Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation and Nepal Economic Forum (NEF) organized a round table discussion titled “Economic Concerns in the Draft Constitution” on 14 July 2015 with hopes of engaging the public and the private sector on economic issues. The first draft of the constitution of Nepal was released to the public by the Constituent Assembly last week. This draft was released to the public and the political parties have expressed hope of generating comments from the public to make necessary changes in order to finalize the draft.
The discussion brought to light the importance of having a sound economic infrastructure along with a balanced priority on social development in the constitution. Sujeev Shakya, who moderated the event, set the tone for the discussion by bringing to light the fact that this draft of the constitution seems to want to steer the nation away from the liberalization reform that was initiated in the early 1990s. The fact that the constitution defines Nepal as a “socialism-oriented” country without ever describing what it means and the repeated use of the word “regulation” in reference to the private sector justifies Shakya’s statement.
Of the deliberations that occurred at the event, the ones pointed out by moderator at the conclusion of the event were:
- The draft has an unclear, and even, contradictory economic vision and the desired direction to achieve growth is not clearly stated.
- A welfare model is prescribed without proper economic and political climate that is supportive of such commitments.
- The draft is pessimistic of the role the private sector can play in the country’s growth in a time when evidence from around the world clearly highlight its positive influence.
- The draft proposes an inferior tax regime and inadequately addresses issues for the harmonization of state and national government roles.
The full report can be downloaded here: