Document without priorities: Congress
Kathmandu, May 21
The main opposition Nepali Congress has termed the government’s policies and programmes ‘as ‘a document that lacks priorities’.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today presented the government policies and programmes for the next fiscal year in a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly.
NC leader and former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat said the policies and programmes looked like a five-year plan rather than a yearly scheme.
Mahat said the policies and programmes had given continuity to regular programmes in a lengthy format. “The policies and programmes should have been precise with schemes different from those previously adopted, but it has all regular schemes in a rather lengthy format,” said Mahat.
Stating that the government had also announced some ambitious schemes such as ending labour flight and doubling per capita income in the next five years, Mahat said only ambitious speeches were not going to help amid various shortcomings such as politicisation in the administration, among others.
“There has not even been preliminary study and fundamental bases for achieving such ambitions schemes are lacking. The way the government is functioning is not in line with these plans,” said Mahat. Another NC leader and former minister Minendra Rijal said the government announced it would do everything, but the policies and programmes lacked
The policies and programmes include everything from developing the county, attracting investment, ensuring social security, lowering dependency on remittance, boosting economic growth rate and boosting per capita income and increasing electricity consumption. However, the government ‘does not have a clear mind’ as to where it should start from.
“The government has said it will do everything, which also means it has not been able to prioritise things. Failure to priorities will not yield desired results. In order to achieve these goals, the government has to have a very clear set of priorities, which the policy paper lacks,” he said.
Referring so some of the government’s plans such as doubling per capita income in five years, Rijal said the government had made big announcement, but they were somewhat vague. “To double per capita income in five years, we need 14 per cent annual growth rate. We do not know whether the government is talking about 10 per cent inflation or something else,” he said.
Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal Presidium Member Rajendra Mahato expressed displeasure over the non-inclusion of the issue related to constitution amendment. He said constitution amendment was related to a movement, and if it was not addressed it would further give rise to conflict.
Saying that implementation of the policies and programmes was crucial, Mahato said the paper also lacked plans for supporting families of martyrs and injured. “It may look good superficially, but it depends on implementation how good it is,” he said.
Naya Shakti Party-Nepal Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai also said the policies and programmes missed the issue of constitution amendment.
He also said the document sounded good, but the upcoming budget would also tell how good it was. “The proof of the pudding lies in the eating,” Bhattarai said in a Twitter post.
Bhattarai also said that just saying that the per capita income would be doubled in the next five years was not enough. The government should have said at what rate the per capita income should increase every year to achieve the goal.