Deflation and Economic Stagnation in Japan

Soaring prices is a common phenomenon in Nepal, with an average of 8% inflation. We are tired of increasing prices. So, when we hear of deflation (opposite of inflation), we might think it as a positive phenomenon, but actually it is not! which we will discuss later in this article. Inflation refers to general increase in price level and Deflation indicates a persistent decrease in the price level. Disinflation might be confusing with deflation. However, disinflation is the decrease in the inflation rate, and when the inflation rate reaches zero and even falls below zero, it is referred to as deflation. Deflation has been a common phenomenon in most of the European countries and Japan. Japan has been facing deflation since 1990s and Japanese government has experimented all kind of policies to recover its economy out of deflation since then. However, the recovery seems to be difficult for Japan. The decade of deflation is also known as "Lost Decade" in Japan. Lost Decade in the sense that the economy has remained stagnant since then. So, why the decrease in prices matter for the economy. We will look at the case study of Japan. 
How the deflation started at all?
Deflation was created since 1990s, when the real estate bubble crashed. The soaring prices came down and it has not been able to catch up the race since then(except in 2006, when the signs of recovery was seen but couldn’t last long). Japan had experienced an economic miracle during the period of 1950s to 1970s. The growth rate was around 10% per year. The globalization had allowed the Japanese trade to bloom and its human resources were complimented for their hard work and dedication towards the expansion of the Japanese economy. It was boosted by the stable political leadership during the period.
The Plaza Accord of 1984, decided to undervalue dollar against yen as yen was highly undervalued hurting the export of other countries. The appreciating yen led to expensive exports of Japanese goods and thus, pushed the country to mild recession. To counter it, the Japanese government adopted an expansionary monetary policy, cutting the interest rates to encourage investments. The appreciating yen coupled with expansionary monetary policy led to surge in the prices. The cross-share holdings of oligarchic Japanese business community, corrupt bureaucrats inclined to bankers and businesspeople, manipulative financial data and reckless lending practices were among the reasons of soaring prices.The stock price index and the land price index quadrupled from 1983 to 1989. The stock price index (Nikkei 225) rose from 10,000 yen at the end of 1983 to near 40,000 at the end of 1989. It was rumoured that the land underneath the Tokyo Imperial Palace to have been worth as much as the entire state of California in the same year.
Bank of Japan is often criticized for its expansionary policy during the bubble creation phase. When the Central Bank finally tightened the monetary policy in 1989, stock prices declined by 50% in 1990 and by 60% by 1992. The real estate price also saw the similar decline. Nikkei Index is being traded below 20,000 even till date. The worst state policy after 1990s was zombie lending, whereby state failed to recognize the unhealthy firms and protected them with bail-outs, thus distorting the health of the economy.
Japanese economy since then has been into a deep recession, with falling prices, wage, employment and appreciating yen.

How deflation affects the economy?
An economic growth is possible with an increased labour force, increased employment, increased production, increased sales and increased wages. However, when deflation enters the economy,  the reverse happens. Hoarding money will be beneficial to people, rather than any kind of investments. Moreover, the borrower will be at loss, as the real principle payment will be increased. People will thus delay their purchases with the expectation of further decrease in the value. The decline in consumption, then will affect the sales, corporate profits and employment situation. The following figure explicitly explains, why deflation is bad for economy. And this is happening in Japan right now. Japan has been caught in a deflationary spiral.

 Factors fueling deflation in Japan
After the burst of the bubble, Japanese economy needs some strong stimulus to recover its economic growth. However, there are some structural phenomenons to fuel the deflation mentioned as below:
Demographics: Japan has an ageing demographics. The working labor force is decreasing annually. In 2015, the people above 65 years of age occupied 26.7% of the total population. The population beween the age of 15-64 accounts for 60.8% of the total population and is rapidly declining. With an aging population, the productive workforce has to work much harder just to maintain status quo. The government expenditure increases on the pension funds and retirement benefits. And the aging population tend to spend less. The deflation of the Japanese economy caused by the slow spending will aggravate in this case. The Japanese government needs to welcome more immigrants into the country to boost the economy. However, the Japanese government seems very reluctant towards immigrants till date.
Appreciating Japanese currency and slow exports: Japanese currency has been appreciating in spite of slowing economy. With Plaza Accord, the currency was devalued against US $. Hoarding of yen has resulted to its appreciation creating high demand. Yen is basically considered to be a safe haven currency. Thus, with Brexit, European currency and even with the Trump's victory in US election led to the appreciation of yen. So, how appreciation of yen slows the economic growth.


 Government Policies: The government and the Bank of Japan is often criticized for its policies to regulate its market. The government deliberately protected the zombie firms after 1990s. When the economy was showing signs of recovery in mid 1990s, the government raised consumption tax, pushing the economy back into the recession. Moreover, the government was reluctant to adopt Zero Interest Rate Policy, and the raising of interest rate in 2000 is also considered to be a policy mistake. The economy thus has very low credibility towards the Central Bank of Japan.
What Central Bank of Japan and government has been doing to tackle deflation?
Central Bank of Japan has adopted numerous policy to tackle deflation as "inflation/deflation is considered to be a pure monetary phenomenon". Japan was the first economy to start the quantitative easing program by buying  the government bonds. Through quantitative easing, it had tried to inject money in the market, when the zero interest policy could not recover the economy. In 2016, also Bank of Japan has declared that it would buy government bonds worth of 80 trillion yen per annum. The Bank of Japan has interestingly also adopted the Negative Interest Rate, whereby the banks have to pay the Central Banks for its deposits. This unconventional policy was also adopted to encourage banks for lending. The bank has targeted an inflation rate of 2%, which seems difficult to achieve as it hovers around negative to near zero. Bank of Japan buys the Exchange trade funds to facilitate the depreciation of yen and to stimulate the economy. With Shinzo Abe elected as Prime Minister in Japan, the Abenomics has been a new economic term. Abenomics has three arrows: Arrow 1: Monetary Easing, Arrow 2: Fiscal Spending Arrow 3: Economic growth (Structural Reforms).
All these experimental programs of Bank of Japan has yielded results for the short term, but has failed to sustain for the longer period. The recovery was considerably hampered by the US Financial crisis of 2008. And again the economy is slowing down in 2016. Moreover, the Japanese public debt is also soaring, with its expansionary policy.
Lessons Learnt from the Japanese Economy:
The government should act promptly in the time of crisis as markets may not resurrect by itself. The reactions of Central Bank is often criticized as "too little; too late".  There were some clear policy mistakes as well. The accounting system of Japanese Banks were also faulty to create the bubble. This clearly indicates the close supervision of banks and need of efficient accounting system. Moreover, the corruption in the politics also fueled the bubble. Thus, the government and the Central Bank always needs to be an independent analyst rather than a puppet of businessmen and bankers. Central Bank of Japan has been applying unconventional monetary policies and every possible means to revive the economy lately. In fact, there is no experiment left for the Central Bank of Japan to adopt for the economic stimulus.  In continuation with the expansionary monetary policy, the structural problem of the Japanese economy: Demographics needs to be addressed, through revised immigration policies.

New Constitution amidst old Thai politics

Thailand recently approved new constitution through constitutional referendum held on August 7, 2016 with majority. This constitution is 20th constitution of Thailand since the abolishment of Thai absolute monarchy in 1932. In general situation, the constitution should have brought peace and stability in the country, however, the circumstances in which the constitution was adopted is different. The current constitution of Thailand is military backed constitution, giving unreasonable power to military. Any kind of criticism regarding the constitution was and is forbidden with strict punishments by the current ruler, Prayut Chan-o-cha who is former commander in chief of Thai Army. Thus, there was no scope to campaign against the constitution before referendum. Military has been one of the inseparable institution of Thai politics with 12 military coups successful so far.
Thailand has been involved in the political instability since the abolishment of absolute monarchy. The only institution that is stable in Thai politics is its constitutional monarchy. King Bhumidol Adulyadej has been the longest serving monarch and has served the country for 70 years. The people of Thailand regard him to be divine and his each word is regarded with utmost reverence and obligation. Any act against the monarchy is also prohibited by the lese-majeste rule in Thailand, whereby any act or criticism against the monarchy is under punishment with upto 15 years of imprisonment. King Bhumidol also prefers not to intervene in the political affairs of the country. Last time, King intervened in the Thai politics was in 1992.
The rise of Thaksin Shinawatra has been a game changer in Thai politics. The telecommunication billionaire entered into Thai politics with the formation of Thai Rak Thai (Thais love Thais) party in 1998. He was highly popular among the rural Thai people and had promised to recover Thailand out of the Asian Financial crisis. He won the Thai election in 2001 with landslide victory. He completed his full term and was re-elected in 2005. He was widely popular with his poverty reduction schemes, infrastructure set up, universal health care and war on drugs. However, the opposition party was not very happy with the increasing popularity of Thaksin. He was charged with corruption scandals and being not royal to the monarchy. This led to staging of military coup in 2006, when Thaksin was in New York to attend United Nations General Assembly. Since then, Thaksin has been living in exile in different countries. However, his sister Yingluck Shinawatra returned to politics through the formation of Phew Thai (For Thais) party and won landslide victory in 2011 elections. Nevertheless, the history repeated when she was also overthrown through 2013 military coup.
Right now, the Thai politics has been divided into Red Shirt and Yellow Shirt. The Thaksin supporters from the rural part of Thailand are the Red Shirts, which call themselves United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and anti-Thaksin Royalists have adopted yellow shirt, the colour of monarch and call themselves People Alliance for Democracy (PAD). The Red Shirts have won every democratic election in Thailand. However, the elite group of yellow shirts have used power and army to continue their regime. Yellow Shirt protests led to the coup in 2006. It also ensured the overthrow of democratically elected government of 2007 and also overthrew the democratically elected government through a coup in 2014.

Now, the military backed constitution has been accepted in Thailand and the fresh elections are set to be held on late 2017 or early 2018. It’s the land where coups are so frequent, 12 successful coups so far and meanwhile, the new constitution has made it easy for the military to stage a coup. However, until and unless, the elites and military would respect the people polls, the violence will be a part of Thai politics for years to come. Moreover, the fragile health of the present King Bhumibal and (not so popular) image of his successor might push Thailand's political future into more trouble. 


1.    2012 Benghazi attack 
On September 11, 2012, the US embassy in Benghazi,Libya was attacked by heavily armed Islamist rebel group, leading to the death of ambassador Christopher Stevens and one information officer of the embassy. The same group also launched an organised attack on the covert CIA base nearby embassy on the same day, leading to the death of two US personnel in the crossfire. Later on, with the help of Libyan government, the embassy and CIA base was evacuated. Immediately after the attack. Libya condemned the attack and Libyan people also demonstrated in support of the US people, which prevented the relationship between the two countries from further deterioration.

2.    Murder of Yvonne Fletcher 
On April 17, 1984, Yvonne Fletcher, the police officer at UK was shot on duty while monitoring the protest in front of Libyan Embassy in UK. She died shortly after the shot. The protest was organised by Libyan National Salvation Front, against the action of Gaddafi government for killing two students who criticised the Gaddafi government. The shooting was carried out from inside the embassy without warning. After the shooting, the British Army seiged the embassy for 11 hours. In its response, Libyan forces also surrounded the UK embassy. UK severed all the ties with Libya untill 1994, when Gaddafi took responsibility for the attack and offered to pay the victims of the family. 

3.    Visa Fraud and False Statement case of Devyani Khobragade
Devyani Khobragade, then Deputy Consul General of India to Us was arrested by US authorities on December 11, 2013 and was stripped searched on the charges of visa fraud and false statements regarding her domestic helper Sangitha Richard. This foiled the diplomatic relations between India and US. To give her full immunity, India transferred her to United Nations Permanent Mission, and US had to issue her a G-Visa, which allowed her full immunity and she left from US to India. After her arrest, India announced a number of steps against the US diplomats, which included expulsion of US diplomat Wayne May for assisting Richard's family in securing T-visa, revoking government issued IDs for US diplomats, refusing to held dialogue with US Congressional Delegates who were visiting India at the time, and also removing concrete security barricade at US Embassy in Delhi. 

4.    Attack on British Embassy in Iran
On 29 November, 2011, the British Embassy in Iran was attacked by a mob of angry Iranian protesters. The protest was in reaction to the Britain move of sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear power programOne small building was set on fire, the offices were torn apart and the documents were stolen. The immediate evacuation was planned immediately after the attack. Britain, then severed all its diplomatic ties with Iran and also expelled the Iranian Embassy in Britain, giving them 48 hours to leave the country.

5.    Execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr

On January 2, 2016, Saudi Aradia executed Shia cleric, Nimr-al-Nimr in spite of huge opposition from Iran (a Shia majority state). The Kingdom has accused him of terrorism offences as he was the vocal supporter against the Kingdom treatment of Shia minority.The Saudi Embassy at Iran was stormed with angry religious mob who ransacked and set fire in the embassy. Saudi embassy severed tis diplomatic ties with Iran and gave 48 hours for the Iranian diplomats to leave the Kingdom. 


Weekend get away!

I love to hike and I love to travel to different places. As I am busy in weekdays, me and my friend have made a deal that we will go for morning walk to a new place on every Saturday. On May 28, 2016, we gathered two more outgoing friends and decided to go to Bisankhu Narayan. We gathered at Satdobato at around 6 am and then we took Satdobato-Godawari road. We went in bike till Godamchaur, had some breakfast and then we four headed towards Bisankhu Narayan. As we were confused about the direction, we asked some locals and started our hike, from the football ground of Godamchaur. From Godamchaur to Bisankhu Narayan is just 2 km walk. One could even take bike to reach there, but we prefer walking. Out from the congested valley, it welcomed us with the freshness and greenery.

However, within fifteen minutes of our walk, it rained and so we had to wait for five minutes till the rain stopped. As soon as it stopped, we headed towards the temple. The temple is well kept and well maintained. There is also a small cave like structure in the temple, where you can test yourself by entering through it. It is believed; if you are able to pass through it, you are an honest person! Thank God! I passed the test :P

After prayers, we continued to hike, and what we found was an amazing place! The place was like a viewpoint, surrounded with trees. One could have view of valley from there. There were rocks with different shapes and also small trunk shaped sitting structure. We had pictures in different pose over there. We really enjoyed taking pictures over there

 We decided to further explore the place and hiked towards the village. The trail was just amazing. The villagers had grown different types of crops. We were also disheartened to see the damage done by earthquake in the village. The people were simple and busy in their own way of life. Luckily, we found plum tree (aarubakhada) and the people over there offered us to eat as much as we can :D  One of us climbed the tree and we ate around ten plums. We thanked them and made our way further to the next village.

As we hiked further, there was a small settlement. There was even picnic spot and people were coming for picnic. Then, we came down from different route. The trail was simply amazing. However, we found the people had to come a long way, to fetch water. We met the local people on our way and we talked to them.

The scene was very beautiful. Most of it, we captured in our heart and some of them, we also captured in our photos. Within short distance from the crowded valley, we were refreshed to go to the awesome place like Bisankhu Narayan. It was an excuse for get-together with friends and also a chance to visit a new place.

Some useful information
Place: Bisankhu Narayan
How to reach there?
Public Transport: Take Satdobato-Godavari Road, and take your stop at Bandegown, walk from Bandegown to Godamchaur (20 minutes) and from there walk till Bisankhu Narayan (30 minutes). You can hike further from there.
Private Transport: You can reach directly to the temple and even further to the village. There is black-pitched road till the temple and to reach the village, there is an off-road. 


Earthquake: My experience

This time when the earth is shaking to adjust its plate, I thought it might be a nice thing to pour down my own experience about the quake. When the magnitude of 7.8 reichter scale shook Nepal, I was not here. I had been to India for my convocation. When I heard that there is a big earthquake, Dharahara is no more and Basantapur is no more, I was quite worried about my family. Moreover, the network system was worst and I could not contact my family for quite a while. Though later on, I was able to make contact, I could not talk to them for a long period of time. Tomorrow morning, I had flight to Kathmandu and as I didnt have any personal sim card, I was almost out of communication for a very long time. On my way, I was thinking that Kathmandu has been completely destroyed and there is nothing left in Nepal: Thanks to the Media!!! The media made me felt that my family is relying on dry food, there is no water, there is high chance of diseases and all. I took some dry food in my bag in case there is nothing to eat and I also asked for extra water on the plane, coz I was thinking Kathmandu has ran out of water!

At Delhi Airport I had to wait for quite a long time as there was high traffic in Kathmandu airport. At first the flight was delayed. When we boarded the plane, the plane was grounded for more than two hours and the plane had to stay above the ground for more than one hour before landing because of the heavy traffic. My friend had come to receive me at the airport. When I rode from airport to my place, Kapan, the view was quite normal. The situation was not as bad as I had imagined of. When I went to my house, being a one storey house, my house had become somewhat like a refugee centre. My parents were living inside including my sister. I also slept inside the house. People were cooking and eating. It was a kind of picnic inside the tent. I could see how the community harmony had increased. People were helping each other and sharing what they have with each other. I was getting to know the people around me. It was quite an experience. Later on when the quake didnt stop making people flee from their houses time to time, people were laughing later on describing how funny they looked while running.

Everyone had understood it is the situation of national crisis, and they have to help each other. One time I saw my mom was full in tears, when I asked her what has happened, she said the people in Sindhupalchowk had not got the relief package and they had to live in the open air. Most of the young people I met, everyone wanted to do something. I was not an exception. I also wanted to contribute at least from my side. My next blog  post would tell the detail!


Unwanted Change!

