Parliament delves into nitty-gritty of budget

Kathmandu, September 22:

The legislative session of the Constituent Assembly today continued discussion on budget.

Nepali Congress CA member Dr Minendra Rijal said the government heavily depended on foreign donors but failed to create environment to win their trust. He said the budget gave leverage to the ruling party to spend up to Rs 30 lakh and chances were that it could be misused to spread the ruling party’s influence. He accused the Maoists of planning to waive the loans of small farmers but doing nothing for thousands of poor farmers who never had access to loans.

UML CA member Agni Kharel said the budget failed to incorporate the coalition partners’ programmes even as it was a people-centric budget. “The budget plans to raise revenue by using the tactics of intimidation and coercion, but they won’t work,” he warned.

Maoist CA member Khim Lal Devkota said the budget had enough provisions for socio-economic transformation. He said it would not be difficult to implement the budget as it intended to control tax evasion and reform revenue administration.

UML CA member Kul Prasad Nepal said the new government changed UML coined ‘build your village yourself’ programme into ‘build your village a good village’ just for the sake of change.

NC leader Shobhakar Parajuli said despite their claim of being pro-poor party, the Maoists had not spelt out any programme for the proletariat and landless people.

UML CA member Shiv Bahadur Kunwar said it was a good budget as it protected the interests of the poor, widened the tax net and intended to revive the ailing industries.

CA member Chandrika Prasad Yadav termed the budget as a good document but suggested to open a fertilizer industry in Madhes so as to boost the country’s economy.

RPP CA member Pratibha Rana said the budget was not realistic as it heavily depended on foreign aid.

Chure Bhawar Ekata Samaj’s leader Keshav Prasad Mainali said the budget was not realistic as 75 per cent of the revenue was expected in the form of foreign aid. He said the government should provide relief packages to those killed or targeted by criminal groups.

NWPP CA member Sunil Prajapati said the budget talked of socialism but was actually in favour of capitalists. He said the Maoists wanted to surrender the economy to ‘imperialist’ powers as it heavily depended on their assistance.

In the beginning of the CA session today, CA chair Subas Chandra Nembang read out resignation tendered by Land Reforms and Management Minister Matrika Yadav and forwarded to the CA by the office of the PM and the council of ministers. Nembang also informed the House that the PM himself would handle the duties and responsibilities assumed by Yadav.