UCPN-M, UML boycott debate on budget


The main opposition party in the Legislature-Parliament, Unified CPN-Maoist, as well as most lawmakers of the ruling coalition partner CPN-UML, on Monday boycotted the discussion on budget, forcing the speaker to stall on Monday’s meeting of the House.

As soon as Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat introduced the Appropriation Bill in the Parliament, lawmakers started claiming that the budget allocations were made focusing on the Nepali Congress’s upcoming general convention.

After UML lawmakers objected to budget discussion, Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang told them that the House would only have a theoretical discussion on the Appropriation Bill on Monday.

He said the discussion on budget would begin as soon as all the ministries sent their details on Wednesday.

Addressing the meeting, Chief Whip of UCPN-M Girirajmani Pokhrel said the government did not follow the recommendations of the task force formed to make suggestions on the budget.

“We have been supporting the government so that there is a consensus on budget at a time when the country is going through transition that too in the aftermath of disaster. The budget is related to peace process as well. But since our concerns were not addressed we decided to boycott the meeting,” he said.

After all the opposition lawmakers walked out of the hall, speaker said the meeting of the Parliament could not go ahead without the opposition as per the tradition and stalled it.

The next meeting has been scheduled for 1:00pm on Tuesday.

UCPN-Maoist lawmaker Agni Sapkota told this daily that his party would launch a stern protest in the Parliament if the government did not make amends to budget allocation.

He, however, said the party was yet to take a decision on the forms of protest.

Earlier, the lawmakers criticised the budget, claiming that it was imbalanced and the government had betrayed them by publishing the second red book after assuring them that it would not be published.

They demanded that the government should cancel the existing allocation of the budget and make justifiable allocation.

Lawmaker Rajendra Pandey said the government would see the real picture of the protest on Wednesday.

Lawmakers, including Bikash Lamsal, Ram Hari Subedi, Parbat Gurung, Shiva Lal Thapa, Karna Bahadur Thapa and Aindra Sundar Nembang criticised the allocation of budget and linked it to NC’s upcoming general convention.

Most of the UML lawmakers left the hall as soon as Finance Minister Mahat introduced the Appropriation Bill in the House.

Many lawmakers addressing the House demanded that the government should begin reconstruction works right away and declare the districts hit by drought as drought-affected areas and provide necessary compensation to the victims.