कलेजमा सहस्राब्दी लक्ष्य

( Remember the time I said, spent some 7hours in front of my computer reading of MDGs..well it was for this and of course how can I forget the great debate. Still nothing you know is ENOUGH for sure. Haven’t seen the article on paper till now but a fren of my called me to say “What kind of picture of you is that??” What can I say? I mean he was scolding me saying “kasto photo ho, Keta ko jasto!” I am Sick of Such Comments!So having the intense desire to put a picture of myself here, I dare myself myself to put one here! A bit of inspiration got from a blogger. 🙂 ( Guess who?)But for now we’re having a Blood donation program going on in college, have been rejected tooooooo many times but am hopeful this time, Pleeeeeeeeeese pray for me. I will die if I can’t donate this time! What use being a universal donor man 😦 ….Please Pray! )

Published in Today’s Kantipur

‘के विकसित राष्ट्रहरू सहस्राब्दी विकास लक्ष्यका निम्ति साँच्चै योगदान पुर्‍याइरहेका छन् ?’ मैले हालै यसै शीर्षकको वादविवादमा भाग लिए जसमा राजधानीका दुई कलेजका विद्यार्थी सामेल थिए । एक हप्ताको तयारीका क्रममा पढ्ने सामग्रीको ओइरो लागेर भ्याई नभ्याई भएको थियो । तर पानै पिच्छेको नयाँ जानकारीले साता निकै रोमाञ्चक बन्यो । वादविवादको समापन गर्दै एक बुज्रुकले शीर्षक ‘भेदभावकारी’ भएको गुनासो गरे । ‘साँच्चै’ को प्रयोगले विपक्ष्ाकै तर्क खोजेजस्तो भयो रे । भर्खरै सिद्धिएको चर्काचर्की पछि सोच्दा तर्क सही लाग्यो र ‘क्या निरीक्षण’ भन्दै मुन्टो पनि हल्लाए । पछि सोचे, साँच्चै हटाएर- ‘के विकसित राष्ट्रहरू सहस्राब्दी विकास लक्ष्यका निम्ति योगदान पुर्‍याइरहेका छन् ?’ त्यो त कुनै प्रश्नै भएन । पश्चिमेली राष्ट्र हातै बाँधेर कहाँ बसेका छन् र ? त्यो चाहेर पनि गर्न सक्दैनन् । कुरा उनीहरूले साँच्चै के गरिरहेका छन्, भन्नेमै छ ।
नयाँ सहस्राब्दीको सुरुवातसँगै विश्वका १९८ देशले सबै मानिसको ‘विकासको अधिकार’ र ‘चाहनाबाट मुक्ति’ विषयमा प्रतिबद्धता जाहेर गरेपछि सहस्राब्दी विकास लक्ष्य अर्थात् मिलेनियम डेभलपमेन्ट गोल -एमडीजी) साधिएका थिए । जस्तो, प्राथमिक शिक्ष्ाको विश्वव्यापीकरण, लैंगिक समानता, महिला सशक्तीकरण, बाल मृत्युदर घटाउने, एड्सजस्ता रोगसँग लड्ने आदि । यस्ता लक्ष्य भएका कार्यक्रम पहिले नै थिए तर विश्वव्यापीरूपमा स्वीकारिएको त्यो पहिलोपटक थियो । त्यसैले एमडीजीले विश्वव्यापी साझेदारी जनाउँछ जसले विकासशील राष्ट्रलाई प्रथम सात लक्ष्य हासिल गर्न निर्देशन दिन्छ । तर गरिब मुलुकले समयमै लक्ष्य प्राप्त गर्न धनीहरूले पनि आफ्नो वाचा पूरा गर्नुपर्छ- प्रभावकारी सहयोगमार्फत । त्यसमा धनी मुलुक चुकेका छन् । सन् १९७० मा विश्वका सबैभन्दा धनी २२ राष्ट्रले उनीहरूको कुल राष्ट्रिय आम्दानीको सुन्ना दशमलव सात प्रतिशत सहयोग गर्ने वचन दिए । ३६ वर्ष बित्यो, पाँच मुलुक -डेनमार्क, लक्जेम्बर्ग, स्विडेन, नर्वे र नेदरल्यान्ड्स) बाहेक अरूले वाचा पूरा गरेका छैनन् । उक्त लक्ष्य भेट्न ती राष्ट्रले हाल गर्दै आएको सहयोग १० गुणा बढाउनुपर्छ ।

