Army’s foray into agriculture sector sparks debate – The Kathmandu Post

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Nepal Army has been in enterprise enterprise for An prolonged.

By way of its welfare fund and completely different wings, the nationwide army is working a enterprise complicated, leasing out constructings and properties, and buying for land and promoting plots to ex-servicemen. It additionally runs a meals catering enterprise at its Bhadrakali headquarters and runs schools and medical institutions To practice docs and nurses. Most primarily, the nationwide defence strain’s enterprise ambition has been seen in its involvement Inside the nation’s largest enterprise, The primary ever expressway enterprise Which will join Kathmandu to the Tarai.

By way of the yrs, The military has continued to diversify its pursuits.

At a time when The military’s enterprise enterprises have already drawn consideration and raised Questions on its position, It is now going to run a course in agriculture and open it to Most of the people to pursue BSc (Agriculture) from subsequent yr.

The army’s completely different dream enterprise Of constructing a devoted Defence College Is about To enter enchancment quickly.

Observers say that A clear line Ought to be drawn between what a nationwide defence strain should And will not do and this new enterprise Inside the education sector Does not bode properly As a Outcome of the military has already enterprised Proper into a lot Of corporations.

“It is not good for The military to enterprise into the education sector and open one stream of education after ancompletely different,” said former defence minister Bhimshen Das Pradhan. “It is not good for The military to be involved In a quantity of sectors.”

Nepal Army has the power of Greater than 90,000 of which some 30,000 are officers and technical personnel like docs and engineers.

“That is occurring largely because its large manpower is sitting idle. If The military diversifies its enterprises and companies like this, then It mightnot obtain professionalism. Such a enterprise Will undoubtedly have enterprise motives And might disorient Nepal Army from its core goals,” said Pradhan. “I used to be not even amused when The military was awarded the tender for Kathmandu-Tarai Quick Monitor enterprise.”

The federal authorities awarded the Rs213 billion enterprise —a 72.5-kilometre expressway—in 2017 after efforts To assemble it through the Division of Roads Bumped into controversy.

Nepal Army has established a Vocational Agriculture and Husbandry Teaching Centre in Lamjung the place it imparts practiceing to retired and retiring Nepal Army personnel and has been awarding certificates to junior technical assistants (JTAs) for the final two yrs.

In the final two yrs, the centre has imparted practiceing to 140 retired and retiring Nepal Army personnel, facilitated loans for them from its welfare fund to Arrange Their very personal agriculture farms, Based mostly on the Nepal Army.

It is now planning to improve the practiceing centre based in Lamjung, Bagalegaun to Nepal Army Institute of Agriculture Sciences and start an undergraduate course from subsequent yr and Shall be open to Most of the people, Nepal Army spokesperson Brigadier Widespread Shantosh Ballave Poudyal informed the Submit.

The army has spent over Rs 140 million to Arrange the centre unfold over 400 ropani [20.34 hectares].

“The thought behind establishing the agriculture centre is to contrihowevere to the nation through education and agriculture sectors. It additionally generates employment Contained in the nation that helps retired army personnel To primarytain Contained in the nation. We’re planning to improve it and start A higher-diploma course Inside the agriculture sector from subsequent yr,” said Poudyal.

Some former Nepal Army officers view The military’s instructional enterprise positively saying It is going to do good for the nation however questions might come up.

“Nepal Army has An prolonged historic previous of imparting practiceing to its outgoing personnel In a quantity of sectors and professions. They Was two months prolonged. Now, Nepal Army is doing enterprise and constructing educational institutions like Establishing Defence College and working MBBS and nursing packages. Although people might debate over these new initiatives, They’re good enterprises for the nation,” former Nepal Army primary general Binoj Basnyat said.

But not all former officers agree.

In accordance To 2 former Nepal Army officers, earlier Nepal Army used to impart brief practiceing to its ready-to-retire personnel in areas like plumbing, catering, eating places and completely differents on a sporadic basis.

But this is The primary of its type enterprise, on such a scale in a area completely non-military, the official said. After its enterprise Inside the medical area, Nepal Army’s foray into the agriculture sector is debatable and questionable.

Each former officers the Submit talked to have A regular concern—whether or not The military Goes to make revenue out of it.

“How clear will the institution be? How will it run and what Can be the share to Most of the people? Will it allot A great Number of seats to college students whose mom and father Aren’t Inside the military? An important problem is that the institution Ought to not be motivated by revenue Since the military is not Alleged to be involved in revenue-making enterprise,” a former army officer said on situation of anonymity.

Nepal Army is working an MBBS course in its personal institution And Because it wants supporting staff for its personal hospital and MBBS college students, The military additionally has begun the nursing course off late. A process strain is working to Arrange a devoted Defence College headed by former Nepal Army Lieutenant Widespread Balananda Sharma.

The Army’s plan to run and produce educated manpower Inside the agriculture sector has triggered a debate and raises questions Since the military is involved Inside The event sector and disaster administration aside from having the central position in defending the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

By way of the use of these small loopholes Inside the structure, The military is working and venturing in numerous sectors so the Ministry of Defence should make A clear demarcation or legally binding provision Inside the Nepal Army Act stating What’s permited And what’s not, said former defence secretary Bishnu Lamsal.

In accordance to the structure and its Article 267 (4), the authorities of Nepal Can additionally mobilize the Nepal Army in completely different works collectively with enchancment, enchancment and disaster administration, as currentd for Inside the federal regulation.

However the Army Act has not been amended In accordance to The current of the structure.

“This Sort of debate Ought to be ended completely because in a quantity of nations, armies are doing enterprise and venturing in a quantity of enterprises so it has Discover your self to be debatable,” said Lamsal, “The Ministry of Defence should converse On this matter and should make A clear demarcation specifying what The military can do what It might’t as per the structure.”

“We now have 60,000 plus lively Nepal Army personnel which is An monumental working strain. They work, they make investments They typically have enterprised in numerous sectors Since there’s motivation And there is incentive. They’ve good funds for welfare. So The military might search extra sectors to work however should we permit them or not? That is the Most very important question so it Ought to be legally settled by the Ministry of Defence,” said Lamsal.

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