Dr Bhattarai lambasts budget

KATHMANDU: Dr Baburam Bhattarai, the first finance minister of the Republic of Nepal and one of the ideologues of the CPN-Maoist today lambasted the government and its budget presented by his successor Surendra Pandey on Monday.

“We do not recognise this puppet government and its budget,” he said bitterly adding that the budget that Pandey claims to be ‘socialist’ has failed the people. “It could not address rising price hike and employees’ pay.”

“The budget has announced cheap and popular programmes that can neither fuel growth nor generate employment,” he added. Dr Bhattarai opined that the government has tried to impress by aping some programmes of the Maoists.

To match Dr Bhattarai’s claim in the last budget of generating 10,000 MW of electricity in 10 years, Pandey has a programme which he claims will generate 25,000 MW of electricity in 20 years.

“The budget is full of ridiculous claims. It has also reduced the allocations to agriculture and social security and increased the deficit.”

The Maoists opened the House to let the CPN-UML-led government present the programmes and policies after a 40-day disruption. They have been not taking part in the budget discussions also to protest what they call President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s “unconstitutional” reinstatement of Army chief General Rukmangad Katuwal.