करिब दुई साताअगाडि नेपालले आफ्नो एमडीजीको स्थिति सार्वजनिक गर्‍यो । राष्ट्रसंघीय विकास कार्यक्रम -यूएनडीपी) र राष्ट्रिय योजना आयोगको प्रतिवेदनअनुसार नेपालले २०१५ सम्ममा लक्ष्य प्राप्त गरिसक्न दोब्बर लगानी गर्नुपर्छ । नेपाललाई थप साढे १२ अर्ब डलरको खाँचो छ । आन्तरिक स्रोतबाट झन्डै पाँच अर्ब जम्मा गर्न सकिए पनि बाँकीका लागि बाह्य सहयोगमै आश्रति हुनुपर्ने प्रतिवेदनको निष्कर्ष छ । देशमा दिगो शान्तिको सम्भावनापछि दाताले पैसाको ओइरो लगाएको देख्दा पैसाको समस्या नहोला । तर खुसी भइहाल्नुअगाडि ऋण सहयोगका आयामहरूलाई बुझ्नु जरुरी छ ।

दाता र धनी देशले दुई खाले सहयोग गर्छन्- ऋण र अनुदान । ऋण तिर्नुपर्छ, त्यसैले हामीजस्ता गरिबले खोज्ने अनुदान हो । अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मुद्रा कोष
-आईएमएफ), विश्व बैंक या एसियाली विकास बैंकजस्ता संस्थाले अत्यन्त कम ब्याज -एक प्रतिशत) मा ऋण दिए पनि उनीहरूलाई फाइदै छ । एक तथ्यांकअनुसार दाताहरूले अनुदानमा दिएको एक पाउन्डका लागि उनीहरू १३ पाउन्डभन्दा बढी फिर्ता पाउँछन् । त्यसैले विश्वका गरिब मुलुकका ऋण मिनाहा गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने आवाज उठेको हो । आईएमएफका ‘पीआरजीएफ’ र ‘हेभिली इन्डब्टेड पुअर कन्ट्री’ कार्यक्रम लागू भइरहेका छन् तर नेपाल ऋण मिनाहा हुने देशको सूूचीमा पर्दैन ।

सहयोगको अप्रभावकारिता छँदैछ, दाताहरूको एकअर्कालाई औंल्याउने बानीले समस्या झन् झन्झटिलो बनेको छ । हाम्रै मेलम्चीको कुरा गरौं । धेरै वर्षदेखि दाताको प्राथमिकतामा परेपछि आयोजना ठोसरूपमा अगाडि बढ्न सकेको छैन । चार वर्षअगाडि विश्व बैंकले आयोजनाबाट हात झिक्यो, यस्तो कारण देखाएर- काठमाडौं उपत्यकाभित्रका पानी वितरणका अन्य स्रोत राम्रो पहिचान नगरेको, पानी वितरण प्रणालीमै सुधार गर्नुपर्ने देखिएको, मेलम्ची सफल भए पनि उपत्यकाका सबैभन्दा धनी पाँच प्रतिशतलाई मात्रै फाइदा पुग्ने । तर अर्को दाता संस्था एडीबीचाहिँ आयोजनाले सम्पूर्ण आधार पूरा गर्ने बताउँदै त्यसमा आफ्नो सहभागितालाई निरन्तरता दिइरहेको छ । एउटा निकायले देखेको समस्या अर्कोको आँखै नपर्नु कस्तो अचम्म !

सहायता दाताकै स्वार्थका लागि प्रयोग हुने कुरा छँदैछ, सहयोग पाउने राष्ट्रले रकमको स्वामित्व महसुस गर्न नपाउनु अर्को समस्या हो । सहायताको ठूलो हिस्सा दाताहरूमै फिर्ता जान्छ । सन् २००२ मा क्याम्बोडियाले पाएको सहायता रकमबाट दाताहरूले सात सय सल्लाहकारहरू नियुक्त गरे । उनीहरूलाई तिर्ने तलब भत्तामा पाँच करोड अमेरिकी डलर खर्च भयो जो क्याम्बोडियाका झन्डै एक लाख साठी हजार सरकारी कर्मचारीले पाउने तलब भत्ता बराबर थियो । प्राविधिक सहयोग पनि ‘आफ्नो पैसा आफैंसँग’ कै अर्को उदाहरण हो जसमा दाताकै स्वार्थ लुकेको हुन्छ । प्राविधिक सहयोगका नाममा आउने सामग्रीको कुरा गरौं । एकै खाले आयोजना -जस्तो, सडक निर्माण) मा किन देश र दातापिच्छे फरक डोजर ल्याउने ? अर्को कुनै दाताले त्यही काम गरिसकेको भए त्यसले प्रयोग गरेर थन्केको औजार किन प्रयोग नगर्ने ? अथवा सहायता पाउने मुलुकलाई नै औजार किन्न दिए सस्तोमा ल्याउने थिए । त्यसैले सहायता दाता मुलुकका बहुराष्ट्रिय कम्पनीहरूको व्यापार प्रवर्द्धन गर्ने हतियार बन्न पुगेको छ । यदि धनी मुलुकहरू हाम्राे गरिबीप्रति गम्भीर हुने हो भने ‘पैसा धनीको, सर्त गरिबको’ हुनुपर्ने होइन र ?

