A Letter from Karnali (December, 2022)

Kuda Karnalika

  • At 9.8% of the actual budget, the Karnali government’s spending has been minimal during the first six months of the current financial year. This has raised questions about the efficiency of the provincial government.

  • According to the Economic Survey 2021/2022, Karnali is far behind the national average in all indicators of economic development. While this means that there is a lot to do, we know that this also means that the marginal benefits of reforms will be highest in Karnali, and that should be viewed as a strong incentive to promote entrepreneurship and investments.

  • Hriti Foundation has published a report on the business environment in Karnali. We found complicated tax regulations are one of the biggest challenges facing our private sector. We suggest digitization of the system as one of the pressing reform needs.

  • Likewise, there is a need to resolve the issue of street vendors in the province. Hriti Foundation conducted a study on this matter as well, and it has been gaining quite an attraction in the national and sub-national media. We are also receiving a lot of feedback and additional comments from social media on the issues that we cover in the report.  A national daily Yugaahwan covered the issue as its banner news on January 9, 2023.

Parliament Watch

  • The Provincial Assembly of Karnali has 40 members, out of which 24 are elected through the first-past-the-post system, and 16 are elected through the proportional representation (PR) system. 15 of the 16 members elected through the PR system are women. Nepali Congress is the largest party with 14 seats while CPN (Maoist Center) has 13 seats and CPN UML has 10 seats. Both the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the CPN (United Socialist) Parties each have one seat. The assembly has one independent member as well. The current assembly consists of 37.5 per cent women (from 32.5 percent before). Likewise, four members come from the marginalized Dalit community; this number was five in the last assembly.

  • The first session of the second Provincial Assembly of Karnali has kicked off. The members of the Assembly have taken the oath of office and secrecy on January 11. Hriti Foundation engages with the members of the assembly and the secretariat to promote ideas for reforms.

Recent Activities

  • Hriti Foundation is organizing the fourth edition of Karnali Utsav (Kuda Karnalika) from the 17th to the 19th of February, 2023 in Birendranagar, Surkhet. This most visible policy festival of the province welcomes more than 70 speakers over 15 different sessions.

  • The graduation program of the first cohort of the Pre-Professional Parliamentary Support Program (PPSP Karnali) conducted by the Hriti Foundation in collaboration with the US Embassy in Kathmandu and Pokhara Research Center was held on December 13. Along with the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, 12 former members of the Karnali Provincial Assembly attended the ceremony. His Excellency Dean R. Thompson, the US Ambassador to Nepal, was also present at the ceremony.

  • Hriti Foundation organized a two-day Liberty Camp to educate 24 youths of Surkhet on liberalism and public policy. The program was conducted on 16-17 December 2022 in collaboration with the Language of Liberty Institute.

  • Hriti Foundation conducted a study on land use policy and practice in Birendranagar. The study tries to identify some areas of comparative advantages and alternatives for creating employment. The research paper could be the essential reference material while the municipality has started a discussion over land management in Birendranagar.

Until next time,

Dinesh Gautam
Executive Director
Hriti Foundation