Nepali Congress slams Oli government’s publicity stunt

  • Launching of Social Security Scheme
- SANJAY LAMA, Kathmandu

Dec 3, 2018-

The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has taken exception to government’s hype during the launching of the Social Security Scheme, giving an impression that the was the incumbent government’s own brainchild.

At a press conference in the Capital on Sunday, NC Spokesperson Bishwo Prakash Sharma claimed the Social Security Act 2074 was endorsed during NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s tenure as prime minister, while alleging the KP Oli administration of misleading the people.

Terming the process of implementing the Social Security Act 2074 as positive and delightful step, Sharma said the publicity stunt was needless and ostentatious.

“The Social Security Act-2017 was tabled in Parliament on July 24, 2017 during the tenure of the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government and certified by the President on August 13, 2017. The NC believes will make important contribution in the life of Nepali workers,” read a proposal endorsed by the NC Central Working Committee meeting on Sunday.

The NC, however, said “its serious attention has been drawn to the jacket advertisements in newspapers featuring a gigantic picture of Prime Minister and Nepal Communist Party Chairman KP Sharma Oli so as to mislead the public that the scheme was the government’s pet’s project.”

Stressing that the social security scheme can only be implemented with a concerted effort of the government, employers and workers, Sharma said the Congress would extend necessary support to the government while keeping a watchful eye on its performance.

Over a dozen newspapers, online news outlets, floating street banners and billboard posts were splashed with the prime minister’s image on November 27 announcing the social security scheme. The media campaign, which cost millions of rupees according to marketing analyst, drew condemnation from several quarters.

An official at the Prime Minister’s Office said the entire advertising campaign, including design and production charges, cost around Rs120 million.

Critics said the advertisements appeared to give credit for the single largest reform in the labour industry to the incumbent government instead of informing the public about the benefits and procedures of the scheme, even though the programme had been approved before the Oli administration came to power.

Meanwhile, the NC concluded that the government’s involvement as an organiser of the Asia Pacific Summit in Kathmandu by controversial South Korea-based non-government organisation. It also denounced excessive use of state funds, and resources are against the spirit of constitution.

Published: 03-12-2018 07:28

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