धनी मुलुकले यी सब कुरा नबुझेका होइनन् । बुझ पचाइरहेका छन् । धनीहरूले गरिबलाई व्यापारिक साझेदारका रूपमा हेर्नुपर्छ भन्ने मान्यता पनि आएको छ- ‘सहायता होइन, व्यापार’ । तर विकासका नाममा नयाँनयाँ शब्द र नारा ल्याउँदैन समस्या समाधान हँुदैन । विश्व आर्थिक प्रणाली नै गरिब राष्ट्रहरूका लागि भेदभावपूर्ण छ । राष्ट्रिय अर्थतन्त्रमा गरिब र विकासशील मुलुकको सहभागितालाई कठिन तुल्याउने कारण धनी देशका कृषिसम्बन्धी नीति हुन् । संसारभरका तीन चौथाई गरिब कृषिमा निर्भर छन् तर बुझ पचाउँदै धनी मुलुक आफ्ना किसानलाई वाषिर्क तीन सय अर्ब डलरको सहुलियत दिन्छन् । अनि गरिब मुलुकका किसानले कसरी प्रतिस्पर्धा गर्न सकून् ? युरोपेली युनियनमा प्रत्येक गाई पालेबापत सरकारले अढाई डलर सहुलियत दिन्छ, जापानी गाईले दैनिक औसत सात डलर सहुलियत पाउँछ । जबकि कतिपय अपि|mकी मुलुकका ७५ प्रतिशत जनसंख्या दिनको दुई डलरभन्दा कममा जीवन बिताइरहेका हुन्छन् ।

त्यसैले माथिको प्रश्नमा ‘साँच्चै’ को साँच्चै आवश्यकता छ । यस्ता मुद्दा धेरै छन् र तिनमा गम्भीर बहसको जरुरी छ । सहायताजस्ता कुरामा समस्या हँुदा तिनको नतिजा भोग्नुपर्ने हामी युवाले हो । सन् २०१५ सम्ममा एमडीजी हासिल नगरे असर हाम्रै पुस्तालाई पर्ने हो । ऋणको भार हाम्रै टाउकामा पर्नेछ । त्यसैले आवाज उठाउने बेला आएको छ । र त्यो आवाज राष्ट्र गीतको र्‍यापमा गाउँदैमा या घोक्रो सुक्ने गरी ‘रातो र चन्द्र सूर्य’ गाउँदैमा बुलन्द हुँदैन ।

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18 comments

  1. gr8 article n nice pic Zade!!!

    I was really waitin for this moment …n now convinced that its same person who blogs here n writes occasionally in Kantipur!!!

    I think ur fren, who made such a comment is fond of professionally shot phoddies published in glossy magazines, or digitally enhanced e-photos; This morning, I had noticed that ur pic there with Kantipur article is not so clear, but actually it is due to the kind/quality of ‘newsprint’ paper.

    Anyway, thanx to ur fren, who compelled u to post ur pic!! 😉

  2. I am an anonymous writer.. and there are million others…I have gone public too in a public forum.. I used my real name there but that was it… I saw the advantages and disadvantages of the going public and was back into the anonymity… I loved to use my own name but what I love about anonymity is ur freedom to express urself as free as the air…. To be urself may other take it or not!!!! If they can’t Baal matlap…:P
    But to see you going public, one of mystery for me was unveiled… always had wanted to see the wonderful writer… well KTM aaunda kahin bhet bhayo bahne will say hi..:)
    But am confused…. Is that ur teddy going public or you??….:P…;)
    Have fun and keep blogging..:)
    Juggy

  3. i don’t think it matters much either way… some writers are as much public as you can be even being anonymous (probaby you fall into this category, zade); while others can choose to be public while maintaining a degree of privacy…nonetheless, i believe writers are (and should be) recognised more by their words than their faces. i doubt many of us know (or even care) how our favourite authors look like! one of my profs once told me – the only thing that matters is that you stand up to what you write and believe in (that was when i used too many third person verbs in my writing, and she didn’t like that at all…she thought i wasn’t sure of (and wasn’t owing to) what i believed in and what i was writing)…i believed in her then and still believe in what she said…

  4. as for the real topic of this post – MDGs – sorry, i have nothing to comment other than to say that most of the points you make about rich countries not doing enough to help the poorer ones are valid points…but when i see the mess in internal politics in lot of these “rich” countries, like the UK and the USA, and even within the EU with all the talks about new poorer members joining in and all, heping poorer developing countries in the “third world” (don’t like this term at all!) is probably way down in their agenda!!

