Alliance to ‘expose’ budget in today’s mock Parliament

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, July 18:

The seven-party alliance will make public its stance on the recently announced budget for the fiscal year 2005/06 during a mock third Parliament Session scheduled to take place at the Royal Nepal Academy tomorrow. The alliance’s today’s meeting decided to clarify its stance on the ordinance budget presented by Finance Minister Madhukar Shumsher JB Rana on July 16. Besides discussing the ordinance budget, the mock session of the Parliament is also expected to pass some resolutions related with the National Assembly, royal ordinance on Social Welfare Council Act which regulates the functioning of non-governmental organisations,

Civil Service Act and other coercive measures taken by the government against the Press.

Emerging from the meeting held at the Nepali Congress central office, CPN-UML standing committee member Jhala Nath Khanal said that they would “expose” the budget, which, he said, is a “bundle of destruction”.

“Its goal and content all are based on wrong premesis,” Khanal told reporters. He said the agitating parties would reject the budget presented by an unconstitutional government. One of the memebrs of the alliance’s taskforce said the meeting attended by alliance’s top leaders,

including Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala, took the recent statements detrimental to the multi-party democratic system, by the vice chairmen of the Council of Ministers and members of Raj Parishad Standing Committee very seriously. When asked about the formation of a team to hold dialogue with the Maoists, NC leader Krishna Sitaula said the next meeting on July 24 would decide on the issue. He said that the alliance took Maoist leader Prachanda’s call for the talks team positively.

UML leader Khanal said that the alliance would hold dialogue with the Maoists even without forming a talks team provided that the latter created a conducive atmosphere for the same.

“There is a huge gulf as deep as the Pacific Ocean between us and the Maoists,” he said, adding, “First of all, we want them to work out for confidence building measures before expecting any talks with us.” Acting president of the Nepali Congress-Democratic Gopal Man Shrestha said the Maoists should give up violence if they were sincere for the talks.

Speaker’s refusal

Kathmandu: Speaker Taranath Ranabhat on Monday rejected Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala’s request to chair the mock third Session of the Parliament to be held at the Royal Nepal Academy hall on Tuesday, a source close to Koirala said. “I cannot preside over the street session of parliament waving the national flag as long as I remain in the post,” the source quoted the Speaker as telling Koirala. — HNS