swiss and the French could help us build ski resorts up in the mountains. The Israelis could help us with farming techniques. Our potholes could be used to grow vegetables. The Chinese could help us with our infrastructure. After all, they can build a fifty-storey tower in less than a month. 

The Desis could help us by allowing our goods to be exported to third countries without the usual hassles. But of course, our incompetent government doesn't have any plans to bring foreign investment, generate jobs for millions and increase our standard of living. Our politicians just want Dollars for themselves and their children. 

Most of our top leaders have kids abroad and they have bought apartments worth Karods there. And it's funny that they are proud of their kids who have become doctors, lawyers, investment bankers in the West but cannot think of how to empower and enrich the lives of the millions of kids back home. Our netas just come up with a 'rich father-in-law' excuse every time they are questioned about their ill-gotten wealth.

As usual, India tops the list with US$1 billion in pledges but most of it will be loans. The Chinese do not beat up the drums too much like our Desi friends but they have pledged to provide US$760 million and most of it in grant. It has also offered training opportunities for 1,500 Nepalis. But the Amrikans and British only want to give us around 10% of what India has offered. 

Why? Well, we don’t have oil. We don’t have nukes. If we had offered the Amrikans an opportunity to have an air base in our land then they would probably give us billions of dollars every year.

The British should be ashamed of themselves. They are celebrating 200 years of service to the Crown by the brave Gurkhas but I guess when it comes to providing aid to the land of the Gurkhas, the British are the stingiest of them all. 

We sent 5,000 blankets to Japan when earthquake struck there a few years back. We are getting US$ 260 million. More than half a million Nepalis fought two World Wars. More than 50,000 sacrificed their lives for the British Empire. You do the math.

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