  5. साह्रै गहकिलो लेख छ। धेरै धेरै बधाई छ है। यो एमडीजी चाँहि महाभारतको अभिमन्यूलाई चक्रब्यू भित्र छिर्ने कला सिकाएर बाहिर निस्कने कला नसिकाएको जस्तो छ है। अगाडीका सात ‘गोल’को चाँहि हिसाब हुने अनि त्यो आठौ ‘गोल’ कस्ले वास्ता गरिदिने नि? तपाँईले भने जस्तै त्यो अनुदानको कुरा त झनै गजबको छ। कि त ऋण दिन्छन सबै आफ्नै कुरा मनाउछन वा अलिकति अनुदान दिन्छन सबै लिएर जान्छन।

    एकस्नएडको एउटा रिपोटको अंश:

    In Cambodia, for example, consultants fees were $17,000 a month while government salaries were only $40. In Ghana, even relatively inexperienced consultants earned per day what government officials earned in a month. In Sierra Leone, according to one former UK-funded consultant, daily take-home pay was the same as the Auditor General’s monthly salary.

    फेरी पनि बधाई। अझै लेख्दै गर्नु।

    अनि तपाँईको फोटो पनि गजबको छ। तपाँईलाई समाई राखेको त्यो चस्मा लाउने चाँहि को हो नि? 🙂

  6. Ok seems like I’m going to be the only party pooper here. 🙂 The photo and everything else is nice, but a couple of things about the MDG goal and the accusation that the rich coutries are out there to get poor countries and in some comments in particular about the salary disparity issue for consultants.

    The MDG is one of the favourite buzz words of left leaning economists, mainly Jefferey Sachs from Columbia Univ. MDG to me sounds like a bunch of fuzzy eyed goals set along the lines of Asiali Maapdanda during King Birendra’s time in mid eighties. Sounds nice, but how does once get there? Mr. Sachs proposes a bunch of economic measures, he also claims that MDG can be achieved by the poorest despite the corruption prevailent in the third world countries. I for one doubt that. Most of the leakages, especially of the donor funds, is due to corruption. Educated elites in charge of important positions in government, NGO’s and the like do siphon away a lot of the money. More than what gets lost to the consultants.

    The actionaid report about the disparity in income of the goverment salary and the consultant salary can be explained. One has to remember that the consultant probably lives in the United States of America, and if he were to be paid $40.00 a month for three years, what’s she supposed to do with that amount of money once she gets back home? She’s better off not taking the consulting position in the first place. Same is true for the UK funded project in Sierra Leone. A louder argument that one hears in cases involving foreign experts is that foreign funded projects rely too much on outside experts and do not hire the local help. But my lady, sometimes local help is inadequate and foreign expertise in such cases is inevitable.

    Again, countries have the right to refuse grants/aids/loans if they do not like the terms, but more often than not, we see coutries like ours taking the money. The most successful finance misnister is the once who can get in the most foreign aid. You cannot take in the money and not agree to the terms of taking the money. One has to pay the piper in the end.

    Melamchi – hah!, not delayed because of donors, but mostly because of indecisiveness of successive Nepali Governments, Mao pressure to stop the work whenever they wanted to press the government, and the work of misguided NGO’s who did a lot to condition local people against the project, local people who want more cmpensation and jobs on the project, everything from technical positions to managerial ones (again goes to the heart of the argument of hiring more local help). If ADB or IMF or whoever provides millions of dollars for a project, you can bet on it that they’re gonna have oversight over the project.

    Moreever, you have to realize that the money that ADB or IMF or World Bank or whatver the funding agency comes from taxpayers dollars, or the money raised from honest working men and women around the world (especially in developing countries). How much of the tax money raised in underdeveloped countries like ours goes for the common good? Most is siphoned off in forms of corruption, to but jaguars for kings, to feed rebel armies, to buy pajeros and on top of that we complain that the people who help are not helping enough.

    hmmmmmm got a little muddled at the end, but of course I’m open to discussion…..

  7. मुगल-ए-आजम त कलर बनाइसकेको बेलाँ २१ अ‍ौं शताब्दीकी केटीको फोटो चाहिँ क्यान ब्ल्याक एन्ड ह्वाइट 😉

  8. interesting read, but pretty complex topic to have done any justice with 7 hours of research.

    i suggest you read–“The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working” by Robert Calderisi, who has worked for World Bank for two decades.

    though, the book is on Africa, it has a very strong parallel to our own story (South Asia). should help you to give a better insight at the dynamics of the ‘Foreign Aid’.

    and i totally agree with ‘Twaaks’.

