Peace, constitution, dev govt’s main priorities

- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu
Peace, constitution, dev govt’s main priorities

Jun 29, 2014-

President Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday presented the government’s annual policies and programmes in Parliament, giving high priority to drafting a new constitution by January next year, completing the remaining tasks of the peace process, and holding local polls within the next fiscal year.

The document aims to elevate Nepal from a Least Developed Country to a developing nation by 2022, building a solid foundation of economic development.

Taking stern measures for corruption control and establishing a welfare state with social justice are other priorities of the coalition led by the Nepali Congress.

Reading the government’s document, Yadav said the new constitution would be a point of departure for national prosperity and lasting peace. Vice President Paramananda Jha, ministers, heads of constitutional bodies, diplomats and high-level officials were present during the President’s address to the House.

“People have given [us] a great responsibility of drafting a new constitution. The government is ever ready to provide assistance for drafting the national charter,” the document reads. “For the same purpose, the government made a commitment to moving ahead on the basis of dialogue and consensus among the political parties.”

The government has pledged to appoint office bearers to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission on Enforced Disappearances, a major component of the peace process about ensuring transitional justice to war victims.

The government has renewed its commitment to hold local body elections within FY 2014-2015 but the date has not been specified. Soon after its formation in February, the Sushil Koirala-led Cabinet had promised local polls within six months, which it failed to keep.

Ruling party leaders say the polls may happen in November but the opposition UCPN (Maoist) contests it saying that local election is impossible before promulgating the statute.

The government has said local bodies are necessary to run development projects until the country is federated into provinces.

The government would not tolerate corruption; the document says measures will be taken to clean up graft-prone state organs.

“The National Vigilance Centre will be made strong and effective, while the government will equip the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority with resources,” the policy states.

With economic development having social justice its priority, the government has recognised partnership between public, private and cooperative sectors as the basis for growth.

Infrastructure development, energy, agriculture, tourism, mines, industry and human resource development are in focus.

The government also seeks to promote volunteerism in all the districts.

The current coalition partner CPN-UML has, however, expressed dissatisfaction at the policies.

“The NC-dominated programmes do not reflect the spirit of a coalition government. It’s a continuation of old schemes,” CPN-UML leader KP Oli told media reporters.

The main opposition party UCPN (Maoist) has also voiced displeasure at the policies saying that there is no newness.

“The document fails to address public expectations,” said Maoist leader Agni Sapkota.

Discussion on the policies and programmes will begin on Tuesday. In view of the ninth General Convention of the UML that begins on Thursday, the government plans to endorse the policies on Wednesday. The finance minister will present the annual budget by the second week of July.

Prez Presents Policies, Programmes

- Promulgation of new constitution by January next year

- Local election within next fiscal year

- Appointment in transitional justice mechanisms

- Additional relief to conflict-affected people

- Elevating Nepal from a least developed to developing country by 2022

- Energy, agriculture, tourism, mines, industries and job creation in focus

Published: 30-06-2014 08:33

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