Govt gives Sujata Rs 5m despite outcry

  • breast cancer treatment
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 14, 2016-

In a move that has triggered a public outcry, the government on Sunday decided to provide Rs5 million to Nepali Congress leader Sujata Koirala for medical treatment.

Koirala has been diagnosed with breast cancer and left for Singapore on Sunday for follow-up treatment at St Luke’s Hospital. Her reported demand for Rs10 million earlier received serious opposition from the public.

The Cabinet made the decision ignoring the Health Ministry’s proposed Rs1.5 million ceiling of funds to be provided to VIPs for medical care.

A statement issued on behalf of Health Minister Gagan Thapa, who is making efforts to introduce the rule, said he protests the decision taken in his absence. The minister is currently in Pokhara.

The Finance Committee of Parliament had also urged the government to come up with a set of guidelines before doling out allowances to politicians.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was under pressure from Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba to issue the amount to Koirala.

The Cabinet took the decision on the recommendation of DPM and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi. The grant ceiling proposal was on Sunday’s agenda but it was brushed aside while taking the decision in Koirala’s favour.

Koirala was diagnosed with breast cancer during a visit to Malaysia three months ago. She stayed there for a week to undergo a surgery on her left breast. Sources said her cancer is in the first stage.

Arbind Singh, a political activist, wrote satirically on Twitter: “This is the best ever job done by the government.”

Some social media users demanded resignation of Health Minister Thapa who failed to stop the decision. Prakat Kumar Sishir, a Kathmandu-based journalist, urged Thapa either to quit or make efforts to release the money to Koirala.

RPP-Nepal leader Anjana Shah Rawal said her respect for Thapa had ended with Sunday’s decision.

Published: 14-11-2016 08:20

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