Efforts on to ease supply of goods: Prime Minister Oli

Kathmandu, October 15

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said the government already began political and diplomatic efforts to resolve the problem of supply and blockade at the Nepal-India border.

Oli said Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa was set to visit India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart on Saturday as part of diplomatic attempts.

Addressing the parliament meeting today for the first time after being elected PM on October 11, Oli requested the agitating parties to put off their protests and come for talks. “As the genuine demands being raised by them could be resolved through amendment of the constitution, I call on them to put off the agitation, come for talks, find solution through dialogue and ease people’s life,” Oli said.

He said the government was serious about the adverse situation at border with India and obstruction in the supply of essential goods, including petroleum products after the promulgation of the constitution. “Unobstructed transit is a fundamental right of a land-locked country and it is also a right ensured by various international covenants. As per the facility and bilateral trade agreements, there should not be any obstruction in supply of goods,” Oli said. He said the adverse situation in border areas and obstruction of supply had made all Nepali people sad. “Despite this, Nepali people have exhibited patience and I appreciate this,” Oli said.

The PM said that it was not appropriate to undermine the constitution promulgated through a people-elected body. “It is not appropriate to conduct activities that lead to collapse of the nation’s economy by forgetting the unstable politics, economic crisis and uncertainty of the past,” Oli said. He reminded that the new constitution was the first document in Nepal’s history that ensured equal rights and respect, identity and opportunity to all by ending all kinds of discrimination and inequalities.

Oli concluded his six-page written speech saying “I firmly believe, Nepal, which has never been colonised in its history and takes pride in its history of struggle against autocracy, will reach the destination of peace and prosperity by crushing challenges and by maintaining self-respect”. He said he would encompass all parties in his bid to resolve national issues.

Oli listed some promises – effective implementation of constitution, moving ahead the work of state restructuring, maximum utilisation of hydro power, speedy construction of hydro projects that are under construction, promotion of alternative energy including solar energy, biogas, biofuel and exploration of gas and petroleum products – during his tenure. He said the government would give top priority to construction of infrastructure for development, use of natural resources and creating environment for attracting foreign investment. He said the government would work speedily on reconstruction of structures damaged during the April-25 earthquake.

“I call on international investors to increase their investment as the transition has ended and the country has entered a new stage of political stability and sustainable peace,” Oli said.

Following Oli’s address, leaders of various parties except the agitating Madhes-based ones, congratulated Oli and wished him a successful tenure.

NC’s Ramchandra Paudel said, “While there is Dipawali among some people, others are observing blackout due to their dissatisfaction with the constitution. Earlier, the government had registered proposal for amending the constitution in the parliament to address the concerns of disgruntled communities. Although the incumbent PM’s party did not accept the proposal at that time, I hope, it will accept now.”

Paudel claimed that democratic competition in the recent election of prime minister had helped forge broader national unity and bring the agitating parties to the parliament.

CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said it was positive that the blockade was being eased with the formation of the new government.

Leaders of other parties suggested that the new PM promote good governance and move ahead with development works by incorporating all political forces.