Nepal | August 24, 2019

Budget allocation draws HoR flak

Constituencies represented by top leaders get major chunk, say ruling, opposition during House discussion

Jagdishor Pandey

Kathmandu, June 11

Lawmakers representing ruling and opposition parties today criticised the government for allocating major portion of the budget to districts and constituencies represented by the prime minister, ministers and powerful leaders.

When the House of Representatives today started discussion on budget allocation to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Youth and Sports, the main opposition Nepali Congress lawmaker Dev Prasad Timilsina said the budget was mainly focused on Jhapa (Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s home town), Chitwan (Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s home town) and Bardiya (NCP leader Bamdev Gautam’s home town).

“Remaining budget was allocated to the home districts of ministers and powerful leaders of the ruling party,” Timilsina said.

“There is no budget allocation for those districts where people have been living in abject poverty.”

Timilisina reminded the HoR of what BP Koirala used to say — ‘while drafting a budget, you should look on the man who ploughs the field’. “But this budget has allocated funds for districts and constituencies represented by the prime minister, ministers and other powerful leaders of the NCP. Billions of rupees have been allocated for their districts,” he added.

He said this budget was not for poor people.

NCP lawmaker Rajendra Gautam said he, along with 20 lawmakers from hilly districts, would organise a discussion programme and come up with a plan. “The Minister of Urban Development didn’t recognise us,” he said.

Uma Shankar Agariya, lawmaker representing Samajwadi Party-Nepal, which is also a coalition partner of the NCP in the centre, said he went through budget allocation of five to six ministries and found that ministers had allocated budget for each others’ constituencies.

“Cabinet colleagues have ensured that a major chunk of the budget is allocated for constituencies represented by them,” he added.

A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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