Taking part in the Appropriation Bill 2077 in today’s National Assembly (NA) meeting, the lawmakers have called for clarity on the country’s needs and priority in the budget. Some lawmakers have expressed their regret towards budget allocation in education, health, culture and agriculture sectors. Lawmaker Dr Beduram Bhusal of Nepal Communist Party said that the budget not sufficient for the transforming the culture though it is balanced in general to guide the country during the time of pandemic COVID-19. Dr Bhusal expressed his displeasure for budget allocation for maintenance and infrastructure development of temples. He said that budget has been allocated for the development of 203 temples. “Is the government’s priority to build temples or schools,” he asked. He further elaborated that schools development and academic development is the need of the hour.
Dr Bhusal also said that the budget failed to point out the tourism destinations in the States though government policy and programmes had some points about this. He objected for not allocating budget for memorial park to be built in memory of Pushpalal Shrestha, founder of Nepal’s Communist Party, and martyr Gangalal Shrestha at their birthplace at Bhangeri of Ramechhap, and memorial park of BP Koirala to be constructed at Dumja of Sindhuli.
Similarly, Agam Prasad Bantawa Rai of NCP said that the government should invest for the development of tea and cardamom farming. He also drew government’s attention to export tea of eastern Nepal by labeling it in Nepal as India has been exporting the tea produced in eastern Nepal on its own label. Komal Oli of the NCP shared the government should be serious over the issue of border dispute as India has been turning deaf ears towards Nepal’s proposal for holding bilateral talks over the issue. Chief Whip of NCP, Khimlal Bhattarai, said that the budget has given attention to youth and women empowerment while Debendra Dahal of NCP shared that the budget was fairly balanced. Some lawmakers complained that the budget failed to take the issues of Dalit, women, Madhesi, oppressed class and communities of remote area into account.
Socialist Party’s Pramila Kumari said the budget failed to incorporate the issues concerning the Madhesi community while Rastriya Janata Party’s Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav termed the budget as discriminatory one. Nepal Communist Party’s Shanti Kumari Adhiakri insisted on increasing insurance for those medical and health workers in the front-line against the control and prevention of COVID-19 and on the equal distribution of budget. Dilkumar (Parbati) Rawal Thapa from the same party spoke of the need of policy level reforms in education sector despite the sufficient budget for the sector. NCP’s Ganga Kumari Belbase called for actions against those involved in the gang rape of a woman in coronavirus quarantine in Kailali.
NCP’s Ram Narayan Bidari demanded the amendment to the budget by incorporating lawmakers’ suggestions. He was of the view of placing armed police force along the border area in a systematic way. Udaya Sharma Poudel from the same party expressed dissatisfaction over what she said inadequate budget was allocated for the causes of women, girls and senior citizens. She also took time to draw the government’s attention towards accelerating rescue of those Nepali citizens left stranded abroad due to COVID- crisis. NCP’s Jeevan Budha claimed the budget could not reflect the spirit of federalism as per the constitution. NCP’s Hariram Chaudhary, Indira Devi Gautam, Maya Prasad Sharma, Bhagawati Neupane, Indu Kadariya, Beena Pokhrel, Bimala Ghimire, Sumitra GC, Radheshyam Paswan, Gopi Bahadur Sarki Acchami, Deepa Gurung, Taraman Swar, Chakra Prasad Snehi and Tulasa Kumari Dahal were among those taking part in the deliberations.