Public Interest and Compensation: Resource Development in Nepal
24 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 20, 2012
This paper focuses on the issue of land displacement and its resulting negative societal effects through the lens of Nepal, a country emerging from conflict and setting up its own institutional infrastructure for compensation and public interest policy. Through an analysis of the current situation in Nepal, and policies in neighboring India, we argue that Nepal needs to avoid the snowball effect that has plagued India, where once you displace one group, becomes easier to displace other groups. Compensation laws can be diluted as displacement and development becomes privatized – tied in with their power and access to politicians as compared to displaced populations. Clearly defining a holistic public interest in the constitution, and creating the legal tools for its application in courts, is a crucial first step. Moreover, compensation must be thought of as more than an economic tool, but as also a development tool that takes into consideration cultural and social factors, and includes equity sharing. Instead of focusing on rapid development, compensation, like public interest, should look at long-term factors and acknowledge land rights.
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