Powering through tough times needs clarity and courage. Recent global economic instability has weakened systems and challenged governments to find solutions with no template to learn from. Cost of living and cost of doing business have become the hardest challenges of all. Stop gap measures are many but what will work is hard to tell. Shifting political and economic climate requires policy makers to rethink and recalibrate on how we can plough through this time with as little damage as possible. Policy reform and innovative financing instruments may seem the key but what is more important is mitigating risks from emerging shocks.
Today the common man struggles with uncertainty of work, income and value of savings. Businesses grapple with uncertainty of production, sales, and lack of clarity on policy, while government navigates uncertainty of revenue mobilisation. There is a huge drop in investment, hiring, productivity and savings. There is also increased financial costs, government debt and market volatility.
Government interventions matter and their decisions to shape economic recovery must stand on clear vision and deep research besides improved mechanisms of function and transparency.
As the country goes to polls, the debate needs to move from old vs new politicians to what government will help shape the economy best, who in government will have the ability to navigate uncertainties, who has the vision to create a more resilient, more equitable and more competitive nation.
This is a period of time when most donor countries are reevaluating their engagement with Nepal. Many are looking to facilitate trade rather than aid. Resources are limited even for the more prosperous nations, Nepal needs to take giant steps to cover all that it has lost over the years to poor governance, natural disasters and political instability. Economic agenda must remain at its forefront and a commitment to understanding the transformative processes of world economies and geopolitics.
Climate change, debt relief strategies, access to concessional finance, broadening the scope of investment into Nepal, better policies and a national digital strategy are key components that every voter must have in mind while they think of putting a government into power.