Vents ire against decision to reduce age limit for elderly allowance, provide additional grant to quake victims
KATHMANDU, Jan 26: A day after the government took decisions to reduce the age for receiving the elderly allowance to 65 and provide an additional Rs 100,000 in housing grant to all earthquake-affected households, the CPN-UML has warned that the new government would revoke all such decisions of the caretaker Deuba government.
UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli, who is widely seen as prime minister-in-waiting after his party emerged the single largest in the recent parliamentary and provincial assembly polls, said the new government would reconsider all the decisions taken by the current government after it was rendered a caretaker one. "We want to make it clear that the new government will reconsider all the decisions taken within this period [i.e. after the polls] and reject all the decisions that are against the constitution, the law and our national interest," Oli said.
Addressing a press conference held at short notice at the party's headquarters at Dhumbarahi Thursday afternoon, Chairman Oli shared a list of "unethical" and "illegal" decisions taken by the current Deuba government. Oli alleged that the current government had also unnecessarily increased the number of posts of Additional Inspector General (AIG), attempted to remove the 30-year service limit in the police to benefit a few individuals, provided voluntary retirement packages to civil servants at great potential cost to the nation and doled out huge amounts from state coffers to party cadres .
Terming the decision to reduce the age for the elderly allowance as "an irresponsible one taken for cheap popularity", Oli accused the caretaker government of taking big decisions with far reaching consequences for the fundamental interests of the country and the people.
"Many of these decisions have not been publicized. The government is moving in the direction of trying its best to hinder the left alliance from forming the new government, and if that is not possible, leaving the overall economy and the administrative structure in anarchy and crisis," he said.
Coming down hard on Prime Minister Deuba, Oli argued that the voluntary retirement scheme for civil servants will cost Rs 60 billion and the decision to provide various health facilities will likewise cost several more billions. He also said the government's decision on Thursday to provide an additional Rs 100,000 to each household affected by earthquake would mean an additional financial liability of Rs 90 billiona at a time when the treasury is already facing serious strains due to the expenses of holding the elections.
Oli was particularly critical of the decisions to increase the number of top positions in the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force and remove the 30-year service limit through ordinance. Alleging that the government was trying to fulfill the vested interested of a few officers, he said such decisions, if deemed necessary, shall only be taken by parliament.
Responding to questions during the press conference, Oli said that party unification with the CPN (Maoist Center) was on track and there was no dispute within the party over Komal Oli's nomination as a National Assembly candidate. He also said the government had perpetrated excesses against former DIG and UML lawmaker Nawaraj Silwal.