Surendra Pandey: Nepal’s weakest Finance Minister ever?
Nepal’s present Finance Minister, Surendra Pandey is being criticized as the weakest ever finance minister in the entire history of Finance Ministry of the nation.
Surendra Pandey received a sort of bumper prize of taking over the current ministerial portfolio-replacing none other than Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai- the Maoists’ ideologue, after the UML came to power facilitating the twice defeated Madhav Kumar Nepal as the new Premier in the unstable political situation created after President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav took the controversial decision to reinstate the peoples’ elected government sacked Chief of Army Staff Rukmangad Katawal.
By the way, Pandey is a close relative of UML Chairman Jhal Nath Khanal. Reports have it that Khanal and Pandey are married to two sisters from the same family. Thus he was the best candidate for the post, say some of his sharp critics.
Pandey’s luck was consolidated with UML's lucky charm. But Pandey who had studied Economics at the Tribhuvan University proved to be a weaker student that he was then. Analysts believe that the global economic recession, its impact seen in remittance, foreign currency deficit, trade deficit, liquidity crunch and slowing foreign employment was largely contributed by the Minister's lack of knowledge to deal with such financial setbacks. Elevated persons generally lack knowledge and the nation thus pays.
The immediate weaknesses seen in the Minister is his inability to measure the allocation of budget in line with the revenue collection.
Due to which, claim economists, problems surfaced in export, domestic production, financial sector and foreign currency reserve. After assuming the post, Pandey-the duffer- had blindly distributed the budget for foreign tours, relief packages and activist welfare. Now the government finds it hard even to give salaries to the Constituent Assembly members-the white elephants- and the cabinet members.