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Campaign against Corruption not to be stopped


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2023 Jun 28, 16:19, Kathmandu

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said the government campaign against corruption would be pursued more intensely in the days to come.

In his address to a meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) today, he said the government is committed to clearing off the 'perception' being developed among the masses that high-profile people are 'above' the law and thus immune from legal action.

In the lower house session, he was replying queries raised in regard with the budget allocations to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the National Planning Commission's Secretariat, the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice-President for the fiscal year-2080 BS ( 2023-24).

The head of the government claimed that his latest six months in office could instill a ray of hope among the people for better and made them to believe that 'rule of law is upheld'. "I could feel frustration, dissatisfaction and annoyance among the people when I assumed the prime ministerial post. Now the situation is somehow different. People are hopeful of the leadership."

He utilised the forum that the government rigorous investigations into the fake Bhutanese refugees contributed to generating the people's trust on the government. "The successful investigation into the issue has been a turning point for highlighting the supremacy of the law," he said, adding that the government was delivering in a way to prove that problems in democracy could be sorted out through a democratic way.

"The case is itself a new chapter towards the journey for establishment of the rule of law and against corruption. This will not stop here, it will go on. The fight against this malpractice will continue at any cost," the Prime Minister said.

He informed the session that the file over the Lalita Niwas land procurement scam was reopened on Tuesday and the government efforts were going on to hold those alleged of misappropriations in cooperatives and microfinances accountable.

 "The government is fighting for promoting good governance and it needs the support and cooperation from all quarters to make this journey a success," he said.

 Recalling the national atmosphere when he had become the prime minister, he said the situation improved now. The nation was in economic crisis and a fear prevailed whether the nation would face the fate of Sri Lanka.

Now almost all economic indicators are positive. The forex reserve has increased by 20.9 percent and the forex reserve is sufficient to cover the prospective imports of goods and services of 7 months, according to the Prime Minister.

"Similarly, total trade deficit towards commodity has decreased by 15. 2 percent, remittance inflow has increased significantly, the number of tourists arrivals rose doubly than the last year, bank interest rates is decreasing, fiscal stability is being achieved, there is an improvement in the investment atmosphere, a significant improvement is reported in the revenue leakage, two government entities: Nepal Electricity Authority has transformed itself a profit organisation and the economic status of the and the Nepal Airlines Corporation is improving," the head of the government said.

According to him, over the last six months agreement has been reached for mobilizing Rs 35 billion foreign assistance and foreign investment of around Rs 35 billion and capable of creating 15,000 jobs has come in the industry sector.

The PM said that the customs offices in the northern transit points as Rasuwa, Hilsa and Kodari have come into operation during the period. He argued that the present budget has been brought with the objective of attaining economic growth, macroeconomic stability, quality social development, of ensuring social security and justice and strengthening of federalism and good governance by making the economy broader, sustainable and inclusive.

The PM claimed that the base for attainment of high economic growth rate has been prepared by building the economic and social infrastructures in the upcoming fiscal year.

"People's access to electricity has been increasing with the addition of 408 Megawatts power in the national grid. Preliminary agreement has been reached with India for exporting 10,000 Megawatts power annually to India while a tripartite power trade agreement is in the process of making among Nepal, India and Bangladesh," he said.

The Prime Minister informed the lower house that an internal improvement suggestion taskforce has been formed and study was underway for making qualitative improvements in service delivery in the physical infrastructure and transport sector.

It may be recalled here that a MoU was signed between the Electricity Production Company Limited and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation during PM Dahal's latest official visit to India for the development of the Phukot Karnali Hydropower Project with a production capacity of 440 Megawatts. The foundation for construction of the 400 kV Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line was also laid during this visit.

The Prime Minister stated that a power trade agreement is in the process of being signed between Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and the NTPC Electricity Trade Corporation, India and Bangladesh Power Development Board for exporting electricity up to 40 megawatts to Bangladesh from Nepal.

He maintained that the students have got the school textbooks in their hands on time before the start of the new academic year for the first time in the country this year after his heading the government. He added that 5.5 million students studying in community schools across the country including the remote areas have got textbooks on time.

The PM also shared that the government has implemented the guidelines on abroad studies and started providing permission letter for abroad study and the equivalence certificate for grade 10 and 12 online.

As he said the problem in the supply of chemical fertilizer which was like an annual phenomenon has however been resolved this year. Stating that the supply of a total 78,000 metric tonnes chemical fertilizer has been guaranteed this time, the PM said so far 195,900 metric tonnes fertilizer has been imported and about 145,900 metric tonnes of this has been distributed at subsidized rate.

Rs 30 billion has been allocated for the management of fertilizer for the next fiscal year, 2023/24, and during his visit to India, a theoretical agreement has been reached with India to jointly move ahead to open a fertilizer industry in Nepal, he said. In order to resolve problems facing victims of loan sharking, Nepal Act related to the Civil Code has been amended, and investigations into 23,118 complaints filed by the victims are underway after forming the commission related to loan sharking, he said.

Budget has been allocated to set up a trust worth Rs 1 billion for the invention, research and startups, a theoretical approval has been granted to make the bill related to the deemed Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology University, and the process has been put forward to establish the Pashupati Hindu University, said the PM. Similarly, all government, community and private hospitals across the country have been directed to provide free treatment to the poor, helpless and abandoned people by reserving 10 percent beds.

The required process has moved ahead to ensure rights of vote for Nepali people living in foreign countries, he said.

The government provided Rs 600,000 each to cricketers who won the '2023 ACC Men's Premier Cup' and the head coach and Rs 300,000 each to other team officials, he said.

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