Lawmakers attend the Monday’s meeting of parliament. (Dipesh Shrestha)
KATHMANDU, Nov 14: Lawmakers have criticized the government's decision to provide Rs 5 million as treatment expense to former Deputy Prime Minister and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Sujata Koirala flouting a parliamentary committee's directions.
Speaking during the special hour of the House meeting on Monday, chairman of the parliament's Finance Committee and CPN-UML lawmaker Prakash Jwala came down heavily on the government for not abiding by the House committee's directions.
“Nagarik Daily has reported today that a woman from Rolpa district lost her life failing to bear treatment cost after being beaten by her husband. But on the other hand, influential leaders are misusing the state coffers despite being able to afford their treatment by themselves,” said Jwala.
Stating that the Finance Committee had instructed the government to release treatment expenses to those in need only through the Health Ministry, Jwala expressed displeasure upon the direct intervention of the cabinet to take the decision bypassing the Health Ministry.
I urge the government to immediately revise the working procedure which allows providing unlimited amount of treatment expenses to powerful leaders.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal (RPP-N) lawmaker Dilnath Giri accused the government of misusing the state coffers for the medical expenses of VIPs and VVIPs in a discriminatory way without following any guidelines.
“This kind of tendency should be stopped as it is unfortunate for the country,” said Giri. He further stated that parties fighting for equality have remained mute spectator in such case. Giri also sought clarification of the health minister on the case.
Rastriya Janamorcha lawmaker Meena Pun, citing a case of a patient committing suicide at a hospital after failing to bear her medical expenses, criticized the government for failing to address the health problems of poor people.
“But the government is providing hefty budget to the leaders and former bureaucrats for their medical treatment abroad which can be cured within the country,” said Pun. She demanded halting such kind of state facilities to individuals who can bear their treatment cost on their own.
On Sunday, a cabinet meeting had decided to provide Rs 5 million to NC leader Sujata Koirala for treatment of her breast cancer to be conducted in Singapore.