PM’s whip fails to stop criticism of budget from his party lawmakers

Kathmandu, June 25

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP)’s lawmakers today flayed the government’s budget in the House of Representatives ignoring party Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s instructions.

Only a few days ago, PM Oli had instructed party lawmakers not to criticise the budget publicly and to raise their concerns regarding the budget within the party. The PM had said that party lawmakers’ criticism of the budget would give ammunition to the opposition parties to attack the government.

Ruling party lawmakers said there was no proper allocation of the budget.

NCP (NCP) lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai criticised the budget for not being people-oriented. “The budget has not allocated funds judiciously for any tier of government – federal, provincial and local,” he said, adding, “Before discussing the contents of the budget, we should discuss what model of development the budget should pursue,” Bhattarai said in the House of Representatives’ meeting today.

Despite the finance minister’s claim, the budget ignores the concept of equitable distribution to all the parts of the country, he argued.

“I think the Nepali Congress is not playing the proper role of an opposition party in the Parliament because lawmakers from the party are getting some projects in their constituencies,” he said. He added the allocation of sufficient budget in areas close to the Indian border was a right move but the same should happen in the northern areas of the country that are close to the Chinese border. “There is not enough budget in the hill areas of Nepal that shares the border with China,” Bhattarai said.

Another NCP (NCP) lawmaker from Kanchanpur Nar BahadurDhami wondered why the government did not properly allocated budget to his province.

“We were ignored in the past. We belong to the far-west. We thought we would be better off with the federal system, but again we are being neglected by the federal government.”

Another NCP (NCP) lawmaker from Mugu district Mohan Baniya said the government had allocated budget for various programs without consulting people’s representatives from those areas.