Laxmi Capital News
NCP lawmakers find fault with budget

Lawmakers representing the ruling Nepal Communist Party today expresseddissatisfaction with the fiscal budget presented by Finance Minister YubarajKhatiwada yesterday.

Taking partin discussion on the budget for 2018-19 in the House of Representatives, mostof the NCP lawmakers expressed their displeasure over, among other things, theLocal Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme that replaces theprevious Constituency Infrastructure Development Programme and ConstituencyDevelopment Programme.

HridayeshTripathi,who had contested the parliamentary election on the election symbol oferstwhile CPN-UML, said the state mechanism lacked the capacity to spenddevelopment budget. He pointed out that the budget had estimated higher recurrentexpenditure than development expenditure, and demanded that the governmentscrap non-budgetary expenditure through International/Non-GovernmentalOrganisations.

Tripathialso urged the finance minister to scrap the Local Infrastructure DevelopmentPartnership Programme in its current form, referring to the minister’sstatement that he was ‘caught in a trap’ and pressured to put in place thescheme. “We are not asking for donations, but projects,” he said.

NCP lawmakerRajendra Gautam said the Local Infrastructure Development PartnershipProgramme, which replaces the Constituency Development Programme, should beamended. Gautam said the programme should include education and tourismdevelopment, besides improving roads, irrigation, drinking water supply andriver control.

Another NCPlawmaker Tek Bahadur Basnet said the budget should have been more ambitious.Expressing reservation over the budget completely forgetting the martyrs,Basnet said the annual fiscal estimates just tried to sell dreams.

He saidrather than being production-oriented the budget was tax-oriented. He addedthat it continued with old national priority projects that did not cover around40 districts though the country had already adopted federalism. “That’s why wedo not see socialism in this budget,” he said.

Another NCPlawmaker Parbat Gurung extended his support to the budget, stating that itcovered all areas — from mountains to Tarai.

NCP lawmakerRam Kumar Jhankri expressed dissatisfaction with Finance Minister Khatiwada’sstatement that he came up with Local Infrastructure Development PartnershipProgramme under pressure. “This is not a responsible statement. I do not knowwhat kind of trap he was in while allocating funds for constituencydevelopment,” she said.

Stating thatthe previous Constituency Development Programme was an appropriate scheme,Jhankri ruled out any possibility of fund misuse.  She said it would be achallenge to implement the budget, stating that recurrent expenditure washigher than capital expenditure in the budget estimate.

Another NCPlawmaker Gajendra Bahadur Mahat, who represents Jumla, said the LocalInfrastructure Development Partnership Programme humiliated lawmakers. He saidalthough the allocation of Rs 40 million was good, he termed wrong the provisionof formation of the project selection committee including local levelrepresentatives.

“This budgethas tried to control lawmakers,” he said, complaining that the finance ministerhad put every lawmaker in the same basket.

Mahat addedthat the budget was city-oriented and ignored remote and underdeveloped placeslike Jumla.

Source: The HimalayanTimes, 1st June 2018

Click here to download...!