  9. further more, reading your all ‘femenist’ write ups, i always had a picture of you in a ‘combat gears’, but surprise to see you with that quintessential teddy.

    nice pic, now we know the face behind the name.

  10. hmmm.. the one day is over i guess, and agree with lot of things here like hating the term “Third world”…we debate a lot of this in class…and you aren’t a party pooper at all Mr Twaaks , I like it when ppl think the other way, and yah agree ( sable nice bhanda bhanda wakka lagcha, i mena where’s the oppourtunity to learn)…pheri ma ke nai janne manche hun ra…. ..but in a hurry rt now to discuss it. i personally feel this article too short, too incomplete…sometimes chahin kantipur afnai bauko bhayeko bhaye hunthyo jasto lagcha! 😉
    thanks you loads..and Gols ji…yah ppl might be shocked with the teddy thing there, photo khichna odd lagera support leko ho! hahaha…seems like most ppl have some kind of Daku image of me..had a person tell me…Daku …. Devi in one of the social networking sites…LOL ..je hos mero photo sab ko dil ko bhitta mai tasiyo hola so taking it off! next pic surely in combat outfit!
    n for the donation thing, disqualified once again 😦 pressure low, doubtful weight….all waihat! ..

  11. Twaaks Jee,

    I am in agreement with you when you said it is due to problem in our leadership/government. But, it is not justified when “they” give us a sum total, take back most of it and count all of them in the technical assistant or aid. Fine, we lack capabilities to do assignments like these so called “white” consultants. But, do they really add value to our work? They spend most of the time learning the baseline situation here, meeting with local government, and other stakeholders. At last, they give some documents that can not be implemented by our local people here, which is mainly stored in shelves and never looked at again. But, I am talking about most of the cases here, not all.

    The issue of MDG and its eights goal is related to this. All of us know MDGs are ambitious (but can be achieved, optimistically). There is no second opinion that we should reduce poverty, child mortality and so on. But we lack resources, that’s why we are listed in the poor countries. And, MDG is supposed to be there to help with its eights goal.

    My only point is when “they” give us aid to meet other seven goals, I would suggest paying the high consulting fee of their consultants from other money leaving the total to meet these goals.

    But, of course, the answer is not simple. I admit that there is problem inside us (the prime one is corruption and our attitude). But one has to also look at the market rate of living and salary scale of government employee in comparison to others (mainly NGO and business community which leads to high market inflation). I am not saying we should allow government officials to take bribe. I do not have idea how this issue could be addressed, but I know for sure that just saying NO to corruption will not help us in this.

    Sorry to drag this discussion to another direction.

    However, I am not an expert on these issues. यसो मनमा लागेका कुरा राखेको, गलत भए सच्याइ पाउँ।

  12. To Unfoldingreverie,

    As don Corleone would say, “it’s not personal, it’s business”……

    To answer the question you raise in your first paragraph, you have a choice here, if you do not like the terms of the loan, do not take the loan or the grant or the money or the foreign consultant.

    Second, you say – “At last, they give some documents that can not be implemented by our local people here, which is mainly stored in shelves and never looked at again.”

    Now, this is an improtant question, why do the recomendations in scuh reports never get implemented? Is it because the recommendations are not “mato suhaudo”, or is it because of a failure in the part of the people/authorities who are supposed to implement them? If a provided solution is not applied, then is the solution wrong or is it the implementation? That is a very important question that must be answered. If the solution/recommendation itself is wrong and unimplementable, the the solution provides (in this case the “white” consultant) must be held accountable (how? maybe refuse his services when the next loan/grant/aid is offered, maybe tell him so, or maybe whatever else will have you). If the implementation part is wrong then well, it;s our fault and the only remedy to that is to change ourselves.

    To often we fall into the trap of blaming our woes to other people, we’re poor because thr ich exploit us, because the west has assymetrical treaties, becuase India has a big brotherly attitude, because China is communist, because we do not have a sea-port (yes, I have heard that argument). Maybe all of the above are true, but then again, what have we as a nation done to fight back? Or are we just a bunch of incompetent, lazy people?

    Now, if I understand you correctly on your third paragraph, you want them to give you (not “you” personally, third world countries like ours) money, pay their consultants, experts, logistics, equipment from another source (also theirs) to meet YOUR developement goals? And what is it that you do? (Again refer to Don Corleone, it’s not personal)

    Fourth paragraph, sorry I’m not an economist, but blaming inflation wholly to disparity in wages is disingenious at best.

