30 May, 2018│Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set by the United Nations, was adopted by heads of States and governments of more than 150 countries in 2015. Nepal, as a country has also committed to the SDGs, and has been aligning its plans, policies and programmes in accordance with the SDGs. Nepal has already formulated its national plans of action for achieving SDGs by 2030. It has also introduced SDG-coding into its budgeting processes since FY 2016/17. It is the primary responsibility of governments to attain the SDGs, but major stakeholders – among which private sector is an important one – play a vital part in providing support. Private sectors can take a shared responsibility for achieving a better world by committing to sustainable development and upholding their responsibility to people and the planet. The UN Global Compact has derived Ten Principles , based on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption that guide companies to do business responsibly and take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Constitution of Nepal has set the principle for a three-pillar economy, comprising of State, cooperatives and private sector, for achieving equitable development in Nepal. In line with this, the Government of Nepal has recognized private sector as one of the important contributors towards achieving the SDGs. It is estimated that Nepal needs an average annual investment of around NPR 1.77 trillion to meet the SDGs by 2030, or nearly 49 percent of GDP over the entire duration of the SDGs. It would be much difficult to generate such large amount of financing by government alone and has to be complemented by investments from the private sector and Official Development Assistance (ODA) from development partners. Private sector has a role to play in contributing finance, technology, and innovation to accelerate the attainment of the agreed global goals.
Recognizing the joint responsibility of the public, private and civil society organisations (CSOs), for the effective implementation of the SDGs, the National Planning Commission had recently organised a two-day regional workshop on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Bharatpur with the aim to share and disseminate the PPP Policy – 2072 with the private sector entrepreneurs and investors, newly elected local leaders of municipalities, and the district level government officials. It is believed that the workshop contributed to orient various stakeholders about the importance of PPP to invest and facilitate infrastructure development and management and to create a group of critical mass to further raise awareness of the policy to the general people. To support the 2030 Agenda, the business community of Nepal has also been initiating a number of programs and the newly formed Nepal Business Coalition for the SDGs is one of the collective initiatives in this regard. Meanwhile, Nepal’s civil society has also established an SDG Discussion Forum, which has identified 23 constituencies and 19 thematic areas for partnership and for the implementation of the SDGs.
The National Consultation on Roles and Responsibilities of Private Sector in Public Services for Achieving SDGs in Nepal was built on to these above mentioned programs, and focused particularly on public services, such as health, education, water and sanitation, energy, food, and transportation sectors. It aimed at holding meaningful discussions on the ways to have a fruitful cooperation among the government, CSOs and private sector for the quality and timely delivery of public services in line with the relevant SDGs 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 with an emphasis on SDG17 that stresses on the need for revitalized partnership among the governments, civil society, private sector, the United Nations system and other actors for mobilizing all available resources.
The Objectives of Consultation are:
1. Deliberate on the ways to accelerate the Public-Private-People’s Partnership in delivering public services putting “people” at a central stage;
2. Identify the possible areas and modes of cooperation between the government and the private sector to effectively deliver public services in line with the SDGs; and
3. Explore the role of private sector in aligning its business activities and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the SDG.
This National Consultation was organized on May 30, 2018 with joint effort from Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC), LDC Watch and South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE). The programme was participated by 66 persons (Male = 45, Female = 21) representing government, private sector, consumer forums, civil society organisations and media.
The Opening Session comprised of Honourable Vice Chairperson of National Planning Commission Prof. Dr. Puspa Raj Kadel as Chief Guest, Global Coordinator of LDC Watch Mr. Gauri Pradhan as a Keynote Speaker, and Country Director of Water Aid Nepal Ms. Tripti Rai as a Guest Speaker. The Session was chaired by Mr. Shanta Lall Mulmi, Executive Director of Resource Centre for Primary health Care (RECPHEC). After a short introduction by participants, Mr. Shanta Lall Mulmi highlighted the objectives of the Consultation. Mr. Mulmi shared that while civil society has played significant role in promoting SDG agenda in Nepal, the engagement of private sector in shaping Nepal’s development area including health, education, transportation, agriculture, drinking water is vital. He stressed that although it is the primary responsibility of the government to attain the SDGs, major stakeholders such as private sector should play an important supportive role. Private sectors can take shared responsibility for achieving a better world by committing to sustainable development and upholding their responsibility to people and the planet. Further he mentioned that the Consultation among related stakeholders will provide an opportunity to discuss and understand the role of private sector in public services in addressing SDGs in Nepal closely. He raised the issue of the need for more Public Private Partnership (PPP) and highlighted the importance of keeping people at the centre during the process, and suggested an alternative: Public Private People’s Partnership (PPPP). He also shared that the discussion will be helpful in forming a roadmap towards the achievement of 2030 Agenda and added that based on the consultation a declaration will be prepared which will be used as a supportive document for participation and preparation of the position of the country in the upcoming United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, to be held from 9 to 18 July, 2018 in the United Nations Headquarters.