Finally it was convocation time! The convocation was in short notice and I had to book my flight to India. I did my Masters from University of Mysore, India. Mysore is close to my heart for the moments I spent there. It was a perfect place and I had perfect friends. When my flight was booked for convocation, I had gone all nostalgic. We were ten foreigners in our batch. Except one friend, who wanted to pursue the PhD over there, all other friends had already returned to their own country. I would not have booked that flight for that one friend who was left over there with all those memories we had together. No other friends were coming to the convocation because of the distance, so I got the responsibility to be at that place. I wanted to meet him so bad. I was getting nostalgic over the memories. All the friends in my batch, we were so close to each other. We used to go out, eat together, make fun of teachers, laugh and just bully each other. Among them, Albed(name changed) was someone who used to help each of us. He was someone who used to make coffee and cookies and bring to class. It was because of him our class had turned into a bakery shop. He had madly fallen for a girl, who is my best friend. But the relation that he used to share with me was also special. We used to joke and laugh all the time. He was my jogging partner. And guess what! He used to bring all those cookies, tea and cake that he used to make to jogging that sometimes I used to get confused if I would lose or gain weight, for jogging with him. He was like a buddy to me! I used to make dough for him to make the cookies. I never forget that once he brought his oven to my house to make cookies together. I will never forget how he spent almost three hours teaching us (we were four in the closed group including him) just one page of econometrics and we all had gone mad. We did our project work together. I will never forget the library session of ours, where we went once and we spent most of our time clicking photos. And once we made tea in pressure cooker and took it to a friend's house in bike to drink it while watching football. His home was like ours. We could go at any time we like, cook, drink and laugh. He was very close to me, but I never intervened in his personal matter. When everything was over, and we had to return to the respective country, our group was almost together. We used to go everywhere together for shopping, eating and drinking. Albed was a bit emotional and he had started to cry before a week of my leave. It was during the Ramadan, where he had to take fast for whole one month. It was an emotional moment for me when he broke his fast for a day for me on the day of my leave. He wanted to share every moment and every second with me. At the end, all my friends came and we cried and shared very special moment together. All my friends came to train station to say me good bye and I still remember their face. Me and my friend sat in Albed's bike and I still remember how he drove wiping the tears with one hand. I still remember Albed's face. Those beautiful and touchy moments that we spent together is still encarved in my heart. When I came back I had regular contact with other friends but not with Albed. He didn’t use to talk to me much. He had somewhat changed. I always thought the loneliness changed him. When we all returned, he had no friend at Mysore. That’s why, I wanted to meet him and relive those moments together. I wanted to give him company and assure him that friends do meet.
However, things don’t go as planned. I had thought it would be so much fun to meet my friend but during my 10 days of stay, I met him only  four times and that also for two or three hours only. He didn’t want to meet me. His ignorance made me question myself if he is my friend or a stranger? I had sensed he had changed but he had changed completely. Before his house used to be a complete mess and now it was clean. He was such a freak out person, spontaneity was in his blood but there was nothing like that now. He didn’t want to share anything with me. In fact I could sense he was irritated when I went to his home. The worst moment for me was the time when I went to his home and he closed the door on my face. One part of my heart would say just to scold him and leave him. One part of my heart would say that he is hiding so much of pain and he is not telling me. But he had become impossible to penetrate. Every time I talked to him, I was mentally disturbed through his coldness and strangeness. How could a person change like this and what on earth made him change like this? It was not only me that he reacted like this. It was with every friend. He doesn’t talk with us anymore. I cannot even be angry with him for what he did to me. Because I think may be he is going through depression, he needs me and I am not there. One time he told me his reaction was because I brought the bad memories to him. And guess what? He even didn’t come to say me good bye.

Mysore was such a dull place to stay. The place once a heaven for me had become a deserted place. And then I realized some places and some friends are only good in memories!!