    I did not mean to say in my earlier post that saying “just say No to corruption” policy will solve all our problems. We have to solve our problems despite of corruption. Corruption exists in all societies, in all elevels and in different forms. It’s how you deal with the corruption, that’s important. My problem with Nepal is that we have institutionalized corruption and have a total breakdown of any form of law recognizable in the traditional sense (one could argue that we’ve never had a law abiding society and have been free falling for quite a while, but again that’s an argument for another day). Further, one of the arguments made by the MDG people (not you Zade, but Messrs Sachs and Bono and in a small extent by Unfoldingreverie) is that plug should be put in the money that goes back to the donors in form of consulting fees (that is “white” mans corruption) but disregard the corrution that happens in third world countries. Isn’t that counterintuitive?

    Ah! this is getting too long, so I end here……… and thank everyone for their patience with me 😀

  13. Points well taken!

    But if we leave things as they are, we are again back to square one. My still point would be if we talk about these big missions; MDGs, WTO and many more to take poor countries out of vicious cycle of poverty, we need to achieve real progress. My small knowledge on some issues, whether be it WTO, or Kyoto Protocol, or MDGs, they all lead to same position and we end up doing no progress to help “third world” countries. We (rather “they”) should have guts to say that we can not do anything to help you corrupt people, live as you are.

    Not doubt that corruption is main culprit for our failure or being a poor country. Again points well taken !

  14. As crazy as it may sound woke up in the middle of the night thinking I seriously don’t agree with what Mr twaaks had to say in the first comment..and as I am no economist myself would really like understand things better, and seems like my waking up hasn’t been a useless thing to do either, yahan ta discussion nai chalirako raicha. To begin with the corruption thing having worked in a NGO knowing pretty much of everything goin on there I would say yah, that’s a fact..here and despite the NGO big folks like Bhogendra Sharma ( CVICT), Bandana Rana( Sancharika Samuha) and even the NGO president Arjun Karki being accused of frauds nothing has been really done, NGOs surely have become the place to loot donor funds I agree. We surely lack in that aspect. But isn’t it the donor agencies job to be sticking to thier own policies too? for instance when DFID is working with NGOs it says no administrative expense more than 8% while its own exceeds 11%, maybe we should excuse them because they are donors but then does that mean no one can hold the so called powerful and developed accountable for anything because its their money? If that were to happen then maybe we should all rejoice being the so called third world, celebrate and let things happen as they are now.. But the ones in power aren’t only responsible for things they do but also that they don’t.

    And I can’t understand how nations like ours or many in Africa can just say “Ok, we’ve had enough We won’t take grants and aids ” at all either. and in the debate a fren had told me, ‘why clamor for aid, why do we need to be dependent, Japan developed on its own, why can’t we do something like that, perhaps we are just not willing to accept we are incapable of doing things ourselves..” Maybe to some extent it is true but this is no more the era when the notion of Development just began and the west were busy enforcing their Economic growth criteria. It isn’t 1950s when Nepal was a blank slate and donors were just beginning to come it. The chain of dependency created by the developed nations isn’t something we can escape so easily as to rejecting aid and grant. And even when we think in economic terms taking of aid and grant help in the longterm..don’t want to go into that part now..still a budget deficit is not a bad thing at all..because money multiplies more that way..but if we can make it more effective why not do it? And for agreeing to everything the donor’s say or want..well that would be acceptable pre- 50 years is enough campaign against world bank started I guess…when one wouldn’t really discuss or dare to discuss the truth behind aid. How can we just close our eyes to all the undemocratic and unacceptable practices donors and IFIs do in the name of fostering “Good Governance”, transparency and whatever jargons they love to bring one after another. The so called developed are supposed to be clear headed aren’t they, its the underdeveloped or whtever tag we have given that are the confused unable to see things clearly….but why talk big when they themselves don’t act what they say. Why go around the world trying to bring in Good Gov or whtever else. Why say we are unacccountable, opaque in our functions when they are do damn reluctant to reveal their procedures themselves…The are the ones who bring in these new nice things Global trade, international solidarity and for how long are we to just say “something is better than nothing ” or glass is half full and act stupid. Does being poor mean we should be voiceless? And if that we too happen The Arun Project would have doomed this nation, in the end the WB had to come to its needs… In the complex global economy like this I don’t think “No aid” thing exists as such. And what about the growth of the west on the economic and social exploitation of the east, I think in this field of social sciences everything is vague but that doesn’t mean we can’t address them?