Key Note Speech by Gauri Pradhan, Global Coordinator, LDC Watch and Former National Human Rights Commissioner
Gauri Pradhan, Global Coordinator of LDC Watch, introduced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 global goals and 169 targets, as sets of comprehensive agenda with focus on social sectors, economic development, and climate actions, going beyond its predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which had more focus on social development. It encompasses the broad areas of people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership, commonly called the 5Ps. Further, he highlighted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have a special reference to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) such as Nepal, with the headline “Leaving no one behind.”
Mr. Pradhan stated that Nepal has committed towards achieving the SDGs. Government of Nepal has already formulated national strategic plans of action and begun to align its planning and budgeting processes with the SDGs. However, he cautioned that the global goals are yet to be localised to provincial and municipal or village council levels following the new federal system. With the political transition coming to an end andthe long-awaited stability ahead of us, he emphasised that the government should now focus on achieving the SDGs byforging partnership among the three pillars of economy: state, private sector, and cooperatives.On this, the SDG Target 17.17 states, “Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.”
Mr. Pradhan also cited Vision 2030 of Nepal. According to National Planning Commission, an apex advisory body to the Government of Nepal, “Nepal needs to grow at a rate of over 7-8% in the next two decades in order usher in prosperity for its people and ensure sustained economic growth by 2030.” In this context, he urged the government to adhere to the principles of sustainability, competitiveness, and fairness while pursuing economic growth. Economic growth should follow three dimensions: generating prosperity, sharing prosperity, and sustaining prosperity in a systematic way.
Private sector has a greater role to play in complementing the efforts of the State in achieving the SDGs. Mr. Pradhan elaborated on three roles of private sector in achieving the SDGs: business role, financing role, and implementation role. Businesses have the potential to solve the existing public service challenges through innovation and bring down the cost of accessing public services. It also needs to be realised that it is in the self-interest of the businesses as well to achieve the SDGs. Businesses cannot prosper in a world of inequality, poverty and climate change.
Mr. Pradhan shed light on the financing gap for Nepal to achieve the SDGs. Annually, around Rs 1.77 trillion, which accounts for about 42 to 54 per cent of annual GDP, is to be invested over the period 2016-2030 in order to meet the SDGs in Nepal. The public sector is expected to shoulder about 55 per cent (Rs 937.5 billion annually) of the SDG investment requirements with focus on sectors like poverty reduction, agriculture, health, education, gender, water and sanitation, transport infrastructure, climate action, and governance. In other sectors, mainly industry, energy, physical infrastructure, and housing, the private sector is expected to make most of the necessary investments. It is estimated that the sector should contribute nearly three-fifths of the investment needs in tourism, industrial and transport infrastructure. The private sector is expected to contribute around Rs 382 billion annually, 21.58 per cent of total investment requirement, to achieve the SDGs. Financing gap of the SDG investment requirement is estimated to be range from nine per cent of Gross Domestic Production (GDP) in the period 2016-2019 to a high of 15 per cent in the period 2025-2030.Financing gap in the public sectors, including water and sanitation, energy, transport, industrial and urban infrastructure is estimated to be 58 per cent of the total financing gap while the social sectors such as poverty, health, education and gender share 31 per cent of the total financing gap. Meanwhile, the households, the cooperatives and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are expected to shoulder around annual investment of Rs 88.5 billion, Rs 25 billion, and Rs 20 billion respectively out of total requirement of Rs 1,770 billion. Meanwhile, the 14th periodic plan (FY 2073/74 – 2075/76) states that the private sector is expected to invest 1,327 billion (54.7 per cent of the total investment requirement) over the three-year period to achieve the targeted 7.2 per cent economic growth .
Private sector also has an implementation role to play in pursuing the SDGs. Mr. Pradhan urged the private sector to internalise SDGs into its business processes. He also called on businesses to be accountable and transparent, and conduct responsible business practices respecting the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution and aligning with the UN Global Compact’s ten principles based on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. They should not consider all-in-all profit but should also perform their duty of providing quality products and services to the consumers at affordable cost. He further asked the private sector to align its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to SDGs striking a correct balance between profit, people and planet.
