Janata Janna Chahancha, Partnership Program, budget 2019/2020

‘WE HAVEN’T ASKED FOR 100 MILLION. PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM IS FOR DEVELOPMENT’

KATHMANDU, May 28: Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) should come for negotiation with political agenda, Devendra Paudel, standing committee member of Nepal Communist Party and a Member of Parliament.

“The government cannot support and tolerate any sort of terrorist activities in the country. If Netra Bikram Chand group continues its terrorist activities, the government will take action against them,” said Paudel talking to Rishi Dhamala in a television talk show Janata Janna Chahanchan.

“The government still appeals Chand to come for dialogue. The CPN must place its political agenda and sit for talks with the government following a constitutional process,” he added.

Paudel said that few of Chand’s demands are not negotiable.

“Chand’s demand for dissolution of the government is not a subject of discussion. This is a people-elected government. If he thinks there is an alternative to the incumbent government, negotiation is not possible,” he said.

A day after a series of blasts that took place in different parts of the Kathmandu Valley on Sunday by Chand group—that claimed four lives and left others injured, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli termed the outlawed outfit an anti-development element saying Chand revolution has “no meaning and was carried with an intention to accumulate wealth by terrorizing the people”. He also asked Chand to clarify “what he wanted” and vowed to thwart any attempts threatening the peace of the state and people.

Paudel said that Chand must want to come for negotiation.

“When CK Raut was in jail, he said he opted for talks with the government saying he would abide by the constitution and take his political agendas to the people. The government then honored his request and welcomed him to the mainstream national politics in the condition he would quit his separatist movement,” he said.

“If Chand becomes ready to carry out his activities peacefully and as per the spirit of the constitution, the government is ready to welcome him to the national politics,” he added.

“Panting bombs and terrorizing people to press the government to punish the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats is not a solution and cannot be endured.”

“This will do nothing but disturb the peace. They can protest the corruption in a peaceful way.”

“Chand group’s activities are not in the interest of the people.”

PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPMENT

Paudel also defended the Local Development Partnership Program and Constituency Development Fund saying the lawmakers (directly elected) have demanded 100 million rupees not for money’s sake but for the development.

Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada is preparing to unveil the budget for the fiscal year 2019/2020 with a notable increase in the Partnership Fund, which is being allocated to the 165 lawmakers of lower house elected from the first-past-the-post system. If the fund is allocated as demanded by the lawmakers, the government will have to allocate Rs 21 billion.

“We haven’t demanded the amount. We have asked for the development projects.”

“We have put forth two conditions. We have asked to either give us the development projects worth the amount in order to fulfill the election promises we made to the people or allocate the infrastructure development fund in some other way,” he added.

But the lawmakers’ demand of the fund has been facing criticism from various quarters, including the opposition Nepali Congress, some ruling party leaders themselves who have argued that it will give rise to misuse of state funds in the name of lawmakers.

Even Finance Minister Khatiwada, last year, had attempted to remove the provision of both Fund programs—which started a few years ago– saying it led to the fund misuse. However, his effort had failed following the immense pressure from the lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties.

“The government monitors the use of the fund allocated to the constituencies. If any lawmaker is found to have abused the fund or committed irregularities, he must be punished.”

Those against the development fund have also argued that lawmakers’ job is not to involve themselves directly in the mobilization of development funds.

“We cannot step back from the development promises we made to the people. We are elected representatives. Our task is not just to formulate laws but to involve in development programs as well’.

The lawmakers elected under the proportional representation system have also expressed discontent over the fund saying they are being discriminated and have demanded the similar funds.

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