Lawmakers cast doubt over implementation

KATHMANDU: Lawmakers today claimed that the budget for the fiscal year 2009/10, presented by the government yesterday, had failed to effectively prioritise the major agenda. During the budget discussion in parliament, they stated that some programmes were introduced without sufficient planning and resources .

However, the UCPN-Maoist abstained from the discussion. Prior to the commencement of the deliberations, UCPN-M lawmaker Khimlal Devkota sought time to say, “Since the government has an unconstitutional foundation and was formed upholding military supremacy, there is no point in discussing its budget.”

He criticised the government for trying to restructure the special committee to monitor, rehabilitate and integrate the Maoist combatants without consulting the Maoists. Devkota said the government had created a new post in Nepali Army against the spirit of Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The government yesterday promoted Brigadier General BA Kumar Sharma to Major General in the NA’s legal department.

Lawmakers representing smaller parties, which have supported the coalition, accused larger parties of ignoring their agenda in the budget. NC leader and former finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said, “The budget, despite having many positive aspects, has failed to set priorities, putting its implementation in doubt.” He said it could fuel price hike since recurrent expenditures and investment in unproductive areas had increased.

He said the the government employees were unhappy as they got no

salary increment at a time when

the price hike remained unchecked. Dr Bijaya Paudel of CPN-UML said only a stable government could implement the budget.