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KATHMANDU, OCT 20 - With the next Constituent Assembly (CA) election round the corner, the three major political parties have shared ambitious goals of the economic development in their election manifestos.
While the UCPN (Maoist) has presented a development plan to make Nepal a developed country in four phases over the next 40 years, while the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN (UML) have announced plans for 5-10 years.
In its manifesto, the UCPN (Maoist) plans to convert the country to a middle-income country within the 20 years and a high-income country in the subsequent 20 years. For this, the Maoists have laid out plans to attain a sustained double-digit growth for 40 years.
The UCPN (Maoist) has targeted an economic growth of 7.9 percent in the first five years and increase it to 11 percent in 10 years, 12.4 percent in 20 years and 12.2 percent in 40 years.
“Such growth would be attained through intense development and commercialisation of agriculture, infrastructure, including energy, road, railway, ropeway and development of tourism and productive industries,” states the manifesto.
Also, the party claims it will be able to double the per capita income from the current $ 721 to $ 1,400 within five years. It aims to increase per capital income to $ 40,000 in 40 years.
On the other hand, the NC has talked about attaining economic growth of 8-10 percent and increasing the citizens’ per capital income to Rs 100,000 in the next five years.
“The contribution of the industrial sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) will be raised to 12 percent within five years, increasing the production and productivity,” reads the NC manifesto, which has not been made public yet.
The CPN (UML), on the other hand, has committed to lift the country from the current status of a least developed country to that of a developing country in five years increasing per capita income, social and physical development and development of human resource index. The national target, however, is to make the country a developing country within the next 10 years.
All three parties have announced ambitious targets in energy at a time when the country has been witnessing longer power-cuts for the last few years. They have also laid out lofty plans for employment creation.
The UCPN (Maoist) manifesto aims to end the current load-shedding problems within three years. The Maoists have set a target to produce 10,000 MW of power within the next 10 years which will ultimately be increased to 47,000 MW over 40 years.
The NC also aims to end load-shedding in the next three years. It aims to produce 5,000 MW of electricity within the next five years. Similarly, 100 MW of electricity would be generated each from solar and wind energy through the public-private partnership, the NC says in its manifesto which is yet to be made public.
Similar target for energy is also found in the UML manifesto. It aims to generate 5,000 MW of electricity in the next five years and 10,000 MW by the end of 10 years.
The UML has also stated that it will complete several ongoing hydropower projects like Upper Karnali, West Seti, Budhi Gandaki, Upper Marshyangdi, Lower
Arun, Tamakoshi III, Arun III and Upper Tamor within 10 years through proper coordination with the private sector.
The UCPN (Maoist) has planned to eliminate unemployment within the next 15 years, creating enough job opportunities within the country. The UML has also talked about creating 300,000 jobs annually to accommodate the country’s annual work force of 400,000.
All three parties have talked about incorporating the role of the state, private sector and cooperatives. Although the UCPN (Maoist) has been treating the cooperatives as separate stakeholder, it has accepted the sector as a part of private sector in the menifesto.
“The state’s role will basically be that of a regulator and facilitator while the cooperatives will play a complementary role as part of
private sector and the private sector will be the main driver of the economic development ,” states the Maoists’ document. On the other hand, the NC has talked about ensuring the rights of owning private properties. The party has also vowed not to hold any bandas, saying that it would come up with a law that holds those responsible for enforcing bandas and protests to compensate the loss and damage of private property. The UML has also vowed not to organise bandas. Both the UCPN Maoist and the UML have talked about adopting a socialism-oriented economic model.
All three parties have also taken ambitious targets for tourism. The Maoist party has talked about
bringing in 2 million tourists each year in the next 10 years, while the UML has set the same target, but in five years. The NC aims to attract
5 million tourists a year in 10 years.

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