Mr. Pradhan urged the government to create conducive environment for private sectors to invest. The government should enact favourable laws for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) and setup required mechanisms to attract private investments in public services. He also highlighted the monitoring and regulatory role of the State through the enforcement of responsible business practices keeping people at the centre, and guarantee of economics justice and social inclusion.
On behalf of civil society, Mr. Pradhan stated that civil society supports the localisation of SDGs. Nepal’s civil society has established an SDG Discussion Forum, which has identified 23 constituencies and 19 thematic areas for partnership and for the implementation of the SDGs. Civil society would help to create a more balanced playing field at national and sub-national levels based on UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. There is a need to explore potential partnership between the State, private sector, and civil society for materialising SDGs into reality.
In the international development paradigm, Nepal is most likely to be recommended for graduation from LDC category into developing country in 2024. The government has further planned to uplift Nepal into a middle income country by 2030. In this context, the SDGs should be pursued in coherence with the LDC-specific Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) and the focus should be on making the process of graduation smooth, sustainable and irreversible. He also urged the National Planning Commissionof Nepal to prepare a sustainable graduation plan in such a way that Nepal will never reverse into the LDC category again in future. This is only possible if there is a trust-worthy and sustainable partnership between public-private and people in a real sense.
In the end, Mr. Pradhan provided the analogy of the development path followed by small Nordic nations. These countries emphasized education, science, and basic public services, and ensured that no one is left behind in accessing many economic forms of social protection. Wealth was created through vigorous private sectors under the watchful regulatory eye of the state. He suggested similar development path for Nepal too. He reiterated the need for partnership between the government, private sector, cooperatives, and private sector in accordance with SDG17 for economically viable, environmental friendly and socially respectable investments for achieving the overall SDGs.
Tripti Rai, Country Director of Water Aid Nepal
Ms. Tripti Rai, Country Director of Water Aid Nepal, in her remarks, shared that Water Aid has been working in the area of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for the past three decades. She shared that SDG 6 deals with water, sanitation and hygiene, and highlighted on the importance of making these essentials accessible to people all around the country. She informed that the country met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target on water, sanitation and hygiene. She stated that there is, however, a drop in coverage. Around 87 per cent of people have access to water, sanitation and hygiene, but the coverage is less than 30 per cent.
Ms. Rai acknowledged the role of private sector in public services in ensuring SDG implementation and urged it to support the state in reaching the unreached. There is a need for more knowledge discussion as this, she said referring to the Consultation. While the private sectors can help in scaling up different development areas, she pointed out that there should be sustainable approach regarding improving and maintaining water and sanitation facilities. Further, she emphasized on the need of having quality policy and regulatory framework in the new federal structure such that Water Aid can work collectively with private sectors and other stakeholders to improve WASH benefitting all, especially poor families. Additionally she shared that while collaborating, the private sector should bring in technical skills and knowledge as well as mutual accountability. “We can learn a lot from the expertise of private sector,” she claimed.
She mentioned that when private sectors involve in public service delivery, it needs to be profitable but also equitable and affordable adhering to human rights principles. Giving example of the contamination in bottled water despite consumers paying high for it, she emphasised the importance of regulation to meet the consumer right and human right standards along with SDGs. In the end, she suggested that making corporate social responsibility (CSR) long-term and sustainable can be one of the ways to find the correct balance.
Chief Guest Honourable Vice Chairman of National Planning CommissionProf. Dr. Puspa Raj Kadel
Prof. Dr. Puspa Raj Kadel, Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC), shared that achieving the SDGs is a big challenge for country like Nepal that have limited resources, knowledge/skills and access to technology. He stated that the annual requirement of 1.7 trillion rupees to meet the SDGs cannot be met by the government alone but has to be complemented by non-state actors, including private sector, cooperatives, community, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), and development partners. He added that one of the major challenges is also to mainstream the SDG agenda into the provincial and local level planning as these new levels of government are in their initial stages of functioning. Hence, he called on private sectors, civil society organizations and development partners to support the government to achieve the SDGs.
He recalled history when the various stages of political struggles and long transition period prevented the State from functioning as expected. During the period, there was also compulsion among the private sectors to make only short-term investments. He expressed his optimism that the country has now got a stable government which could finally focus on economic development. With the new wave of stability and prosperity after the end of political transition, he urged the private sector to invest in long-term projects. Meanwhile, National Planning Commission, unlike in the past, would be able to serve full term and provide valuable policy guidance to the government.
