Budget session begins today

Published On: April 29, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

NC demands pre-budget discussions before presentation of govt's policies and policies

KATHMANDU, April 29: The budget session of the federal parliament is beginning on Monday. Separate meetings of the House of Representatives and National Assembly are scheduled to be held at 4 pm in the parliament building in New Baneshwar.

Government officials said apart from unveiling the budget for fiscal year 2019/20, the budget session will also focus on the formulation of new laws. Various 15 laws related to the fundamental rights were endorsed by parliament after unveiling the budget even during the budget session last year.

According to Law Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, the government is preparing to register 22 new bills in parliament during this session. Altogether 19 bills are already pending at various parliamentary committees.

It is estimated that the number of bills to be presented in parliament during this session will reach around 55, including those currently under discussion in the parliamentary committees and those already approved by these committees.

The government has summoned the budget session nearly a month after the winter session was prorogued. The winter session of parliament was focused mainly on amending the laws which contradicted the constitution.

During this session, the government first plans to unveil the new budget and then promulgate various laws. This session of the House has drawn wide interest as all are eagerly waiting to see the government's policies and programs that will materialize its slogan of 'Happy Nepalis, Prosperous Nepal'.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), has protested against the government's preparation to unveil the budget without holding pre-budget discussions. “The government is unveiling its policies and programs immediately after the start of the House session. We have received information that the government is planning to hold pre-budget discussions then and unveil the budget. This is absolutely a move to bypass the people's representatives and the House,” said NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand.

Officials said President Bidya Devi Bhandari is presenting the government's programs and policies at the House meeting scheduled for May 3. NC has drawn the attention of the government through the Speaker of the House of Representatives against this preparation, arguing that the tradition is to hold pre-budget discussions before unveiling the government's programs and policies.

Khand said that NC will not support the government if it unveils its programs and policies before holding pre-budget discussions in parliament. “We cannot support this kind of totalitarianism that weakens parliament,” he said after a parliamentary party meeting of the NC on Sunday.

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