KATHMANDU, March 30: Main Opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has protested against the government's decision to scrap public holidays on Martyrs Day (Magh 16) and Democracy Day (Falgun 7).
Speaking during the special session of the House of Representatives on Friday, NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu said the cabinet decision to scrap public holidays on the Democracy Day and Martyrs Day was objectionable.
“I came to learn from the media that the government has decided to scrap some public holidays including the Democracy Day and Martyrs Day. Democracy was established on Falgun 7 some 70 years ago, when the country started its democratic journey,” said Badu.
He termed the decision to scrap the major public holidays as attack against democracy by the government.
The government had decided to scrap 12 public holidays on Wednesday, reducing the annual public holidays to 89. Of the 89 public holidays in a year, 67 will be for all and the rest 22 will be for religion, region and community concerned.
Public holidays on Loktantra (democracy) Day, Republic Day, National Unity Day and Democracy Day were scrapped by the government, which argued that the government agencies require working more to achieve the goal of prosperity.
Similarly public holidays on Janai Punima (scared thread ceremony), Shree Krishna Astami (Birthday of Lord Krisha), Rishi Panchami (Prayer day for saints), Ghatasthapana (First day of Dashain festival), Dwadashi (12th day of Dashain), Kojagrat Purnima (Full moon day after Dashain) and Ram Nawami (Birthday of Lord Ram) were scarpped.
The decision had received mix reaction from different stakeholders and political parties. Rastriya Prajatantra Party (a pro-monarchy and Hindu party) had protested against the decision. Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities had also expressed objection to the decision for limiting holidays on various festivals of ethnic communities including Lochhar, Udhauli and Ubhauli.
On the other side, Nepal Chamber of Commerce greeted the decision with cheer stating that increasing working day would result in positive changes in economic activities of the country.