Prez presents govt’s policies and programmes

KATHMANDU: President Ram Baran Yadav presented the policies and programmes of the government for fiscal year 2015-16 at the Legislature-Parliament meeting on Wednesday.

In the 65-minute presentation, Yadav unveiled the government’s plan of action for the new fiscal that announced priority in rebuilding of nation in the aftermath of April 25-earthquake and its aftershocks and development of hydropower projects. The government will bring the fiscal budget to implement the announced programmes.

Reading out the 27-page document that Prime Minister Sushil Koirala presented to him, President Yadav said, “A major natural catastrophe has befallen the people even before the protracted transition could end and the wounds of conflict could heal. At this difficult time, it is necessary to move forward, on the basis of cooperation, consensus and collaboration, towards building prosperous nation through reconstruction of damages caused by the devastating earthquake and lead the country on the path of sustainable peace.”

Stating that the country is on track to complete the constitution-writing process, Yadav said the long-awaited aspiration of the people for a democratic constitution through the CA is being materialised. “It is my firm belief that the CA will be successful in promulgating the new constitution on time,” Yadav said.

Vice-President Paramanda Jha, foreign diplomats, senior politicians and other dignitaries were also present in the audience gallery during the presentation.

PM Koirala tabled the copy of the document at the second meeting of the Parliament held half an hour after the President’s presentation. The meeting passed a motion of thanks for the President’s address. CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang has called next CA meeting at 11:00am on Friday for discussion on the policies and programmes and has planned to conclude discussion on July 11 for clearing the way to bring Vote on Accounts Bill.

Leaders’ take

“I do not see newness. We had an opportunity to bring a concrete and specific plan for reconstruction and rebuilding. Although the document has basic things, there are no programmes to resolve  the problems” — UCPN-M leader Baburam Bhattarai

“It is balanced and has given top priority to reconstruction and nation building. It also gives priority to the tasks of economic improvement. It gives a message that the government will now  move ahead towards transformation” — Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat

“It missed some issues, including properly investing remittance for productive work and creating employment. The most important thing is how announced programmes are addressed in the budget and whether they are implemented” — UML leader Gokarna Bista

“Discouraging, speculative, ritual without any concrete programme for reconstruction in the aftermath of earthquakes” — RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa

“No concrete programme as per need of hour or to ensure economic prosperity” — Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal leader Upendra Yadav

Vision at a glance

•    Elections to the local bodies will be held within this fiscal

•    Zero tolerance policy will be adopted against corruption

•    Vision 2030 will be formulated and implemented to bring Nepal to the standard of a middle income state by 2030

•    The budget of the next fiscal year to focus on reconstruction

•    Law will be formulated to address acquisition of land and compensation issues

•    Private sector will be included in the construction of the transmission lines as per the build-and-transfer model

•    Priority will be given to the identification, study and development of multi-purpose and reservoir-based hydropower projects for electricity supply

•    Construction work of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project with the reservoir-based capacity of 1,200 MW will be initiated

•    The Naumure Multipurpose Project will be run under the institutional structure

•    Load-shedding in the coming dry season will be reduced to maximum eight hours a day

•    Detailed study and project proposals of Sunkoshi-Kamala, Sunkoshi-Marin, Kali Gandaki-Tinau, Thuligad-Kailali and Kankai high-dam projects will be prepared

•    Quake-affected families will be given loan for reconstruction at concessional interest rate

•    A base for self-reliance in rice will be prepared by declaring 12 paddy farming districts of Tarai region as special pocket zone

•    An arrangement of subsidies and grants in agriculture will be made to attract youths to commercial farming

•    The President Best Farmer Award Programme will be launched

•    A master plan of Chure area will be implemented and a separate law will be formulated

•    New industrial zones and corridors will be developed

•    Construction of Amlekhgunj-Raxaul Petroleum Pipeline will start

•    Private sector will also be involved in the supply of petroleum products

•    ‘Poor family identity card’ will be distributed in 25 districts

•    District headquarters of Humla and Dolpa will be connected to the national roads network

•    Model city development programme will be started in 12 places along the Mid-Hills Highway

•    Construction work will be carried forward to complete Melamchi Drinking Water Project by 2016

•    One airfield will be established in each remote hilly district

•    Higher secondary education will gradually be oriented towards technical education

•    A policy of establishing health science institutes in all five development regions will be adopted

•    From this fiscal year itself, free education at post graduate level in public institutes will be arranged

•    In every municipality a hospital will be established with at least 15 beds

•    From this fiscal year, Online Visa System will be started which will convert into e-visa

•    Voters registration process to ensure the voting rights of Nepali nationals living abroad to be initiated