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National Assembly session: Govt's attention drawn towards budget discussions


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2023 Jun 08, 17:00, Kathmandu

National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina has called attention of the government to make arrangements for the minister's compulsory presence in the Assembly when it is holding discussions on the budget.

The upper house chairman issued this ruling after Bhairab Sundar Shrestha of the main opposition party, CPN (UML), protested, saying the minister concerned was not present in the ongoing discussions on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year in the National Assembly.

In response, Chairman Timilsina also issued instructions for the compulsory presence along with the minister of an official above the rank of Under-Secretary at the Finance Ministry to take notes of the discussions on the budget.

"It is not practical to expect the presence of the same minister in both the houses of parliament at the same time as there is provision of simultaneously holding general discussions on the Annual Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for Fiscal Year 2023/24 by both houses. It is the tradition since past that the meeting does not moves ahead if the minister is not present. Therefore, I would like to draw the attention of the government, the Ministry of Finance and the finance minister as well towards this," the CA Chair said.

He wondered how the minister could respond without taking notes of the views expressed by lawmakers in the Assembly session, and drew the attention of the Ministry to make arrangements for compulsorily taking notes of the entire deliberations on the budget.

Lawmaker Shrestha had reminded of a provision in the National Assembly Regulation which requires the mandatory presence of the related minister when the National Assembly is holding discussions on the topic concerned. He demanded that the NA Chair conduct the meeting only in the presence of the minister. Shrestha added that he had raised this issue in NA meeting on Wednesday as well and the ruling parties' lawmakers had seconded him on the issue.

Why the 'Royal Nepalese Embassy' even in republican system?

Lawmaker Khimlal Devkota drew attention of the National Assembly towards the name of the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi in India. According to him, the name of the Embassy is still written as 'Royal Nepalese Embassy'.

Speaking during the Zero Hour in the National Assembly today, he said it has been one and a half decade of republic system in the country and the name of the Nepal's embassy in India bears the old nomenclature. Through the National Assembly Chairman, he drew the government's attention to this and demanded that the name of the embassy be corrected immediately.

He urged the government to find out which of the Nepali embassies in other countries bear the old name and correct them forthwith.

Devkota also called on the government to inform the upper house about the truth and facts of the fake Bhutanese refugee scandal, to take measures to conserve the Phewa Lake and to conduct a campaign for the sanctification of the cooperatives.

Kumar Dasaundi called attention of the government through the Assembly to not to implement the decision to abrogate the District Election Office. He argued that the District Election Office should be retained as it has a significant role in creating an environment for the conduction of election in a free, fair and fear-free environment.

Deepa Gurung drew the attention of the government through the National Assembly to enforce the provision in the Health Institutions Operation Standard Guidelines requiring the hospitals and medical facilities to arrange for the facilities for the attendants of the patients. She said even the big hospitals in the federal capital were not following this provision.

MPs ask government to send diplomatic note to India over the 'Akhanda Bharat' map

The lawmakers also through the National Assembly called attention of the government seeking a clear answer from India regarding the map 'Akhanda Bharat (indivisible India)' that it has placed in its parliament, objecting to the map stating that it also incorporated Nepal's territories as Kapilbastu, Tilaurakot, among other places. They demanded the government to send 'diplomatic note' to India on the matter.

Dr Bimala Rai Poudyal urged the government to inform the parliament on the topic of the so-called Akhanda Bharat map recently publicized by India including Nepali territories in it. She also demanded that the government takes necessary measures related to rescue and relief in the wake of the possible risk of the heat wave in the Tarai and the long drought on farmers.

Bhairab Sundar Shrestha said the Akhanda Bharat map recently made public by India and which incorporates Nepal's some territories is a blow on Nepal's national indivisibility and sovereignty. "The government should seek a clear answer from India about this map," he reiterated.

Narapati Luhar said the agreement related to Phukot Hydropower is not only against the interest of the people of Karnali but also of the whole country. He drew the government's attention to annul the agreement.

Prakash Pantha urged the government to start works related to disaster preparedness in an effective way in view of the upcoming monsoon.

Mahesh Kumar Mahara complained that the flood and landslide affected people of Alital rural municipality in the Sudurpaschim have not yet been provided with relief and assistance even though three years have passed since the disaster hit the village and displaced 42 families.

Ram Chandra Rai complained that the retired employees of the Hetauda Cement Industry have not yet received their retirement amount and urged the Ministry of Industry to look into the matter.

Singha Bahadur Bishwakarma called on the government to arrange for blacktopping of the Sankhu-Jarsinghpauwa road before the start of the monsoon.

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National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina CPN-UML Finance Ministry revenue and expenditure
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