UML for more budget for VDCs

Kathmandu, June 19:

CPN-UML, one of the key players in the government, has suggested that the budget for 2007-08 should allocate double the amount for the village development committees (VDCs) to stir up development activities.

Making public the recommendations of the party officially today, Bharat Mohan Adhikari, chief of the economic and planning division of UML, said that the budget for the VDCs must be increased to two million rupees from the current one million. “The rural areas were the most affected areas during the conflict and to give them their share of justice they must be allocated double the budget, which could expedite development activities,” he said.

UML has also stressed that the budget should focus on the common minimum agreement among the eight-party alliance, provisions of the Interim Constitution and the spirit of Jana Andolan-II.

The party recommended that the budget should lay special attention on common development approach mentioned in the agreement, social justice, economic growth,

justifiable distribution and socio-economic development of marginalised community, freed kamaiyas, women, Dalits, Madhesis, and landless squatters. Adhikari further said that

the budget should be entirely people-centred and inclusive as to inspire people to take

part in the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls with full zeal and spirit.

Stating that there has been a lack of planning and programme rather than the capital, he stressed on the need to focus on big roads, hydropower projects, postal highway, progressive land reforms and special agriculture packages.

Moreover, UML’s recommendations focus on providing more incentives to social sectors such as health, education and giving utmost care to elderly people, widows and nursing mothers.

It has also asked the government to increase at least 25 per cent in the civil servant’s salary based on their performance, waive 25 per cent in the registration fee while transferring the land ownership to women and introduce package programmes for the Dalits.

Likewise, implementation of ‘cooperatives in every village, employment to every household,’ free education to increase access of women, dalits and backward people are some of the agendas that party has suggested.

The party recommendations further add that tourism in the Far-Western region should be promoted, the National Cooperatives Bank should be made effective and efficient, and arrears and irregularities should be checked properly.

Adhikari, who has served as finance minister a couple of times in the past, also disclosed that UML has recommended the government to significantly slash the budget of royal palace and rayal family members.

“A hefty reduction in budget for royal family members and royal palace will make a better sense and reflects the people’s aspiration, since the monarchy is ‘almost dead now’,” Adhikari said.