When the political sector is weak, the business sector should have become stronger which means that the business issue should have overwhelmed the political issues. But that is not happening at present in Nepal. The business person is still playing the second fiddle to the politician.
The reason is the internal clash among the business associations and also among the businesspeople. A divided private sector is the ideal playground for the politician and the present situation in the context of the forthcoming general elections is exactly what the politician would rejoice at the most.
It was really good that the private sector was coming out more proactively in the recent days. FNCCI organised an interaction program 'Bahas' on the economic issues on the occasion of its 36th AGM.
Similarly, NICCI in cooperation with some major bi- national chambers brought out a White Paper on the business environment and fiscal policy of the government.
Also the NCC, CNI and other associations organised different interaction programs on almost similar subjects. But the government representatives and the politicians have snubbed the business people's efforts as nothing more than the pretexts for not paying the taxes.
If the business community does not come up with some other stronger and more convincing steps to make the politicians and the bureaucrats listen to the pleas of the business, perhaps the general people will relapse into the same old conviction that not only the politicians, the business community too is equally involved in the activities that are against the interests of the general people.
A sort of unfair competition among business associations seems rampant these days. Some business associations can also be found protecting the conmen among the businesspeople.
In some cases even communalism is developing. With such activities, the business sector loses the morale to raise finger against the politicians and bureaucrats.
The quarrel has not been confined only to the issue of who becomes the next president. Past Presidents are seen neglected by the present Presidents of some chambers. This is despite the fact that if any activity of the chamber is successful because of the use of the experience of the PP, the credit ultimately goes to the present leaders.
If the business community, especially the leaders of the chambers, don't realise this now, it will be too difficult to correct it later. It may be impractical to say that all the associations should be merged into one or there should be no elections in the chambers. But unity of action can still be developed for the common causes.