Committed to Social Democracy...
FES in Nepal
FES Worldwide
Media Development
Trade Union Development
Regional Cooperation
Conflict Resolution
Good Governance
Past Activities
FES in the Press
Annual Reports
Seminar/Workshop Reports
List of FES Publications
Book Reviews
FES Publications in University Curricula

National Seminar on Initiating Debate on Public Policy for State Building

Organised by Centre for Economic Development and Administration (CEDA)

19-20 December 2010, Kathmandu

Inaugural Session

The Centre for Economic Development and Administration (CEDA), with the cooperation of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), had organized the two-day National Seminar on "Initiating Debate on Public Policy for State Building" in its auditorium at Kirtipur. Professor Dr. Madhav Prasad Sharma, Vice Chancellor of the Tribhuvan University was the Chief Guest of the Inaugural Ceremony. The Rector of the Tribhuvan University Professor Dr. Soorya Lal Amatya presided the inaugural session of the National Seminar. The Inaugural Session began with the welcome address by Mr. Bharat Pokharel, Executive Director of CEDA. Mr. Pokharel welcomed all the guest and the participants of the seminar. In his welcome address Mr. Pokharel highlighted the importance of conducting such kind of national seminar in CEDA. CEDA has been conducting seminars, trainings and symposia on various emerging issues in development. He expressed happiness to see the participants from different walks of life and told that this seminar would be quite fruitful and also instrumental in initiating the policy level debate for development. The chief guest of the inaugural session, Professor Dr. Madhav Prasad Sharma announced formal opening of the seminar and expressed his good wishes for the success of the seminar. He hoped that the seminar would definitely bring various emerging issues of policy debates into discussion and make policy recommendations acceptable to the Nepalese people as per their developmental aspiration. The chairperson of the inaugural session Professor Dr. Soorya Lal Amatya remarked that although the country has not been directly affected by the global financial crisis but, it has not got aloof from its effects. Therefore, the topics such as foreign labor employment, the question of liberalization, various approaches to poverty reduction and growth and structure of Nepalese economy have been the subject of immense importance to the country particularly for the development of Nepal. He also recapitulated the memories of his tenure as executive director and said CEDA had a tradition to initiate emerging debate on development through the conduction of various seminars and symposia. Thus, the present national seminar would definitely be able to bring some concrete solutions.

The head of FES Nepal Office, Mr. Dev Raj Dahal, said that public policy was a rational mean to attain state objectives underlined in the constitution but, that the Nepalese politicians were often interested in gaining power rather than initiating good public policy. Therefore, their existed a gap between the peoples' aspirations on the one hand and the state policies protected in the Interim Constitution and Local Self-Governance Act on the other. The political authority were too weak to formulate and implement public policies. Without sufficient incentives for elites to create effective public authority, the state building process remained unfinished, he added.

Finally, the coordinator as well as the master of the ceremony, Mr. Santosh Kumar Upadhyaya, declared the end of inaugural session and requested all to join the refreshment hosted by CEDA in honor of the participants.

Technical Session: 1

Professor, Dr. Prem Raman Uprety chaired the first technical session of the National Seminar. The topic of the presentation was "Foreign Labor Employment and Financial Crisis in Nepal: A Preliminary Assessment" by Professor Dr. Bal Kumar K.C. During the course of his deliberations Professor K.C. expressed that the internal migration situation can be viewed from two angles one as internal and another as external. Regarding the internal migration the author had quoted CBS data of 2009 and said about 33 percent of the population had migrated to their current location either from another Village Development Committee (VDCs) or municipality in Nepal. The life time migration among the female of all ages was 44 percent whereas, the rate of migration among the male was 21 percent only. While analyzing the migration trend in the country the author had put the available data and said that 80 percent of migrated population were from rural areas 7 percent from urban areas and 13 percent from other countries. Among the life time migrants, 48 percent stated that their very reason of migration was marriage, followed by family reason (30%) and easier life style (8%). In case of international migration, the waves of migration to foreign countries expended from India, Myanmar and Bhutan to many other labor importing countries in South-east and east Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Trend of labor migration during the late 90s was increased mostly in Gulf-countries due to the lack of employment in the country he added. Later part of his paper the author explained various issues of Nepalese foreign employment, major challenges, opportunities and the data deficiency on Nepalese foreign labor migration. During the course of Professor Dr. K.C's presentation six participants actively took part in the discussion.

