CA members discuss Nepal Human Development Report

08 Sep 2009

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The Honourable Constituent Assembly (CA) members participated in the interaction programme on the Nepal Human Development Report 2009. UNDP organised the programme as part of the public outreach strategy to stir debates and discussions on the report for way forward.

Prof. Lok Raj Baral, Prof. Krishna Khanal and the lead author of the report, Prof. Bishwa Nath Tiwari presented the recommendations and findings of the report.

In the interaction programme, the CA members discussed about the variation in the value of human development indices between different castes and ethnic groups.

Most of the CA members discussed the fact that the poor and the excluded are everywhere, in each caste and ethnic groups. They debated on the need to have a disaggregated level of information for improved planning despite of the difficulty in obtaining the index for all the caste and ethnic groups.

According to Prof. Khanal, the report says that the indigenous peoples (Janajati)-the dominant population in the eastern hills and mountains have higher level of human development than that of the brahmins and chhetris- the dominant population in the mid- and far-western mountain region, who in general are taken as the most well-off castes. Hence there were concerns raised that human development indices if computed by taking the aggregate for all the 59 Janajatis together, will not do justice.

The CA members representing the Madheshi community showed their concern that federal structure is the most suitable one for Nepal while the report clearly points out that Federalism is not the panacea for all the problems in the country.

Some questions were raised by the CA members on the possibility of preparing the new Constitution with effective participation of the people by May end 2010, as the Report suggests.

Finally, the CA members expressed the relevance and usefulness of the Report in making an informed decision in the process of ‘state-restructuring’.