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Raising people's living standard, boosting production main responsibility: Lawmaker Thapa


Nepalnews
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2023 Sep 23, 10:25, Kathmandu
Source: RSS

Lawmaker Ammar Bahadur Thapa from the CPN (Unified Socialist) has been primarily raising issues related to the problems faced by the general public and their livelihood in the meetings of the House of Representatives (HoR), the lower house of the Federal Parliament.

Elected from Dailekh district in the election to the HoR held in 2079 BS, Thapa says the problems of the general public are far from being addressed. He ruled that political power and influence is prevailing when it comes to budget allocation for development projects.

Talking to RSS in connection with the 'RSS with Lawmaker' programme, he said a result-oriented parliament and a responsible government are still far-fetched in Nepal's context. In his view, in terms of their role and responsibility, the lawmakers should concentrate on both law-making function and fulfilling the development aspirations of the people.

According to him, the government too has not been able to give business to the parliament in order for the lawmakers to fulfill their law making role effectively. He has expressed his disagreement to the public notion that the MPs were only confined to seeking budget for development works and various projects neglecting their parliamentary roles and responsibilities.

"There is no truth in the allegation that the lawmakers were not fulfilling their law making role. The government has to give business to parliament for us to play our law making role," he said, adding that it is also the responsibility of the legislators to work in the budget-making process as well.

Thapa argued that the lawmakers should fulfill both responsibilities as lawmakers and as the agents of development.

According to him, the MPs should also carry out the job of inquiring about the status of implementation progress of various development works, selection of projects, budget formulation and allocation and its approval.

He pointed out the need of removing the wrong notion that legislators only concentrated on asking for projects and engaging in the development project-related works. "The lawmakers better know the development needs of the people in their constituencies. It's about making laws accordingly and implementing them. One cannot term this job of the lawmakers as irresponsible.

Lawmaker Thapa feels that the lawmakers are neglected when the government has been making a 'distributive' budget on the basis of political power and influence.

"In such a situation, the lawmakers, who are the people's representatives, cannot take ownership in the budgetary allocations. Therefore, the parliamentary constituency infrastructure development special programme is appropriate in addressing the issue of lawmakers not having a say in the budget allocation," he said.

As he said, if an MP takes a development project in his or her constituency, it also makes the lawmaker concerned responsible and accountable. "The people pin hopes upon us. It is a wrong understanding to allege the lawmakers that they were neglecting their legislative role and only running after development projects. The lawmakers should rightly work for the development of their constituency. It is merely a wrong notion that the MPs pocket big amounts of money from development projects that they bring to their constituency," he contended.

Although the lawmakers select the projects falling under the constituency infrastructure development programme, he said, it is the government mechanism that implements, monitors, gives payment for and conducts the auditing and all other related works.

There is criticism because of a lot of accusations and counter-accusations in the parliament, resulting in frequent obstructions of the sessions, thereby depriving the MPs from raising issues of urgent concern related to people's livelihood and other pressing topics. Lawmaker Thapa considers this situation as the lapses on the part of both the government and the parliament.

"All should support and appreciate the positive works. It is the job of the lawmakers to expose and condemn the wrong works. The opposition party too should play a vociferous role to that end. We have a tendency to carry out misdeeds in cahoots with each other but pulling the legs of those carrying out good works. There is this general trend of proving the good works. This kind of attitude should be forsaken," he elaborated.

Lawmaker Thapa views that the government and the parliament have mainly two things to focus on at present – firstly, to bring plans, policies and programmes so as to raise the living standard of the people living under the poverty line and secondly, to invest the state resources in productive sectors.

"Poverty alleviation should be the priority and plans should be formulated accordingly to carry out result-oriented works. At the same time, we also need programmes focused on boosting production," he said. How can there be adequate investment when there is no money coming into the national coffers, he wondered.

Lawmaker Thapa stressed on the need of building self-sufficiency by boosting production for augmenting the national economy.


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Ammar Bahadur Thapa CPN Unified Socialist House of Representatives livelihood Federal Parliament general public election
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