MPs say govt protecting black-marketeers, ignoring quake victims

Kathmandu, January 25

Cutting across party lines, lawmakers today slammed the government for protecting black-marketeers and ignoring the plight of earthquake victims, who have been forced to fend for themselves in this harsh winter.

Taking up the cause of quake victims, Nepali Congress lawmaker Nabindra Raj Joshi said the government had politicised the reconstruction authority by handing over the responsibility of reconstruction works to NGOs.

Speaking during the Special Hour, Joshi also drew attention towards recent statements by ministers. “Even a deputy prime minister has opined that black-marketing had come to the government’s rescue.

It shows how the black-marketing is being institutionalised following the blockade on Nepal-India border.”

The NC lawmaker criticised the government for removing the name of former prime minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai from National Mass Media Academy.

He also stressed that the Bill on Manmohan Adhikari Health Science Academy should be passed only after holding meaningful discussion on it.

Rishikesh Pokharel of CPN-UML urged the government to provide relief and compensation to the families of those killed or injured in police firing in Morang.

He lauded the role of local administration and security personnel in handling the incident and sought an independent probe into Rangeli violence.

Surya Prakash Bala Rai of the Unified CPN-Maoist said the government should effectively monitor the Nepal-India border and review the past bilateral treaties between the two countries.

Anuradha Thapa Magar of the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party blamed the government for its inaction to provide relief to the earthquake victims who had been compelled to live under tents for nine months.

Lawmakers of agitating Madhes-based parties today boycotted the Parliament meeting, claiming that the constitutional amendments made on Saturday were not enough to meet their demands.

Before walking out, Chief Whip of Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Shivajee Yadav said the amended provisions of proportional inclusion would not secure the rights of all backward communities.

Another provision related to constituency delineation would also not increase the constituencies in the Tarai as demanded by the agitating people, he said.


Lack of quorum hits House business

KATHMANDU: Parliamentary proceedings were halted on Monday due to lack of quorum.

Out of 596 lawmakers, only 142 were present when Minister for Commerce Dipak Bohara went to the rostrum to table Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

NC lawmaker Ramhari Khatiwada pointed to lack of quorum, as the presence of 149 lawmakers is to run the House business.

Although 353 lawmakers had signed in Monday’s attendance book, 211 had already left the meeting venue before the minister went to table the TRIPS.

Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar had to postpone the business till Tuesday due to the lack of quorum.