Print Edition - 2019-02-15 | News
Government has laid foundation for prosperity: Oli on first year in office
Feb 15, 2019-
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said his administration laid a solid foundation for prosperity in the past year claiming that the government had gained momentum unlike no other government in history.Addressing the nation on Thursday to highlight the progress made in a year since the Nepal Communist Party (NCP)-led government was formed, Oli said political stability was the basis for prosperity in the country.
The prime minister highlighted progress ranging from governance to foreign policy to economic indicators to institutionalisation of federalism to formation of laws as the major achievements of his government.
Oli took a swipe at his critics and reaffirmed his position on democracy. “I want to make it clear that democracy is an ideology for us. It is an improvised, systematic and well cultured system—not a profession to run one’s life.”
But the opposition Nepali Congress rejected outright the facts and figures presented by Oli in his speech saying that massive corruption has taken its toll on governance, depressing economic indicators have spoiled the economic outlook and failure to conduct balanced and nuanced foreign policy has impacted Nepal’s image in the global arena.
The Congress party is going to counter the government’s claims at a press conference on Sunday.
“We’ll counter the facts, figures and data provided by the prime minister in today’s speech at a time when the country’s foreign reserves have declined, the stock market graph has come down, trade deficit is widening and inflation rate is soaring,” said Prakash Sharan Mahat, the NC joint general-secretary.
There is no proper environment for foreign investment in the country due to red tape and corruption, said Mahat.
The prime minister stressed that federalism has been implemented and participatory system of governance established. “We have ended duplication in the tax regime, have allocated enough budget for the provinces, fixed the model for revenue-sharing, and civil servants have been adjusted [in three levels],” Oli said, countering the narrative that the federal government had not been supporting provincial governments.
The prime minister claimed that a lot of the government’s time went to formulating new laws as required by the constitution. A favourable environment for investment had been created with laws governing investment, trade and business in the process of amendment, he added.
In the aviation sector, Oli said that the Tribhuvan International Airport has come into operation for 22 hours daily, Bhairahawa Airport would conduct test flights in June, and Pokhara Airport would come into operation before 2020.
Oli highlighted the positive developments and results in hydroelectricity projects. “To those questioning what happened last year in the industry sector, I can say that 499 new industries were registered and over Rs198 billion was injected into various industries.”
Oli added that his government had made visible progress in international relations. He claimed that Nepal’s relations with neighbouring countries had improved significantly while the country had gained the trust of international powers.
NC leader Mahat, who is also a former foreign minister, counters the PM’s claims. “The way this government is handling foreign policy is a huge setback for the country. If Venezuela becomes an inspiration for the government, what else can we expect from it?” Mahat asked.
Oli also highlighted the progress made in the tourism, environment and forest, agriculture, employment, social security, health insurance, education, reconstruction of earthquake-damaged structures, information and technology, revenue, and security sectors.
Published: 15-02-2019 08:43