Nepal | July 20, 2019

Opposition terms govt’s policies, programmes ‘baseless’

Jagdishor Panday

Kathmandu, May 5

The main opposition Nepali Congress, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party today came down heavily on the government’s policies and programmes, terming the document ‘baseless’ and ‘brought without preparation’.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari presented the government’s policies and programmes on Friday.

Although many lawmakers representing the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) supported the document, others criticised it for not including development plans for their respective regions.

Forty-seven lawmakers participated in the discussion on the policies and programmes in the House of Representatives after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli presented the document for thematic discussion.

As the first speaker, leader of opposition and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba termed the government’s policies and programmes a ‘hollow statement’. He said the document would further disappoint people already let down by the government’s work.

“The government has raised taxes at all levels and inflation has sky-rocketed. The Office of the Auditor General and Transparency International Nepal’s recent reports showed corruption was on the rise. High bank interest rates have discouraged investment. Investment climate has worsened.

The government hasn’t done anything to boost the economy and create an investment-friendly environment,” Deuba said.

He added that like last year, this year’s policies and programmes too would not yield positive results.

“The government says the policies and programmes are for the next fiscal year but it has included plans for up to 25 years!” he said. Deuba said projects such as railway to link India and China should be built on grant.

He also accused the PM of misinforming the people by taking credit for projects initiated by previous governments. Deuba also criticised the government on the diplomatic front, referring to setbacks during the BIMSTEC Summit, holy wine ceremony during the Asia Pacific Summit and the government and ruling party’s statements on Venezuela crisis.

NC lawmaker Minendra Rijal, who presented an amendment proposal on the policies and programmes on behalf of the NC, accused the government of weakening the country diplomatically.

Stating that the country was leaning towards China, Rijal said the government should maintain balanced relations with all the countries, including neighbours.

Presenting his amendment proposal, Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal’s presidium member Rajendra Mahato said, “Point No 7 of the document gives an impression that all sections of society have accepted the constitution, which is not the case. We’ve not yet fully accepted the constitution and have been demanding amendment.”

Although most NCP lawmakers defended the document, NCP lawmaker Gajendra Bahadur Mahat lamented that development plans for the Karnali region were not included in the document.

NWPP’s Prem Suwal said the government should not present a deficit budget.

The govt says the document is for the next fiscal year but it has included plans for up to 25 years

A version of this article appears in print on May 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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