    As for Melamchi, agree there is corruption ( that seems to be something prevalent everywhere here, despite any concrete proof) but again we had development expert ( not the stereotypical types who do nothing but talk big, Nepalese aren’t all corrupt for sure and the nation does have people who really seek to make a difference) come and talk to us with the facts that only 20% of the funds given by the donors in anyproject in nepal reaches the target group or the ppl the money is supposed to go to, corrupt NGO folks exist and of course now the situation has got more complicated with the big NGO here being so entirely donor driven that nothing can really take place because of thier own mutual goals, and the most part of the 80%despite corruption later remains back in the donors’ pockets.. so I don’t really know what to believe here. And yah the Melamchi does talk of some social upliftment program, sth for the locals, envt standards and all, and of course they are the part of the program brought in by the ADB themselves, of course, they can’t do without it too when they talk big of boot, participatipatory approaches, social inclusion blah blah..but the irony is they don’t follow it themselves….you say the donors give reports, of course in English, not in the language the tamangs there understand…The west talk of sustainable envt etc , and here we have them working of a project..the tunnel of water if built will be passing through the area which is prone to earthequake..and then when privatization of water has numerous cases of failure ADB was dying to get it done, thankfully they’re talking of public-private partnership now..

    Surely that money comes from the pockets of honest, hardworking taxpayers..but yah the honest taxpayers are the ones that belong to some 1/4 or 2/4 of the world’s population that consume some 80% of the world’s resources. What can be said about that? When they could have a less extravagant lifestyle not be so obese, have a better sense seeing the skinny children in south africa and be more thoughful…There switzerland makes the finest chocolates while people in Ghana can’t even believe that bitter cocoa can taste so good. There USA proclaims to have trade regulations to help all the people in the world, and despite it being so rich is busy patenting Basmati as some Texasmati. With the fattening of the cow in EU proving some2.5$ subsidy a day and artificial lowering of prices of agricultural products the world over why talk of fair policies. So there’s the great Bush who says “Either you’re with us , or you’re not”. Clear isn’t it? So why can’t we demand the same : “Either provide aid that really helps or don’t”..don’t come knocking into our doors in the name of being generous..and not always do the ministers go knocking for some money, sometime donors themselves jump at the opportuinity of their cash inflowing like in our case after the 19 day movement. I don’t believe providing aid can give the right to the donors to undermine our integrity or its an act of Greatness on their part either with history showing how they all progressed by exploiting the poor..and for all poor countries to say “No aid” I believe the nations should be in some another planet to ever say that, afterall globalization is a fact now, no more a choice…

    Well this is what I think of course would love to be enlightened with something more concrete which will make me get it right..of course not trying to convince anyone against their will…for that can’t be done, nor can I myself be convinced against my will for that matter…
    feels a lot better now, gotta sleep I guess..surely looking forward to more comments 🙂 when I am back from the trip
    Till then happy discussing 🙂 hmm perhaps this turned into a debate..whatever its still the expression of ideas, way to better understanding….

  15. twaaks,
    hehe…the manner of your rebuttal is more of ‘Tonny Montana’ than ‘Don Corleone’, damn, these Western pop culture, wish had something to toss around from ‘Shiv Shrestha’ or ‘Rajesh Hamal’, but that’s beside the point.

    World Bank, IMF, ADB are nothing but the eye of Sauron of capitalism, and if you happen to live in the middle earth (third world countries), you can’t escape from its glaring gaze. Ah! A bit Tolkienian. They are like the evil cauldron where crazy economic models are brewed, and concoct is tested on us. You can be as lucky as a guinea pig, if you survive, but you are not going to run the show, anytime. Always the triumphant one is free market. Ah! A bit of Marxist. These organizations can be as benevolent as Shylock. So, expecting to get rid of your miseries through their aid is like taking a shark loan form Don Corleone.

    The purpose of any aid is not to make you dependent, but to make you self reliant. But, in our (Nepal) case, it can be best expressed by a Hindi adage: “Kandhe pe bithawo to, kaan pe mutta hai.” After numerous five years plans, less than 50% of fiscal budget for the nation is generated by revenue, and rest has to come from foreign aid. It’s like expecting to get a balanced nutritional diet while begging on the street. You get a lavish meal when someone gets generous once a while.

    In my opinion, donor agencies should stop giving any aid, to shake us out of this complacency, so that we might want to kick away our alms bowl and stretching our limbs a bit. That way no hassle of expensive consultants and no dust gathering lost reports on the shelves.

  16. hahaha gols, certainly not Montana (incidentally I watched Scarface over the weekend). But maybe a little of Vijay Chauhan from Agneepath (remember that one?)

    And Sauron of Capitalism, well maybe, maybe maybe not. But the ring is powerful and once someone has it they will beocme Gollum but not let it go. Hopefully one of these days we can be Aragon and not give into the temptation of the ring or maybe Sam Gamjee will save us from the precipice. Who knows? And you decry Shylock, but Shakespear has been accused of being an anti-semite on this one. But the larger point is, you have to pay the piper, no matter what.

