Professor, Dr. Madan K. Dahal, Former HoD Economics, TU
The Telegraph Weekly’s association with this humble but yet highly competent Nepali scholar dates back to decades. Frankly speaking, he is among those few
He is one of the valuable “assets” of the nation but unfortunately largely ignored by the
Professor Dr. Madan Kumar Dahal, to me is first a guardian and later a friend. I value his friendship. He is undoubtedly a genius in the domain of Economics and is rated among the few Nepali scholars who could compete easily with their foreign counterparts be it in the presentation of seminar papers or making a lecture on contemporary world economy. He is simply a reservoir of knowledge, to say the least.
Prof. Dahal is a doctoral degree holder in the field of Economics (Government Finance) from the University of Bombay, India. He is in the teaching profession since more than three decades.
Apart from his daily teaching routine at the TU, Professor Dahal is also regularly involved in developing, introducing and implementing curricula on Economics in higher education (Certificate, Bachelor and Master’s levels) at
Dr. Dahal who is currently serving the TU (
In addition to these, Prof. Dahal is a visiting Professor at the University of Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Of late, Dr. Dahal as a financial Management expert has also worked for a World Bank/Government of Sri Lanka Project quite recently being in
Professor Dahal has several publications to his credit, contributed as author/co-author/editor, for example, Foreign Aid and the Role of NGOs in Nepal(FES), India’s Aid Policy to Nepal(BPKIF), Impact of Globalization in Nepal(NEFAS), Economic History of Nepal, 1768-1952(NEFAS) to name a few among others.
The list of his CV might consume pages and pages which we can’t afford.
Last week, we approached this suave but yet brilliant persona for an exclusive interview on contemporary political events unfolding in the country and also to know his views as regards the new fiscal year budget that the government is all set to present. Below the results: chief editor.
TGQ1: Prof. Dahal, we have been told that the Interim government is all set to go in for a Three Year Interim Development Plan for the country. If so, what sort of planning be made so that it benefits the majority of the people? Also tell us what basics must be included in the said plan that is markedly different that the previous ones but in more ways than one serve the need of the nation in the given changed political context? Have you any tangible suggestions to the government? Your comments please!
Dr. Dahal: The preparation for a Three-Year Interim Development Plan (2007-2010) is under progress and likely to be inducted upon expiry of The Tenth Plan (2002-2007) on
TGQ2: The time for the presentation of a new budget for the Fiscal year is also round the corner. How the budget should look like, what should be accorded top priorities; of what size and dimension it should be; and how those should be implemented by the Interim government so that the impending budget assures each and every segment of the people? Your remarks please!
Dr. Dahal: The economy is passing through a critical phase of poverty and stagnation engulfed by recession, a mild-phase of conflict, inefficiency and corruption. The forthcoming budget for FY 2007/08 should largely confine to addressing these acute and intractable issues facing Nepalese economy for a long time. However, the new budget must focus on mobilizing internal resources without creating excess burden to taxpayers, not only for meeting recurrent expenditures but also to generate surplus for counterpart funding. Although a prime crosscutting issue is inadequacy of resources to sustain development activities and poverty alleviation programs, capacity for government spending is conspicuously poor resulting in diminutive growth. Thus, the new budget should strike at maintaining a balance between growth and poverty alleviation. The government should accord a high priority to execute reconciliation programs comprising reconstruction, rehabilitation and reintegration. The forthcoming budget should stress on to promote foreign employment, provide dignified package of incentives to civil servants, army, police, and teachers receiving fund from treasury, adjust subsidy to poor farmers at a reasonable level; ensure conducive investment climate to spur business and industrial activities. In addition, the government must make an effort to provide good governance through improving accountability and transparency, and by maintaining fiscal discipline. Under the existing circumstances, there is limited scope to formulate an ambitious budget. However, it would be pragmatic to keep the fiscal deficit within the range of 5 percent of GDP and, subsequently, maintain budgetary deficit preferably to the level not exceeding 1 percent of GDP. This depends on the quantum and regular flow of both bilateral and multilateral assistance available to
To my projection, the total expenditure (budget) for next FY 2007/08 should not exceed Rs. 165 billion, while revenue targets could level to Rs. 97 billion, and foreign aid to be mobilized to the tune of Rs. 68 billion. Considerable degree of personal and business deductions, exemptions and rebates are required to sustain economic momentum and provide a new lease of life to the economy. In the forthcoming budget for FY 2007/08, I strongly envisage and recommend the government to:
(a) Provide cheaper kerosene to commoners,
(b) Increase magnitude of incentives to fixed income groups,
(c) Provide relief to displaced and victims of conflict,
(d) Effectively implement reconciliation programs to be set for the target groups,
(e) Attract and ensure security to FDI and indigenous investment,
(f) Foster foreign employment to mobilize remittances at a greater scale,
(g) Increase productivity of foreign aid, and
(h) Ensure good governance for better results and delivery of goods and services to the people.
TGQ3: Nepali leaders have been found in talking much on political matters only. Don’t you think that the most important part that is the over all “development of the nation” remains ignored even after the April change last year. The economic aspect is missing in the midst of politics, we presume. How you interpret this phenomenon? Do you subscribe to their line of considerations or disapprove? Your personal views please!
Dr. Dahal: The successive governments in the past and also today are preoccupied with crisis management and, unfortunately, they are less involved in the result-oriented process of economic development. Currently, economic agenda is subdued by political agenda and, thus, economic development is not a priority. Underdevelopment encapsulated by corruption and inefficiency is threat to democracy and continuity of democratically elected government. As of ADB’s projection economic growth rate in
TGQ4: How you Prof. Dr. Dahal as a senior economist of the country with international standing, assess the unfolding political events in the country more so after the Maoists joined into the mainstream politics of the country recently. Is the country’s politics going in the right direction or it is simply the other way round? Your opinions please!
Dr. Dahal: The major responsibility of the government is to guarantee peace and provide security to its citizens, maintain law and order, run day-to-day administration, design appropriate strategy for economic development, and establish credibility and gain popularity by holding election of the Constituent Assembly in stipulated timeframe. These are the measuring indicators to judge whether politics is moving towards right direction or vice-versa.
TGQ5: A section of the economists say that Nepali currency needed a change in its existing exchange rates with the Indian currency. If done so, what substantial changes in our export/import performances such an adjustment will bring about? Or are there some other effective economic procedures which if adopted would enhance the country’s economic stamina and allow
Dr. Dahal: In recent years,