Considering the role of private sectors in public services in implementing SDGs, Prof. Dr. Kadel, stressed that the government should create conducive environment for private sectors to invest. He further shared that there should be clear definition on the role of public, private and cooperatives sectors to optimize their collaborative role in achieving SDGs in Nepal. The possible areas of cooperation are to be identified. The implementation of SDGs requires stable, people centric governments at all levels and hence the governance should be strengthened at all levels. He also stressed that at the time when economic liberalization is under scrutiny globally for disregarding the aspect of equity during development, the private sector’s duty should not be limited to making all-in-all profit, but it should also bear social responsibility. This is because the profit it generates comes from the use of the resources of the society itself. Concentrating only on profit would increase inequality and would again bring conflicts in the society.
He also acknowledged the role of civil society as a watchdog of the activities of the government and the private sector. The civil society has also been playing an important role in bringing together the international partnership for development. He said that civil society and community have been integrated within the “cooperatives” sector under the three-pillar economy of the State.
Further, he updated the audience on the organisational structure in the National Planning Commission for the implementation of 2030 Agenda. Three high-level committees have been formed to help implement the SDGs: a Steering Committee led by Prime Minister, a Coordination Committee led by Vice Chairperson of the NPC, and nine thematic committees headed by NPC members. He then expressed his commitment to make the implementation structure more inclusive in the coming days ensuring representation from all state and non-state actors.
In conclusion, Prof. Dr. Kadel shared that the government should give high priority on achieving SDGs by collaborating with private sectors along with other stakeholders, including civil society and cooperatives. In the end, he assured that the output of the Consultation would be accepted by the National Planning Commission and, as an advisor to the Government of Nepal, it would incorporate in its suggestion to the government.
The opening session was followed by a panel discussion which was chaired by Ms. Rakshya Paudyal, Programme Manager at Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC). The discussion revolved around the following guidingquestions:
1. How should the private sector step up to complement the government in making the required investments in public service sectors in accordance with SDG 17?
2. How to maintain a right balance between “people” and “profit” when the private sector becomes one of the active players in the public service areas, including education and health?
3. What should be the role of the Government in facilitating and regulating private sector in the areas of public service delivery?
4. How can the private sector effectively provide services to the public adhering to the 4-A scheme of Accessibility, Affordability, Adaptability, and Acceptability, and the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights?
5. How can Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the business organisations be promoted as the basis for collective actions between the private sector and civil society organisations?
Mr. Milan Dharel, Executive Member NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN)
Mr. Milan Dharel, Executive Member of NGO Federation of Nepal, acknowledged the role of private sector as wealth creator. Private sector is a complementary force in making investments in different infrastructural projects. Their investment also results in an increase in employment opportunities in the country.
Regarding the role of private sector in public services, he shared that private sectors have stepped in public service delivery because the services provided by the government were not sufficient and fulfilling. However, private sector should not be taken as an alternative to government but as a partner to government. He raised three issues that the private sector should follow in their business processes: (i) investment modality must be just and fair, (ii) labour must be human rights friendly, and (iii) delivery of services must be inclusive. He further cautioned that the sector should not turn into an exploiter.
He suggested that the government in consultation with private sector should categorically define the role of public and private sector in each area, including health, education, and transportation, among others. There should be efforts to make proper collaboration between the government, private sector as well as civil society organisations to have positive impact on the areas of public services. “Private sectors, apart from profit making, should be responsible in empowering consumers such that there is sustainable effect of their investment,” he added.
Mr. Hemraj Dahal, Secretary General, Association of Private Health Institutions of Nepal (APHIN)
Mr. Hemraj Dahal, Secretary General of APHIN, described the role of private sector in filling up the health service gap in the country. He informed that there are 154 private hospitals including private medical colleges with a total of 14,320 beds across the country. He claimed that private health institutions have an investment of 142 billion rupees and has increased public access to health by more than 60 per cent. He stated that the private health sector is cognizant of their social responsibility and private hospitals have been mandatorily conducting three free health camps annually, and have allocated 10 percent of their bed capacity to needy people for free health services. He also stressed on the better quality of health service provided by private sector. Meanwhile, he welcomed the government’s decision to waive off Health Service Tax in the recent Budget for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2074/75.