    And Zade, sorry to have ruined your sleep. It never was my intent, ‘saala twaaks ne need hi haraam kardiya’. Take whatver I write with a pinch of salt, I’m really not an expert on anything.

    But nevertheless, some more comments.

    I got the impression from the first paragraph, Zade, that you agree with me on the point that the NGO’s are not quite what they profess to be. We all agree that they need to take fair renumaration for the good work that they do, but in our case, most of the time, funds do get misued and NGOs become more of “buckets with holes all over them”. Th eother point that you make, that donor agencies also do not stick to their rule, well that may be true. In such a case, it is incumbent upn us (NGOs, government, common people) to bring these guys to account. Not by stoning them to death, mind you, but by filing lawsuits, even in their originating countries if required. But alas, we feel more comfortable crying wolf whenevr it suits us, and turning a blind eye, when it is time for action.

    It is immaterial if donor agencies are transparent or not, we must be transparent in our own governance. It is a shame that we need do not agencies to teach us about transparency and good governance. Further, most of the time, when aid/grants/loans etc are made, I am sure contracts are signed, and I wonder how well we manage to negotiate the terms of the contract in the begining. Often times, we end up complaining in the end once we find out that making structural changes in government is going to be too unpopular. Contrary to popular belief, the West did not and is not getting rich solely on exploitation of the East, there is much more to developement and getting rich than exploitation. IMHO Easterners exploit Easterners more in matters of economics.

    Now, whatever your friend might have told you, Japan did not become an economic powerhouse in its own, overnight. After the devastation of the second world war, the United States intiated something called the Marshal Plan to pump in money, technical expertiese, good governance etc into much of Western Europe and Japan in forms of soft loans and grants. It also helped that much of Europe was already industrialized before and and a good sense of where they wanted to go, and Japanese were hard working and good learners. I bet corruption occured during that plan too, and maybe a bunch of money was siphoned away, but development happened in less that the 50 year time span that we are talking about here.

    And yes, I agree with you when you say that we should not just take whatever is given to us with the concept “somthing is better than nothing”, that was my whole point in the previous post. We have a choice to say “No” or negotiate better terms. Aslo we are not as voiceless as we presume ourselves to be. We like playing the victim so much, that it has become a habit.

    Arun-3, well, contrary to what Messrs. Nepal, and Adhikary say (that they saved us from Enron by killing Arun-3), I think it was sheer dumb luck. They killed Arun-3 at that time because they had no idea what they wanted and later Enron happened. But the million dollar question is, what have we learned from this issue? Or has the lesson become lost in the same stack of files where reports and recommendations go?

    Melamchi – sure the donors give their recomendations in English, but isn’t it incumbent on US to translate it into Tamang, Newari, Maithili, Sherpa or whatever have you so that our people understand it? The donor gives is chewed food and you want them to swallow it for YOU too? Common, Zade, you can do better than that!!

    Now obesity 😀 let’s talk about that. Most of the poor here are obese, not the rich. And do you know why? Because they lack access to proper nutrition. The rich have well toned bodies and are skinny enough (think Brad Pitt and Jeniffer Aniston). The poor have to eat whatever they can afford. But they also work over sixteen hours a day in minimum wage conditions, do not get the benefit of unions, cannot go on strikes or burn down the local Walmart and yes pay taxes, unlike some other countries I know (I did work in Nepal, it was a measly teaching job, but the employer told us that he was not giving us tax receipts so that we would not have to pay taxes and was saving us some money, and that was one of the as educated as they come guys in Nepal, don’t tell me that people do not swindle the government left, right, right and center and then swindle it some more). And a part of that tax money goes to foreign aid. It is not something that they (West. esp US) have to give, but they give nevertheless.

    “You’re either with us or against us”; Whatever Mr. Bush is, and wherever he has taken his country with this was in Iraq, the above quote is miscontrued and out of context. It was said in response to 9/11, hello, flying planes, burning buildings, 3000 dead (and they take their dead seriously, never forget, unlike us who say let bygones be bygones and let’s forget the 13000 dead for the sake of peace!!). The fact that Mr. Bush squandered the goodwill and sympathy that the US had from the world on the wake of 9/11 is probably a topic for another discussion. But, also mark my words, we are better off living in a world dominated by Mr. Bush than in a world dominated by Mr. Hugo Chavez, Mr. Ahmedinejad, Mr. Castro or Mr. Jong Il. I have to disagree with Ms. A Roy and unfortunately, you too, in this regard.

    But, whatever may be the case, my broader point is that we have to look into our policies and what we have been doing wrong first before blaming everything on some big bad wolf.

    Wow!! this has become a long one. Maybe you should start a new discussion or maybe I’ll post something in my blog about this.

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