Budget for power generation dismal: MPs

Kathmandu, July 21:

Taking part in deliberations on various headings of the Ministry of General Administration and the Ministry of Water Resources under the Appropriation Bill, 2064 BS at the parliament today, Nepali Congress MPs said the budget of Rs 7 billion for power generation and Rs 3 billion for irrigation and river control was not sufficient and that a coordination among the water resources, agriculture and land reform ministries was essential.

Stating that new projects have not come in pursuance to the water resource policy, they urged the government to focus on the generation of 5,000 MW of hydroelectricity in 10 years.

Govinda Raj Joshi, Hridayam Ram Thami, Kashi Poudel, Shiva Raj Joshi (Dailekh), Damodar Bastakoti and Yagya Raj Pathak took part in the discussion. CPN-UML MPs stressed on the need of a ministry for energy. They said that budget allocated for embankment on the Narayani river in Nawalparasi is not enough, the increment in the salary of the civil servants is discriminatory and that the existing water resources policy is not suitable.

They said that the budget allocated for rural electrification is not enough. They demanded that budget for irrigation projects in Palpa be increased, capacity of the Bagmati Irrigation Project enhanced and small hydel projects be commissioned in Humla.

Taking part in the deliberations, Maoist MPs said salary hike for civil servants is not enough. They said that a radical change in the civil administration is necessary. NC-D MPs Bharat Kumar Shaha, Hari Narayan Chaudhary, Gehendra Giri, Tanka Prasad Rai, Bhakta Bahadur Balayar, Krishna Kishore Ghimire and Janak Raj Giri said that the government should work on harvesting rainwater for irrigation.

MPs Nanda Kumar Prasain and Ganesh Shaha of the United Left Front demanded that bureaucracy be made efficient.