Govt, main opposition inching closer to finding a common ground

Published On: June 29, 2016 12:50 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 29: Leaders from the ruling CPN-UML and main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) are inching closer to finding a common ground to resolve their dispute over the criteria to distribute grant amounts to earthquake victims to rebuild their houses destroyed in earthquakes last year.

Leaders involved in inter-party talks said Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has agreed in principle to increase the amount of money to be given to the earthquakes victims in the first tranche as demanded by the main opposition NC.

But the two sides are yet to finalize the agreement. The leaders said they have planned to finalize the deal after holding another round of talks with the prime minister on Wednesday morning.

“We are ready to agree on distributing Rs 150,000 in the first installment and remaining 50,000 in the next tranche,” NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat told Republica. “But, we haven't got clear answer from the government side.”

According to him, chairman of ruling CPN (Maoist Center) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and some of the UML leaders are positive toward the proposal.

“But, some of the UML leaders referring to the agreement reached with the World Bank are still reluctant to increase the amount,” he said.

The present policy of government allows distribution of Rs 50,000 in the first installment and the remaining Rs 150,000 is to be distributed in second and third installments. Leaders from the ruling parties have been arguing that they have just implemented the agreement reached by the previous NC-led government with international agencies including the World Bank.

UML leader Subas Nembang said that the two sides have progressed in the latest talks and he is hopeful in resolving the issue by Wednesday.

“We are hopeful that we can find a solution before tomorrow's parliament meeting. The discussions are now very positive,” said Nembang.

The NC has been obstructing parliament meetings for the last couple of days demanding that the government distribute the total amount of Rs 200,000 at one go and not in installment basis.

Earlier, a task force comprising second tier leaders from the major political parties had failed to find out a meeting point on the issue.

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