KATHMANDU, June 6: The opposition alliance has said that the controversial decision taken by the government to export stones and pebbles to India to minimize trade deficit is aimed at appeasing a foreign country and using the national resources for vested interests to prolong its stay in power.
Issuing a joint statement on Saturday, Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN(Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Madhav Kumar Nepal of the CPN-UML, Upendra Yadav of Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) and Durga Paudel of Rastriya Janamorcha have condemned the decision and asked the government to immediately withdraw the decision.
Although they have not made any reference to India, the joint statement has hinted that the government had taken the controversial decision to appease India. Opposition parties have long been alleging that New Delhi had tacitly supported all unconstitutional moves taken by Prime Minister Oli in Nepal and helped him prolong his stay in power despite losing crucial vote of confidence in parliament.
The opposition alliance has alleged that the government undermined parliament by introducing a new budget through an ordinance and bringing controversial provisions to allow excavation of stones, sands, and pebbles from Chure and other regions to export to minimize trade deficit. "This is an anti-national and anti-people decision to turn Nepal's tarai region into desert and threaten the livelihoods of those living in the region to face problems such as flood, inundation and depleting water source," they have said in the statement.
The opposition alliance has also taken a strong exception to the move of the caretaker Prime Minister Oli to expand cabinet even as a case related to the dissolution of parliament is a sub judice at the Supreme Court. They have maintained that the prime minister’s move to bring cabinet reshuffle makes a mockery of democratic norms and values. "This kind of act is condemnable," reads the joint statement issued on Saturday evening.
The opposition alliance has also demanded the government to immediately withdraw the announcement made through the budget to allow private parties to supply iodized salt. The opposition alliance has concluded that the decision is aimed at benefiting vested interest groups and put ordinary people under additional financial burden. The state-owned Salt Trading Corporation is so far supplying iodized salt across the country at subsidized prices.