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Gossiping and Talking Phase Has Timed Out! :: DR. Ram Sharan Mahat (Finance Minister)

‘Gossiping and Talking Phase Has Timed Out!
Constitution writing and reconstruction task will go simultaneously’

Nepal has recently organized the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction-2015. Delegates representing various nations and donor agencies expressed their support to Nepal reconstruction drive at the International Conference on Nepal’s reconstruction. The government has remarked it as the grand successful event. Relying on the ICNR and the current political scenario we had a small conversation with the Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, here it goes:

Question: The International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction-2015 was as an extremely successful event. When will the money arrive? When would the work begin?
Ram Sharan Mahat:  What we have got is the commitment by the donors. Now onwards we need to prepare the project details, and need to develop projects. Now the government is preparing for the task regarding where, how and how much to spend. Its working on the fixing the what sorts of management to be established and the work region regarding the reconstruction projects. On the basis of the above mentioned project flowchart the donor will release the pledged amount. The detail negotiation is yet to be started with the donors. It has total same process that we do have one our previous development projects. It will take some more days in preparation. The only things that the donor has told is about the support limit, yet there remain the further negotiation.
Question: The government has declared that the reconstruction Authority will be autonomous and strong, when will it be completely setup?
Ram Sharan Mahat: I couldn’t fix the exact date for its complete setup. For this purpose the authorities concerned should have a negotiation. Within a few days or a few weeks setup phase will be completed and it will process its task.
Question:-What kind of person is being given the responsibility of the CEO of the Authority?
Ram Sharan Mahat:The criteria for selection is clearly mentioned in the ordinance. The high level technical person who has been already proven his ability, none involved in political controversies, could think of country lifting him high from politics. The main things that required is his/her implementation ability and highly qualified too. Basically, one who could be trusted by many and should have a good moral behavior.

Question: Will there be Consensus built among the major parties regarding CEO selection?
Ram Sharan Mahat: It is a matter to be decided by government, such tensions may not occur. In such situation of the disaster qualified person should be appointed, we shouldn’t go for ours, we should go for a good one.
On the subject of administrative and governing the nation if there comes my and your party, and then the nation will not move towards a progressive path. Donor nation has also emphasized on the need formation of such authority which is not hampered by the political instabilities and which is lifted high from the ground of politics. If we still headed forward fighting with each other then we couldn’t justify the responsibilities of reconstruction of the nation. Thus, we are confident that there will be a consensus among the political parties.

Question: With the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction-2015 the government’s confidence is increased, isn’t it?
Ram Sharan Mahat: I had believed that the international communities will definitely support us. We had also made sound arrangements and great preparation in order to make it successful too. As a result the international communities have pledged support open heartily.

Question: With the international conference, Nepal has flowed the message that it can work. Do we have the sufficient manpower, source and resources for the reconstruction?
Ram Sharan Mahat: We have sufficient manpower, we need to utilize them. Gossiping all the time regarding the building nation is of no value and such phase has already stepped out. Now with confidence we should concentrate on the field of work. We should concentrate on the use of mind and arms. As we have completed successful such a big event with a short preparation time. Likewise, we should now onwards engage in works. We wasted a lot of time, now we shouldn’t engage in useless things.
Question: Donors have pledged support, but the question regarding the corruption and transparency would stand firm, wouldn’t it?
Ram Sharan Mahat: We could hardly imagine the level of transparency that we have in Nepal than in other countries. In the country having the democratic system everyone can observe and track regarding the where and how the expenses are being done and it has been going on too. We do have government and constitutional bodies to control corruption and we do have Auditor General as well. As well as the parliamentary committees also monitors the activities. Prime Minister has also pledged zero tolerance against corruption for ensuring transparency, accountability. So there won’t be any problem regarding the transparency. We all should be responsible not to abuse the money. Not only government other bodies should also take initiation.

Question: Is there any changes on upcoming budget than that of previous train?
Ram Sharan Mahat: I have good experience on the budgeting. As I have prepared the nation’s budget for 7/8 time I should say that the every budget should emphasize on the need of the nation during that time.
This time the nation’s budget will come with the special attention on reconstruction. The bigger and important projects will get continuity. The upcoming budget will forward the nation towards the prosperity.

Question: How long do the Nepali people need to live in tents?
Ram Sharan Mahat: As the tent was there for immediate purposes, it has been almost replaced by the hut of zinc sheet these days. Rehabilitation and reconstruction process are going in its order, the government is not sitting idly?
Question: Can’t we return the migrated Nepali for rebuilding the nation?
Ram Sharan Mahat: We should, and it can be. Several migrated people have already returned as their house was collapsed and their family members are miserable conditions. We should appeal them to. More than that it’s time to alert the one who are in the country with their hands tied up or living idly. Masonry, the carpenter and every skilled person must come, unskilled should be trained and government should provide training. Now we should leave the desperation and negative thoughts. The leadership manner should strengthen and we should motivate the general people for the nation construction.

Question: The discussion on the formation of a national consensus government is going on, is it the appropriate time?
Ram Sharan Mahat: Such discussion will always go on, if it is supposed to form then it will. On whatever topic the discussion is going on the constitution writing process and the reconstruction will go side by side. If we are always going for the next government, next Prime Minster we couldn’t justify the nation.

Question: You always emphasized that only if there is political stabilities then the nation will move towards prosperity. Now tell us what will be the effect on development and reconstruction of the nation after Sushil Koirala resigned from the post after the issuing the constitution?
Ram Sharan Mahat: As Sushil Koirala is delivering good leadership, there will be definitely some set back if he gets resign. So related everyone should be conscious of this, suitable mechanism should be built to gain the speed regarding the reconstruction and development work.

Question: The draft of the constitution is ready, within the congress there is a rising voice against secularism but still Nepali Congress agreed to write the secularism why?
Ram Sharan Mahat: I don’t have much information regarding it, as the discussion was going on among friends I had to visit outside the country. We are the one to declare the nation as secular and we have been accepting the secularism on its different angles. As termed secularism has been interpreted in the wrong sense intentionally and some time unexpectedly, so while preparing draft we were talking about the terminology religious freedom. There shouldn’t be raising big issue with it.

Published Date: Friday, July 3rd, 2015 | 10:20 AM

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