Govt policy and program lacks assessment on the COVID-19 impacts: Deuba

KATHMANDU, May 17: Parliamentary Party leader of main opposition Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba said the government policy and programs for the upcoming fiscal year 2020/21 lacks proper assessment on the damages to be caused by COVID-19.

In his remarks delivered in today’s House of Representative meeting on the government policy and programs, Deuba accused the government of not being sincere to the sufferings of the citizens.

“The government has no plan to assure the people for future in the time of this crisis. Policy and programs for a year is derailed from its objective and seems like a mere imagination for the multi-year plan,” Deuba said.

On the occasion, Deuba recalled the contribution of frontline health workers, security personnel, media persons and cleaners working during the time of this pandemic.

“I have remembered the patients of other diseases who are facing hardships in getting treatment; small and large industrialists whose industries and trade have been closed; laborers facing difficulties to manage their meals; poor; physically challenged people and single women,” Deuba said in his speech. The former Prime Minister also said that he has remembered the woman from Sindhupalchowk, who died of coronavirus on Thursday, her infant and her family.

Time demands the government to prove itself as a guardian of all, there was an expectation that the government through its policy and programs would address all the above-mentioned issues, but the government failed to meet the expectation, according to Deuba.

Accusing the government of being failed to make enough preparations for the prevention and control of the pandemic, the main opposition leader expressed his concern over what he said the lack of guarantee of personal protection equipment (PPE) for health workers, lack of reliable testing kits, the short supply of medical equipment to hospital, a limited facility of ventilators, no plan of rescuing those Nepalis left stranded along the border areas and bringing them homes safely.

” I want to question the government that what preparations did it make during lockdown?”

He demanded the government make sure the availability of sufficient quantity of medical stuffs, extend the PCR testing coverage and reach it to the community level, come up with relief packages targeting several sectors, make arrangements for bringing those Nepalis in difficulty in abroad to home safely and putting them in quarantine before sending them homes.

The former Prime Minister furthered that some policies and programs were repeated in the new ones which as he claimed reduced the gravity of fresh policy and programs. ”The figure of minimum capital expenditure is mocking at the government, which continues to claim that pace of development is outstanding.”

He said the COVID-19 crisis had its adverse impact on all sectors in the country and it was sure to leave short and long-term consequences, but the policy and programs were not intended towards finding solutions to such problems. ”The government lacks willpower, efficiency, honesty and far-sighted visions to deal with the multidimensional outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis.”

He accused the government of being failed to predict the preliminary losses caused by coronavirus in industries and remittance. The leader claimed the policy and programs were unsuccessful in encouraging those industries deserving relief assistance. As he said, the government has no reliable and new plans to promote export.

He added the tourism industry was one of the sectors badly hit by coronavirus crisis. But, the government presented no policy in regard with the revitalization and promotion of tourism industry. Construction and maintenance of airports was never sufficient for durable and quality development of tourism sector.

Underlining the need of sitting for meaningful and productive talks with neighboring countries to find a solution to the border dispute issues, he urged the government to proceed towards the presentation of the MCC in the parliament. RSS