Mr. Ishwor Gurung, Vice Chairperson, Private and Boarding Schools’ Organisation of Nepal (PBASON)
Mr. Ishwor Gurung highlighted on the integral role of education in attaining the overall SDGs. He said that the private sector has been a partner to government in providing quality education to children in the country. He said, “30 percent of the students study in private schools where as 200,000 teachers are employed in these private schools.” He further claimed that 32 per cent of the investment in education is made by the private sector. He stressed that PABSON has followed rules and regulations and have been contributing in producing qualified students. He also added that private schools are willing to increase their investments in education but demands that government should provide positive environment for its smooth running. He also welcomed the government’s recent decision for the removal of Education Service Tax, saying that the step would make education service cheaper. He agreed that education service should be easily accessible and affordable and there is no alterative but the partnership between government and private sector for the same.
Mr. Ritu Raj Sapkota, President, National PABSON
Mr. Ritu Raj Sapkota emphasised that education plays a central role in ensuring sustainable development of any community. He argues that although there are schools across the country, more than four lakh children are outside schooling (2.5 lakh alone in Province 2). Therefore government should ensure that all the children have easy access schools, and the government and private sector should work together for the same. He stated that private schools have helped to minimise the gap and have played an important role in increasing schools thereby increasing the number of school enrolment.
Ms. Nirmala K.C, Chairperson, Tewa
Ms. Nirmala K.C. informed that Tewa is engaged in community philanthropy work and has been working with 20 private sectors in close collaboration. She stated that SDG should be people-centric and therefore, all the stakeholders including government, non government and private sectors should work in close coordination. She called on the government to provide positive environment in bringing non- government and private sectors on board to work collectively to deliver public services to people. If government provides enabling environment, people will benefit due to increased knowledge, efficiency, and harmony through joint effort of private and public organization. In addition, the government should formulate strict regulation and ensure that all the stakeholders follow the guidelines, she said. She opined that following only profit would not make businesses sustainable and instead, and called on the private sector to follow the principle of justice.
Mr. Bijay Bahadur Swar, Senior Vice President, Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs
Mr. Bijay Bahadur Swar highlighted the importance of transportation facilities in helping people getting access to food, education, health, and other basic services. He claimed that almost 100 per cent of the investment in public transportation is done by the private sector, and more than 50 lakh people are dependent on this sector either being consumers or labourers. He stated that transportation sector, besides providing public services, has been translated into an employment-generating sector. He came down on the government for its recent crusade against transport syndicate. He stated that although the government has claimed to end syndicate, there is lack of proper rules and the government and the private sector working in this sector should have a proper dialogue. There should be proper guidelines and policies and its implementation such that transport entrepreneurs can show their support, he said. He called for a progressive dialogue between the government and private sector for effective and efficient public service delivery. He was critical of services provided by government and asked the government to look into their own capacity and efficiency while projecting issues towards private institutions. Both parties should be responsible towards their duties and work mutually through improved management, he said in the end.
Dr. Sharad Onta, People’s Health Movement Nepal
Dr. Sharad Onta acknowledged the role of private sector in reducing the gap in providing services which otherwise is the responsibility of the government. However, he questions whether the lack of capacity of the State to provide necessary health service to its citizens is taken as an opportunity or a burden by the private sector. He then questions, “If the government fulfils its responsibility in providing needed basic facilities in coming years, what would be the role of private sectors then?”
He called on the government to fulfil its responsibility to provide quality health services to its people as the constitution refers health as the fundamental right of every citizen. The concept of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a national priority and thus government should work towards formulating favourable policies. He argues there should be critical and extensive analysis on the role of private sectors in health care. Government should provide improved health facilities and regulate the private sector ensuring that the health sector is not turned into a money-making business.
Regarding businesses’ corporate social responsibility, Dr. Onta expressed the need of CSR in every sector and all the concerned parties should follow them. He demanded CSR to be made legally binding and appropriate policies be brought for the same. He spoke critical of the current trend of CSR activities performed by business organisations. “If any private organisation undertakes social causes, they should do them on genuine basis, he stated.
After the panel discussion, Ms. Rakshya Paudyal thanked everyone for their views and opinions on different aspect on the role of government and private sectors in public services. She concluded that the discussion hasput forward questions and thoughts for further discussion.
After this session, the floor was opened for question and answer round.
Open floor discussion/ Question and Answer Session
Dr. Padma Prasad Khatiwada, Secretary General of Human Rights Alliance (HRA), chaired the session. During the discussion session following participants shared their views.
