Nepal | July 10, 2020

PM terms 2nd year of govt as beginning of development

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Kathmandu, February 15

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today told the House of Representatives that the second year of his premiership would be remembered as the initial year of development.

Addressing the Lower House of the Parliament today, the PM said his two years in office was in itself a major achievement in comparison to the past when governments would change every seven to eight months.

The PM said his government was successful in implementing the constitution, achieving impressive economic growth, laying the foundation for development, lifting a large population out of poverty and implementing social security fund.

PM Oli further said his government was able to increase the country’s influence and enhance its image in international fora through representation in major international events.

He said projects under the Millennium Challenge Corporation would be a milestone in Nepal’s ability to use hydropower.

“In the next five years, the MCC will change Nepal’s economy, scenario of trade balance and energy trade,” he added.

The PM said he had taken initiative to investigate the Baluwatar land grab case, but a smear campaign was launched portraying him as the mastermind behind it. The PM took potshots at the Nepali Congress for opposing the indictment of its Vice-president Bijay Kumar Gachhadar in the Lalita Niwas land grab case, saying those who demanded results of the probe, were now weeping over its consequences.

He said his government had zero tolerance towards corruption and would independently investigate gold smuggling case and wide body aircraft purchase deal as it did the Lalita Niwas land grab case.

The PM said that land tenancy right was established over 174 ropani land of Nepal Trust at Matatirtha on 18 October 2012 invoking a policy decision clause and that case would also be investigated.

The PM criticised the main opposition Nepali Congress, albeit indirectly, for questioning his government’s commitment to democracy and freedom of expression. He said the party that seized every opportunity in the last one year to question the government’s commitment to democracy and freedom of expression must remember that the Media Council Bill it had opposed was passed by the National Assembly unanimously.

The PM said it was natural for stakeholders to criticise new bills and revision of bills was normal lawmaking process.

He wondered how the foundation of democracy would be strengthened if unnecessary questions were raised about new bills. The PM reiterated the government’s commitment to democracy.

He also said that those involved in the Nirmala rape and murder case wouldn’t escape punishment.

Achievements claimed

• Motihari-Amlekhgunj pipeline constructed

• People’s access to internet reached 66 per cent

• School dropout rate lowered to 2.6 per cent.

• Per capita income up by more than 18 per cent in the last two years

• Economic growth more than 6.7 per cent in the last three years.

• Population living below poverty line brought down to 1.5 per cent.

• Impressive economic growth creating employment opportunity • FDI commitment worth two trillion rupees this fiscal

• Export up by 26.1 per cent, import down by four per cent.

• Tax net broadened, not tax rate

• Trade deficit down by 6.1 per cent

• 5.7-kilometre road blacktopped every day

• 39 per cent increase in labourers’ wages

A version of this article appears in print on February 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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