PM tells ruling party lawmakers not to criticise central budget

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 17, 2018-Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has directed lawmakers of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) not to criticise the budget during discussions at Parliament, claiming that the country’s coffers was not strong enough.

Addressing a meeting of the NCP Parliamentary Party at Baluwatar on Saturday, PM Oli, who also the parliamentary party leader, urged the lawmakers to put forth their greivances with the party leadership instead as there could still be room to incorporate their issues.

He claimed that the budget was on right track to lead the nation towards prosperity. “Your concerns might be genuine, but we are in trouble due to economic imbalances left behind by the previous government. We are desperately working to resurrect it,” Oli said.

After a large number of lawmakers of the ruling NCP criticised the budget, PM Oli called the parliamentary party meeting to pacify them. Amid widespread criticism, the top leaders had asked House Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara to postpone Friday’s Parliament meeting until Sunday, according to sources.

During discussions on Thursday, NCP lawmakers including Prem Bahadur Ale, Gajendra Mahat, Naradmuni Rana, Sujita Shakya, Rajendra Kumar Rai, Metmani Chaudhary and Aman Lal Modi had vehemently criticised the budget.

All the lawmakers were targeting Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, claiming that he presented the budget without consultations in the party.

Despite PM Oli’s attempt to assuage the lawmakers at the meeting, leader Bhim Rawal came down heavily against Finance Minister Khatiwada. Rawal told the meeting that Minister Khatiwada ignored his attempts to meet him for discussion on the West Seti Hydropower project. “The finance minister declared in the budget that the government will make West Seti, but it is not included in the red book. What should we understand,” Rawal asked.

Earlier, PM Oli had urged the lawmakers not to make Finance Minister’s inability to give them time an issue. But Rawal went on saying, “I became ministers myself many times, but  I never ignored the issues of lawmakers.”

During the meeting, lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai accused the party leadership of becoming directionless on major issues. He was referring to the issue of UNDP funding in two-day training for the lawmakers. “Although some lawmakers had boycotted the training, many attended it. But the party failed to give its opinion on that,” he said.

Published: 17-06-2018 07:31

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