1. Mr. Shiva Adhikari, Handicap International/Association of INGOs Disability Working Group
Mr. Shiva Adhikari pointed out that the forum should invite people from National Association of the Physically Disabled – Nepal since SDGs also address the issues concerning people with disability with its headline of leaving no one behind. He expressed that there is lack of services for people with disability even in private hospitals where they are bound to pay more for getting service. He also urged the government to step up its role of providing proper infrastructure to differently able people.Private sectors should show equal commitment in making its service accessible to people with disability.
2. Daya Sagar Shrestha, Executive Director, NGO Federation of Nepal
Mr. Daya Sagar Shrestha shed light on the malpractice of opening Foundations by private business houses. By opening foundation, they put their CSR budgets into it and tend to misuse such funds, he claimed. He spoke vehemently against the practice of privatization of public enterprises that started since the 1990s. He also termed the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model as a failure model. He said, “Under this model, profit is taken by the private sector while the losses are to be borne by the taxpayers’ money.”He stressed on the need to make private sectors’ businesses labour friendly, environment-friendly, and human rights-friendly. He also asked people to be aware of the growing corporate influence in policy-making due to the nexus between private sector and government.
3. Mr. Narayan Gyawali, National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal (NACUEN)
Mr. Narayan Gyawali explained three dimensions of service delivery: facilities, time, andcommunication. These three dimensions are to be met for effective public service delivery. Government and private sectors should work together on providing quality service.On education, he stressed on the need to discourage the culture of rote learning among children.
4. Mr. Sambhu Dulal, National Federation of Irrigation Water Users’ Association Nepal (NFIWUAN)
Mr. Sambhu Dulal questioned the role of private sector in irrigation sector. Providing irrigation facilities to farmers is the obligation of the government. He also asked the government to set improved rules and regulations in all public service sectors.
5. Mr. Tej Narayan Thakur, Nepal Micro Hydropower Development Association (NMHDA)
Mr. Tej Narayan Thakur urged the government to step up its services and regulatory roleso that the conflict between the consumers and the service providers is minimised.
6. Ms. Meena Paudel, Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA)
Speaking on behalf of differently able people, she urged the private sectors to ensureequal access to public services for people with disability.
7. Mr. Bishnu Prasad Timilsina, Nepal Consumer Forum
Mr. Bishnu Prasad Timilsina said that private sector has lately been influential and has gathered the capacity to influence government; therefore government should be strict in regulating organized private sectors such as syndicate and cartel to make it more competitive. He expressed the need for free competition among private sectors that would benefit the end consumers.
8. Ms. Benu Maya Gurung, Alliance Against Trafficking of Women in Nepal (AATWIN)
Ms. Benu Maya Gurung called for gender balance in all sectors.She requested the private sectors to focus more on Goal 5 (gender equality) and Goal 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).
9. Mr. Sanjib Pandey
He proposed that channelizing all three sectors (government, private sector, and civil society or nongovernmental organizations) through one door policy will help in filling the 1.77 trillion rupees investment requirement. For this, he stated that the government needs to provide working environment for all sectors.
Ending the session, Mr. Khatiwada, added that all the concerned stakeholders should think and adapt policies keeping long-term vision in mind that should cross beyond 2030. He also made reference to the changing population dynamics in which birth rate is declining while the number of ageing population is going higher. Hence, plans and programmes need to be made keeping sustainability in mind.He also suggested that it is time to adapt SDG goals according to the need of the country. The Feedback and Question/Answer Session ended with the Chair Mr. Khatiwada thanking all the participants for their constructive views and suggestion. He also thanked all the guests, speakers, panelists, and participants from the government, private sector, local and international non-governmental organizations, civil society and media for making the Consultation a success. He also expressed his gratitude towards the organizers for initiating discussion on a very relevant issue of the role on private sector in public service in achieving the SDGs.
The Consultation was successful in igniting a constructive debate on the role of private sector in public service delivery in line with the 2030 Agenda. The crux of the discussion was that it is the primary responsibility of the State in providing public services to the citizens. Private sector has a role to support the government in its ambition to achieve the SDGs by 2030. It must put in necessary resources, mainly finance and expertise, in the public service sectors adhering to an appropriate balance between profit, planet and people. Public service should not be turned into an all-in-all profit-making business area. Meanwhile, the CSOs can perform the role of a watchdog, and promote accountability, transparency and good governance practices with regards to the implementation of the SDGs ensuring consumer rights under the broad framework of human rights. There is no alternative to a strengthened partnership between the government, private sector, and civil society for embarking on a journey towards providing quality public services to fellow citizens in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.