Leaders agree to adopt three-pillar economic model
THIRA L BHUSAL
KATHMANDU, Dec 6: Leaders from the major political parties have finally agreed to adopt three-pillar economic model in the new constitution.
The mixed-model economic policy will ensure independent development of the public, private and cooperative sectors and will also accept joint involvement of the three sectors´ in development activities.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the high-level taskforce formed to settle disputes in the constitution writing after days-long deliberations on economic policy to be incorporated under the directive principles and policies of the new constitution.
Earlier, the thematic committee of the Constituent Assembly (CA) had decided to adopt the policy of “consolidating national economy through independent development and partnership of public, private and cooperative sectors”.
But Maoist leader Dev Gurung at the taskforce meeting objected to the concept of partnership, which is preferred by the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML. Gurung said his party is firmly against the policy of giving parallel status to all the three sectors. Finally the leaders settled the issue by replacing the word “partnership” with “participation”.
“We can´t accept private and public sector having parallel status. Accepting the concept of partnership between the public and private sector on equal footing is to undermine the role of the state. Therefore, we pressed for replacing the word partnership by participation,” Gurung said. Nepal Workers Peasants Party (NWPP) backed the Maoist policy.
Gurung objected to the partnership concept though the Maoist party´s election manifesto clearly vows to adopt public-private partnership to fulfill the requirement of capital needed for development activities by making maximum utilization of the capital scattered across the country.
Explaining the difference, Gurung said the policy of participation only allows a private company to jointly work with a state agency. “In participation, private sector has to accept government leadership. The partnership concept, however, may allow a private company to lead such a project and the state´s role might be reduced to being supportive,” he said.
Agree to ensure independent development of public, private, cooperative sectors
Maoists agreed on the policy after NC, UML okayed to replace the word “partnership” with “participation”
According to him, a private company may independently undertake a separate project. In such a case, the government will only monitor the entity. “But once it wants to work with a state-owned agency, the company can´t own majority shares,” Gurung further clarified.
However, Nepali Congress (NC) leader Ramesh Lekhak, a regular participant of the taskforce meetings, said there is no substantial difference between the two concepts.
“Agreement on broad concept of the three-pillar model is a significant achievement,” he said.