KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Clarifying that their protest was not against the newly-launched contribution-based Social Security Scheme, the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), has said that the party considers the publicity campaign for the scheme “unnecessary” and “extravagant”.
Organizing a press conference at NC headquarters in Sanepa on Sunday to publicize the decisions of the party's ongoing Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting, NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said the implementation of the contribution-based Social Security Act 2074 BS would be a great help to the Nepali workers. He also said that NC feels proud to have supported the endorsement of the Act through parliament when it was heading the government.
“However, the current government's attempt to hoodwink the people into thinking that the newly-launched social security scheme is a program of the ruling party and the portraits of Nepal Communist Party Chairman KP Sharma Oli put on display everywhere in the capital have drawn the attention of the Nepali Congress,” said a press statement distributed at the press conference.
According to Sharma, NC-affiliated Nepal Trade Union Congress had been demanding this scheme since 1991. Three major trade unions had earlier organized a press conference to exert pressure on the government to implement this new provision at the earliest.
Sharma said NC stands ready to extend necessary support and keep vigil against the failure to expedite the implementation of this project. He also said that the slogan printed on Oli's portraits that said the scheme was "the beginning of a new era" was nothing but a desperate attempt to cover up the growing unpopularity of the government.
Sharma also criticized the decision of the Oli government to withdraw the decision to provide allowances to those suffering from spinal injuries, kidney, lungs and other diseases which have left the patients bed-ridden. He also vented his ire against the move of government authorities to remove posters of Nirmala Panta from various major thoroughfares in the city.
The CWC meeting took strong exception to what it called "the involvement of the government to organize a program that aims at promoting one particular religion." While stating that it is against the spirit of the constitution to support the promotion of one particular religion, the NC has denounced "the gross misuse of state funds and resources for the Asia Pacific Summit 2018" which concluded in the capital on Sunday.