KATHMANDU, April 18: Expressing concerns over the irregularities and discrimination made in the distribution of relief materials, the main opposition, Nepali Congress (NC), has urged the government to form an all-party monitoring mechanism at all local level governments.
A meeting of the party's office-bearers' held at the residence of the party President Sher Bahadur Deuba in Budhanilakantha made the demand, alleging that relief distribution made by the local government led by the ruling party was discriminatory. The party said the formation of an all-party monitoring mechanism in all 753 local governments could help to distribute relief materials inequitable, transparent and well-managed manner.
According to the party's Chief Secretary Krishna Prasad Paudel, the meeting expressed concern over the delay in sending the relief budget announced earlier by the federal and provincial governments to local governments. As hundreds of people on their way to home village are left stranded without food and proper shelter in different parts of the major highways, the meeting also directed all district and local units of the party to extend all possible support to those stranded on their way home.
The office bearers' meeting also discussed in detail about the impacts of the prolonged nationwide lockdown to businesses and day to day life of people. The party has asked the government and other concerned bodies to provide various relief measures including interest waiver or the reduction of interest rate to all small as well as big businesses are hit hard by the prolonged lockdown enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The NC has urged the government to further expand the scope of the COVID-19 tests in all parts of the country as a only a small number of around 200,000 people, who arrived in Nepal a week before the lockdown was enforced, were kept in quarantine facilities. The party has asked the government to launch a door-to-door campaign across the country to contain possible spread of the COVID-19.
As country's major hospitals are developed as dedicated hospitals to keep those suspected of having COVID-19 infection, a large number of people suffering from other diseases are not able to avail treatment in recent days. Expressing concern over such situation, the NC has also drawn attention of the government to make necessary arrangement to provide treatment to those suffering from illnesses other than the COVID-19 as well.
The party has reiterated its earlier demand to relieve all those involved in the controversial procurement deal reached with Omni group to bring in essential medical supplies from their respective positions and conduct impartial investigation into the financial irregularities involved in the deal. Among other things, the party has asked the government to make necessary diplomatic initiatives to help distressed Nepali nationals living abroad and bring those in need to return home after making necessary homework.