Oli’s jumbo team draws flak

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 21, 2016-

Ignoring suggestions from various quarters including the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli left for China on Sunday, leading a 98-member delegation of ministers, secretaries, lawmakers, businessmen and journalists.

While preparing the final list of visitors, the Chinese side had said it would extend hospitality to 11 officials. A PMO official said that the PM did not heed the Chinese hint, nor theirs.

Several officials such as ministers, MPs and Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi, who do not contribute substantially to the visit’s success, were included in the team. The visit will cost Nepal Rs150 million. 

The Himalaya Airlines said it would not charge the government any money for the flight. While congratulating Oli for embarking on the China visit, former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai criticised the size of the PM’s delegation.  

At a time when the country’s economy is squeezed by the earthquake and the blockade, it is unceremonious to go to a neighbouring country with nearly 100 people, said Bhattarai. He was also against using the flight of an airline that is yet to come into operation, instead of the national carrier. The PM blames the Foreign Ministry for the jumbo delegation while the ministry said preparing the list was not its job.

The government had earlier endorsed a guideline for state and official visits where the size of the delegation should not exceed 25.

Published: 21-03-2016 08:34

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