Unleashing Nepal: My Reflections

After going through unleashing Nepal, I can say I loved the book. In a simple language, the author has beautifully portrayed the Nepalese misfortune, but has also not missed the chance to show the light in the end of tunnel. Though last 30 pages of the book could not hold my attention as many things were repeated, the book in overall has made me feel the reality of Nepal which I already knew before.  Each chapter has either revealed some facts new to me or has presented the facts I knew from a different angle. The past and present of Nepal has been re-written not in a traditional way I used to learn in school but from an economic perspective.
Isolation has been cited as the major cause on why Nepal could not develop like its counterparts. The feudal lords felt secured in keeping it isolated and the price is being paid by Nepalese till now. The subsequent democracy was also short lived and when the CA election has been held two times, the public has lost the faith in their politicians.
Thatched Huts and Stucco Palaces, the book of Mahesh Chandra Regmi had given me the idea of the earlier feudalistic mentality of the rulers and the exploitation of the peasants through the control of land. Though Nepal has entered a democratic republic era, the system of nepotism and favoritism has continued till now.
While reading the part of development politics, I could picture myself and people around me in the sentences written. Having worked in the development sector from the early days of my life, the scenario is a donor driven rather than need based and the impact is assessed in terms of number of reports written. As far as I have come across, some are doing a really good job while the majority are here for the easy money that comes through it. A large number of colleges have offered courses addressing the need of this sector and the colleges offering Development Studies and Social Work has grown considerably with the students pursuing this course getting even larger. Even with deeper analysis I have found the children of those working in the UN and other INGOs were particularly attracted to this course. With growing students, there is competition but only among those whose parents are not associated with any one of the INGOs because it is Nepal and what works here is the networks. When my juniors come and seek advice from me to pursue these course, I don’t know what to say. I want to ask them to join a vocational course, something technical rather than to join a course which will make you talk more and deliver less.
I have heard from some businessman that opening a business in Nepal is not just about paying tax and taking care of own business. One has to take care of the interest of local dons in the region and the regional politicians too. Another part of doing business is about the labor force too and in the book it is often mentioned about the militant labor force in the country. During my undergraduate in 2011, I had pursued the project work on the “Implementation Status of Collective Bargaining in Balaju Industrial Area”. In three years of time I don’t know if the situation has changed, but the entire Industrial Area had the dominance of Maoist Labor Union. While visiting the trade union offices of respective three parties namely Congress, UML and CPN Maoist, I found that in terms of research and publication of labor related issues, UML was more structured followed by Congress and CPN Maoist. I was particularly impressed by the way the President of GEFONT Bishnu Rimal welcomed me and personally gave me an idea of the overall collective bargaining and the situation at present. The executive members of the trade unions were the ones to be well aware of the collective bargaining process while the members were not well aware of. I also had the chance to visit the labor office situated at Teku. While going through the collective bargaining papers, I found some demands by the trade unions were really ridiculous while some were genuine too. Thus, what I see there was that trade union were more politicized and were not well aware of what they are established for.
While studying in India for two years in South, I met so many Nepalese working there especially in hotels and restaurants. The Big Chicken of Mysore was filled by the Nepalese waiter and the MOMO center in Mysore was only owned by the Nepalese. Studying in India changed my attitude towards India to a greater extent. While we are filled with the negative attitude towards India, I found India has a lot more business to take care of and Nepal is just a little country for them and sometimes even an Indian state. While we are so much keenly interested about India, they are not interested about us like we are about them. Then why too much negativity. They don’t backbite about us like we do for them. So, keeping aside the personal bias, India is more a market for us now which we need to capitalize. Moreover when my foreign friends used to bully India, I felt pinched because of the socio-cultural relation with them. Thousands of Nepalese go to India to visit holy places and Indians feel it as an obligation to come to Pashupatinath to worship. We have a deep socio-cultural ties and we are often engulfed by the same socio-cultural problems which we can tackle and capitalize together.
Tourism, Hydropower, Agriculture and Infrastructure are the four sectors that the author has recommended for investment in Nepal. The author has emphasized about the importance of private sector participation in each sector and how well can Nepal capitalize if proper investments can be done by embracing privatization and globalization. The examples of Dabur Nepal, Bhotekoshi Hydro Power Plant and the community schools were encouraging.
Nepal is still lingering in BS and AD, while the world has moved forward with the universal AD. Though we are 57 years ahead of the world in the numeric form, the circumstances shows the opposite scenario. Bikram Sambat is derived from the lunar calendar of Hindu. India has associated itself with the globalized world leaving the lunar calendar where as we are still following the same. Moreover, while talking about English Language, we give examples of Japan, South Korea and China on how they could develop without English but in our case, I think we cannot replicate them as we don’t have the sufficient base as they had.
The fact based evidences has made the read more interesting. Some phrases in the book were so worth noting: In areas were state utility is absent, communities are paying market prices to ensure there is an uninterrupted supply of electricity. The challenge is in working with communities whose expectations have increased significantly partly because of politician who tend to promise everything under the sun while not delivering.

I feel the situation is improving somewhat. My friends who used to say that they will never return to Nepal once they went abroad are telling me that they will return and invest in Nepal. My friend who is in US right now and I often chat on where she can invest when she returns, though we don’t have any financial security right now. Some young people I know are investing in their village because now it’s the rural areas that hold the money be it in terms of tourism, hydropower, agriculture or infrastructure.