Upper House Members Rue Government’s Efforts Not Sufficient To Bring COVID-19 Vaccines

In today’s meeting of the National Assembly, the lawmakers complained the government’s efforts for getting the COVID-19 vaccines were not sufficient.

During the special session, Jitendra Narayan Dev of the main opposition Nepali Congress accused the government of failing to take substantive steps to import vaccines against COVID-19. Citing that some vaccine manufacturing countries were facilitating other countries for achieving the vaccines, he said the government had not made any substantive effort for getting so.

As he said, that South Asian countries continue to get vaccines under the COVAX facility when Nepal could be able to bring about it only from China. He took time to accuse the government of failing to leave its mark despite having support and cooperation from the opposition.

CPN (Maoist Center)’s Radheshyam Paswan said that although the Constitution has eliminated caste discrimination, it has not been implemented in practice. He said that the recent activities of some high-ranking government officials regarding caste discrimination were a mockery of the constitution. The Education Minister’s ‘open’ favour to the accused in the caste-based discrimination (Rupa Sunar’s case) and his move to drop the accused to her home on his official vehicle was really objectionable, he said, seeking the immediate resignation of the sitting minister. He warned that he would go on a hunger strike within the parliament if the education minister did not step down over his move.

Government successful in constitution implementation: Bhattarai

Lawmaker of the ruling CPN (UML), Khimlal Bhattarai, has said that the incumbent government has become successful on the matter of constitution implementation.

Leader Bhattarai shared that challenges were faced in course of promulgating the Constitution and similar challenges have been added in course of implementing it.

Speaking in today’s special hour of the National Assembly meeting, he opined, “The incumbent government has resolved challenges created in and outside the country in implementation of the Constitution. It has become successful to bring CK Raut and Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’ led group into the mainstream politics.”

He further said that the government has been making maximum efforts to resolve the problems of Madhesh.

Leader Bhattarai argued that the dissolution of the House of Representatives was democratic and constitutional.

He mentioned, “Prime Minister had no intention to dissolve HoR in the second time. The move taken by the President was genuine.”

Saying political issues have been filed at the Supreme Court, Bhattarai said that the SC has made some verdict on some political issues in a biased manner.

Similarly, another lawmaker Tulasa Kumari Dahal drew the government’s attention to provide relief to natural disaster-affected people as well as demanded action against those involved in the cases of violence against women.

Lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said the question of ‘partylessness’ did not arise as the Members of Parliament were independent regarding the exercise of Article 76 (5) of the Constitution, arguing that this article of the constitution was a special provision.

Dr Khim Lal Devkota alleged that the government has increased the civil servants’ posts in contravention of the recommendation of the Public Expenditure Review Commission, the fiscal transfer was minuscule and the local levels were burdened with conditional grants.

Taradevi Bhatta accused that the government elected by the House of Representatives has itself violated the rule of law by dissolving the parliament. “Democracy calls for the rule of law. The government is responsible to the people and the parliament. But the government has failed in every aspect. The parliamentary committees have been formed as per the spirit of the constitution, but the government ministers do not show up at the meetings of these thematic committees,” she lamented.

Call to take back the petro price hike

Meanwhile, speaking in the ‘Zero Hour’ of the National Assembly today, lawmakers demanded that the government should roll back the hike in the price of petroleum products.

Lawmaker Khim Kumar BK said most of the development infrastructures were weak due to the tendency to scatter and spend the budget without results in the name of development.

He opined that corruption has increased in the country due to this tendency to spend the development budget in the last hour before the closing of the fiscal year.

Jaga Prasad Sharma demanded with the government to give first priority to the people with disabilities who comprise 1.94 per cent of the total population of the country in vaccination programme against COVID-19.

He also strongly called on the government to take back the decision to hike the price of petroleum products as the frequent price hike has hit hard the common people.

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