Saturday, May 21, 2011

Comments regarding “hydrocratic dreams”

My article on above topic, published in Nepali Times last week (# 553), has elicited a number of comments; some profound, some not so profound. There were appreciative comments and there were angry and nasty ones, too. Appreciative comments are what keeps me fueled to continue with my writing spree.

 However, it doesn’t mean that I don’t welcome negative comments which afford an opportunity to correct errors of omission and commission. This time, disappointingly, the angry and nasty negative comments were only superficial. However, I am happy to note a silver lining in the dark cloud – none of these comments were able to refute following points that I was making in my article:

  • Even exporting full economic potential of 43,000 MW will not make Nepal’s GDP comparable to that of Saudi Arabia by any stretch of imagination; notwithstanding the proclamation of Ms Susan Goldmark, the World Bank country director in Nepal.
  • Hydro-dollars from the export of power will not mitigate Nepal’s balance of payment deficit significantly as only about 3% of the export proceed will “stay” in Nepal.
  • Although statistically, balance of trade will become favorable by the quantum of hydro-dollars, value addition to Nepal’s economy will not be commensurate to export; it will rather be limited by the quantum of percolation into Nepal’s economy. Ninety-seven percent of hydro-dollars flowing out of the economy will not meaningfully add value, will neither increase industrialization nor generate employment.

 Ratna Sansar Shrestha

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