THT 10 years ago: Budget to address poverty, human issues

Kathmandu, June 29, 2006

As the budget for fiscal year 2006-07 is just a few days away, finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat today stated that the government would focus on poverty reduction, human development, rural infrastructure building and ways to generate more resources.

Dr Mahat said this while launching the UNDP Asia Pacific Human Development Report 2006 which focuses on trade on human terms, transforming trade for human development in Asia and the Pacific.

Following the adoption of free market policies by Nepal in 1990s, Nepal’s business sector has received a boost, but now it needs greater competitiveness.

But the big concern is that Nepal’s export sector has gone down by more than 50 per cent after the expiry of duty free access for Nepali garments to US markets at the close of 2004, Dr Mahat said. All political actors in the country should work for sustainable peace, said Dr Mahat.

Matthew Kahane, resident representative of UNDP, speaking on the occasion said that trade strategy that fosters growth in jobs and key sectors like tourism and agriculture could significantly rejuvenate an economy battered by conflict that has slowed to an average growth rate of only two per cent Kahane said that the Asia Pacific Human Development Report charts trade’s effect on human development in the region.

HoR panel to test legality of 8-pt pact

A meeting of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Committee of the House of Representatives (HoR) today decided to examine the constitutionality and legality of the eight-point agreement reached between the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the Maoists on June 16.

The 8-point agreement has agreed, among others, to dissolve the revived HoR after finding an appropriate alternative to it.

The committee is also scheduled to examine the constitutionality of the declaration and political commitments made by the HoR. A statement issued by the committee expressed satisfaction over the understandings and agreements reached between the alliance and the Maoists at different stages.

“We have decided to examine the constitutionality and legality of the eight-point agreement between the SPA and the Maoists in light of the 1990’s constitution and the HoR declaration of May 18,” said Puskar Nath Ojha, a member of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

Sources within the committee said that the panel members thought of examining the agreement after they found problems in it. The agreement was signed, among others, by Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chairman Prachanda at the PM’s residence at Baluwatar.

Ojha said they decided to scrutinise the 8-point agreement as per the committee’s jurisdiction that allows examining the government’s decisions.