Technical Session: 2

The topic of the presentation was "Neo-Liberalism, Global Financial Crisis and Lessons for Nepal" by Dr. Dilli Raj Khanal. And the session was presided by Professor Dr. Nav Raj Kanel. During his presentation Dr. Khanal explained about the most important and the basic factor of the neo-liberalism as getting prices right by eliminating exchange and price control. The Wall Street meltdown stemmed from the crisis of overproduction of capital through various unfair means leading to worsening of crisis in the global capitalism. Considering the impact of the Global Financial Crisis to Nepalese economy, the author had pointed out that there was a slowdown on the growth of remittances inflow which resulted in creating a down turn in the banking deposits followed by the serious credit crunch problem leading to hike in banking sector lending rate constantly. To overcome the emerging problems the author had recommended some fiscal stimulus packages accompanied by a program that ensures diversion of banking and financial institutions lending towards productive areas. During the course of Dr. Khanal's presentation altogether seven participants took part in the discussion.

Technical Session: 3

The topic of the presentation was "Approaches to Poverty Reduction in Nepal" by Dr. Meena Acharya. The session was chaired by Professor Dr. Vijaya Shrestha. During his presentation Dr. Acharya spoke on poverty reduction effort of various plans and said that only from the eight plan period, poverty reduction came into discussion. But with the introduction of PRSP in the tenth plan period, poverty reduction was taken as a first priority in its objective. Dr. Acharya indicated about the Three Year Interim Plan(2007-2010) and the Right Based Approach to Poverty Reduction in her presentation and said that severe lapses in Nepal's development planning which had failed to link the processes and mechanisms of planning, implementation and monitoring to the objectives and the policies. This had been emphasized in development plan themselves many times and also pointed out by many authors but with no substantive improvement. The author highlighted on How the current change in strategies was impacting the implementation levels in the selected sectors. For the implementation of change Dr. Acharya emphasized on three aspects that was operationalizing gender equality and social inclusion, gender budgeting and women targeted program. At the end, Dr. Acharya summarized the whole approach paper to the TYIP and said that, the GESI policies and guidelines could lapse again in oblivion. In the current democratic vacuum and political uncertainty, the institutionalization of the GESI approach in the lower tiers of government under the plan federal structure remained a challenge. During the course of Dr. Acharya's presentation seven participants took part in the discussion.

Technical Session: 4

The theme of the joint paper presented by Professor Dr. Sri Ram Poudyal and Professor Dr. Gaja Nand Agrawal was "Growth and Structure of Nepalese Economy". The session was chaired by Professor Dr. Bhima Raj Adhikaree. The authors expressed that they had measured the growth of Nepalese economy within the preview of three main objectives such as establishing aggregate GDP growth rates by sector, examining whether the aggregate growth and sectoral growth rates are significantly different in post and pre liberalization period and carrying decomposition analysis of contribution of different sectors to the overall growth rates. The average annual GDP growth rate on five year basis in current and constant price showed different results. The growth rates of current prices could be used to assess the real economic performance of the country. Therefore, taking into consideration the entire period from 1975/76 to 2006/07 as a whole, the geometric growth rates was modest (4.3%) per annum. The sectoral growth rates showed unbalanced and volatile pattern over the period under review. In real terms, the primary sector had a very low growth, 2.5 percent, secondary sector 7.5 percent and the tertiary sector had 6.8 percent. The performance of primary sector was lower than the performance of secondary and tertiary sectors. Lastly, the author had explicitly expressed the decomposition of the relative contribution of the three sectors to growth revealed that the service sector had been the main propellant of growth. The primary sector had larger share in GDP (45.9%) and accounted for (26.7%) growth. Whereas, the tertiary sector showed (39.3%) share on the GDP and 51.6 percent contribution on the growth. More or less the same trends had been witnessed in case of pre and post liberalization except in secondary sector. During the course of their deliberation ten participants took part in the discussion.

Vote of Thanks

The coordinator of the Seminar, Mr. Santosh Kumar Upadhyaya, offered the vote of thanks on behalf of CEDA. He said the FES had shown an immense interest to support CEDA in organizing such a seminar in relevant issues. He thanked the FES for sponsoring the seminar and thanked all the paper writers and the chairpersons for giving their valuable time in the seminar and also for their commendable presentations. He thanked all the participants for their active participation in the sessions.

Closing Remarks

The Executive Director of CEDA, Mr. Bharat Pokharel, while giving his closing remarks of the two-day seminar had said that economic growth was the most important parameter of development for any country. The trend of growth in the two neighboring countries, China and India is very encouraging. He pointed out that if the same trend of growth remained, it would take 15 years for China and 25 years for India to double the current growth. However, to make the growth rate double for Nepal it would take 45 years. Lastly, he acknowledge the support of all others who helped in many ways to make the seminars a success.

Copyright©2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Nepal Office
The information on this site is subject to a
disclaimer and copyright notice.