Kathmandu, July 18
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota today said talks with the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal were possible only if it shunned violence and expressed commitment to join peaceful politics.
He was addressing mediapersons at a weekly press briefing organised at his ministry to disclose the Cabinet decisions taken on July 14.
He said the government could not set free the jailed leaders of the Chand-led outfit just for the sake of negotiation. “If we released their leaders from jail and if they didn’t sit for dialogue, who will be responsible?” he asked.
He said that the Chand-led outfit had not accepted the constitution and the current political system. Chand-led outfit should not question sovereignty, democracy, citizen’s right, press freedom and the constitution, according to Minister Baskota.
“If they shunned violence, accepted constitution and joined the mainstream politics then the issue would be settled within a minute leaving no room and reason for enmity between the government and the outfit. Even their past wrong doings could be forgiven,” he said.
The government decided to deport five Sri Lankan citizens who were staying illegally in Nepal. Minister Baskota said the Cabinet decided to waive Rs 250,000 fines imposed on Sri Lankan nationals and also their visa fees totalling $ 37,380.
The government authorised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sign an agreement with the German Foreign Office to establish a ministry level bilateral consultation mechanism.
The government decided to provide Sajha Yatayat Cooperatives Limited to float its shares worth three billion rupees to enable it to purchase 300 electric buses. Minister Baskota said Sajha Yatayat would be responsible for the management of those electric buses.
He said the government was extending support to public institutions to encourage public transport as growing number of private vehicles created traffic congestion in the valley.
“Sajha Yatayat was a success in the past, but it needs to perform efficiently. Public should report its weaknesses to Sajha Yatayat giving it a chance for improvement,” the minister said.
The government nominated Deputy Mayor of Damak Municipality Gita Adhikari, Mayor of Birgunj Metropolitan City Vijay Kumar Sarawagi, Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City Renu Dahal, Mayor of Pokhara–Lekhnath Metropolitan City Man Bahadur GC, Mayor of Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City Shiv Raj Subedi, Deputy Mayor of Birendranagar Municipality Mohanmaya Bhandari and Mayor of Gauriganga Municipality Bhim Bahadur Deuba as members of the Municipal Development Board.
It also decided to nominate Narayan Prasad Bastola as the General Manager of National Housing Company Limited.
A version of this article appears in print on July 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.