'Ties improving with neighbours'

Kathmandu, July 8

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa today claimed that the country’s relationship with immediate neighbours was improving.

Answering lawmakers’ queries on the issues relating to the foreign ministry during deliberations on the Appropriation Bill-2073 today, DPM Thapa claimed that the government’s relation with India had improved.

He also claimed that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s India visit had helped remove all bitterness and misunderstandings between the two countries.

According to him, all Nepalis were aware of the contribution of China to Nepal’s development. Nepal’s prestige has augmented, DPM Thapa argued, saying it has prepared an important basis for the implementation of the new constitution and establishment of peace in the country.

DPM Thapa said the government was ready to hold local elections as per the constitutional provision but some parties and lawmakers had raised questions saying local elections should be held only after restructuring local administrative units.

DPM Thapa clarified the House that the government was holding consultations with parties to take a concrete decision on holding local elections.

He further said the government had directed the Local bodies Reconstruction Commission to submit its recommendations by mid-September so that the election could be held by mid-December.

Thapa said the government had extended the border area development programme to 20 districts from the previous eight districts in the Tarai and had been planning to develop motor-able roads to all the 578 VDCs of the country within two years.

He also said that the government had informed the British government that Nepal was willing to hold talks regarding bilateral issues.

On vacant post of VDC secretaries, Thapa said the government had already filled 500 vacant posts of VDC secretaries and would fill the remaining vacant posts soon.

As for providing grants to quake-survivors to rebuild their houses, Thapa said that the concerned authority had already signed grant agreements with 200,580 quake-hit families. He said the first instalment of the grant had already been provided to 24,672 quake-hit families.

DPM Thapa also shared that efforts were under way to provide relief materials to quake-victims in the Kathmandu Valley.