Deliberation on budget resumes in Gandaki Province

Published On: July 6, 2022 12:03 PM NPT By: SANDESH SHRESTHA

POKHARA, July 6: The discussion and deliberation on the annual budget has started in the Gandaki Provincial Assembly after the budget dispute was resolved. Discussions on the budget, which was halted after a dispute between the ruling parties over the budget, began on Monday.

Earlier, the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) was dissatisfied with the lack of infrastructure development programs in the budget. Despite the decision of the coalition parties and the directive of Chief Minister Krishna Chandra Nepali Pokharel in the cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Ramji Prasad Baral did not include the constituency infrastructure development program in the budget.

The NC had accused Finance Minister Baral of not meeting the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers. In the Westminster system, the Congress has said that the ministers should follow the instructions of the Chief Minister. In line with the same stance, the party kept exerting pressure on the Finance Minister to add the program in one way or another. The Finance Minister's own party, the CPN (Maoist Center), has also been supporting this.

However, Finance Minister Baral argued that the constituency infrastructure development program was not included as the people did not like it and it was not included in the policies and programs of the provincial government. The controversy started after the issue reached the Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Center Central Committee Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. 

According to a source close to the Chief Minister, discussions on the budget started on Monday after the ruling party Nepali Congress, Maoist Center and Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) failed to withstand the pressure of Chief Minister Pokharel.

"It has been agreed to take a detour to meet our demands, even if the program is not included in the budget directly," the source said. He said that now that the way out has been found, it has been agreed to continue the discussion on the budget and pass it.

At the meeting that started on Monday, Finance Minister Baral said that the policies and programs are based on the priorities and principles of the budget and the budget came by addressing it. He expressed his confidence that appropriate suggestions would be made to make the province prosperous after serious discussions on the budget.


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