Kathmandu, September 15
The role of the National Planning Commission has been questioned after national pride projects failed to gain momentum.
During the 43rd meet of the national development problems solution committee, the prime minister and ministers questioned NPC’s role and relevance after hearing the dismal progress on development projects in the country.
“What’s the role of NPC if it cannot make plans, identify weaknesses and provide solutions to problems,” asked Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The PM underscored the need for reforms in NPC, which has been contributing to country’s policy making and budgeting for six decades.
Similarly, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Population UpendraYadav said as per NPC, national pride projects had seen only 50 per cent progress in the last 30 years. In more than a decade, postal highway project saw only 25 per cent progress. In such situation what’s the relevance of NPC? “ he asked.
“Unless health and education of people is improved, prosperity is not possible,” he added.
Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav said the slogan ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ could not be realised without bringing drastic changes in present working method and way of selecting projects. NPC team led vice-chairman Pushpa Raj Kandel is preparing to formulate the 15th National Plan and review the 14th five-year plan.
Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs BhanubhaktaDhakal said he was surprised that the report presented by NPC had shown no problems in the ministries and mentioned nothing about corruption.
Education and Technology Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel stressed on the need for clear working plan to mobilise human and other resources. Minister for Foreign Affairs PradipGyawali said there was the need for constructive intervention and a project bank to resolve problems resulting due to lack of inter-ministry coordination seen while working on development projects.
Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management RaghuveerMahaseth warned that his ministry would start carrying out works in its own way if it did not get response from the NPC on time to address the problems seen in course of project implementation.
Labour and Employment Minister GokarnaBista underlined the need to identify problems seen in development projects. He also stressed on inter-ministry coordination in planning and implementation of development projects.
The meeting mainly focused on ensuring that development projects were selected on need basis.
A version of this article appears in print on September 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.