NCP (NCP) lawmakers file motion of urgent public importance

Kathmandu, June 28

Some lawmakers of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today registered a motion of urgent public importance urging the government to hand over some projects to provincial and local governments only after completing them.

The central government had taken over some projects handed over to provincial and local governments without completing them as those projects fell under their jurisdiction.

NCP (NCP) lawmaker Khagaraj Adhikari moved the motion supported by two other lawmakers Bishal Bhattrai and Dhurba Kumar Shahi of his party. While the ruling NCP (NCP) supported the motion, lawmakers representing the Nepali Congress and the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal opposed it saying the proposal was against the constitution and federalism.

Debate on this issue took precedence over budgetary matters in the House.

Briefing the House about their proposal, Adhikari, Bhattarai and Shahi criticised their own government saying there was no proper plan from the centre for continuing the projects that were initially overseen by the central government but were later handed over to the provincial and local governments.

Adhikari said provincial and local governments were expecting the central government to complete the projects that were handed over to them. Adhikari said that if the central government did not complete those projects, then those projects would face uncertainty mainly because the provincial and local governments had not allocated budget for them. He also said that the central government had not allocated enough budget for those projects.

He said it was ironical that in a federal set up the central government had handed over the projects without completing them. “Provincial and local governments do not have the kind of human resources and equipment to complete these projects,” he added. More than a dozen lawmakers from the ruling NCP (NCP) criticised the budget process and asked government to think about this proposal.

Lawmaker Agni Sapkota asked government to properly allocate the budget. “The government must ponder whether there has been proper allocation of budget?” he added. He said that the Cabinet should discuss the budget and also think of allocating enough budget to provincial and local governments for those projects that the central government had handed over to them.

On the other hand, opposition parties Nepali Congress and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal criticised the ruling party lawmakers’ motion.

NC Chief Whip in the HoR Balkrishna Khand said it is against the constitution and federalism.

Another NC Lawmaker Gagan Thapa said the motion was a serious matter. “As far as federalism is concerned, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is also the Chair of NCP (NCP), is more negative than Chitra Bahadur KC a few years ago. Before coming up with this kind of motion, the prime minister and ruling party lawmakers must think about it. It is against the 756 local levels and seven provinces,” he added.

RJP-N lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna also opposed the proposal saying the government was not sincerely committed to federalism. He said if the projects handed over by the central government to the lower tiers of government were returned to the central government, then that would be akin to federal rule on the jurisdiction of lower tiers of governments.

“If there is not enough human resource and equipment in the provinces and local levels, the central government must help the lower tiers of governments with these things,” he added.

Later, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada responded to lawmakers’ queries saying the projects which were handed over to the provinces and local levels would get help from the central government if required.