Nepal | August 09, 2020

Sudurpaschim yet to discuss budget as opposition continues obstruction

Oppositions demand disclosure of government expenditure

Tekendra Deuba
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DHANGADHI: Sudurpaschim Province has not been able to hold any discussion on budget even after unveiling it more than two weeks ago.

The deliberation on budget could not proceed even after 17 days since the parties in opposition have been obstructing the Provincial Assembly meeting. Main opposition Nepali Congress and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) obstructed two sessions of the PA meeting on June 24 and 26.

Furthermore, the Province Assembly meeting was put off on June 28 and 30 after the opposition issued a notice on blocking of house proceedings.

In a joint press meet organised in Dhangadhi, the opposition parties said they would not let the house proceed until the government presented the programme to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

NC lawmaker Rana Bahadur Rawal alleged that the government has not been able take any concrete measures to control the spread of novel coronavirus. Opposition parties have also demanded that the government increase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and stop sending the quarantined people home without taking the test for the coronavirus contagion.

Rawal told mediapersons, “The province has spent Rs 570 million in the pretext of controlling the spread of novel coronavirus, but nothing has been done.” He said that there was only one PCR machine in the province.

He further added that the provincial government could not even implement its decision to purchase a PCR machine, while it had boasted about setting two PCR machines, one each for Doti and Baitadi two months ago.

Likewise, the opposition provincial lawmakers have also demanded that the government expenditures be made transparent.

Meanwhile, Speaker Arjun Bahadur Thapa has expressed his dissatisfaction with the continuous obstruction of the assembly created by the opposition. Likewise, the Province government spokesperson and Minister for Internal Affairs and Law, Prakash Bahadur Shah expressed his view that it was not practical to obstruct the assembly over irrelevant matters. He assured that the provincial government had been working to contain the spread of COVID-19 and claimed that the government, in coordination with the local government, had been carrying out the treatment of the infected and managing well to send them home.

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