Kathmandu, May 4 . Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said the government in the present situation wanted to clearly proceed ahead on the road towards good governance and development by strengthening democracy and guaranteeing human rights and press freedom.
PM Oli said so while addressing the queries of journalists that came up during a discussion on the policies and programmes of the government that was held at his official residence this morning. He had consulted with the editors and journalists of various media regarding the government’s policies and programmes which were presented by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in the joint session of the Federal Parliament on Friday.
The Prime Minister reiterated that the policies and programmes were focused on fulfilling the basic needs of the people. He added that the policies and programmes have included many provisions aimed at enhancing the capacity of the helpless and marginalized people by protecting their rights and maintaining law and order.
“The government has adopted the policy of having the participation of the private sector also in the development efforts by encouraging it. The cooperatives would also be moved ahead simultaneously. The policies and programmes are clear regarding how to move ahead the agriculture, industry, trade, tourism, education, health, infrastructure and the national pride projects, etc.,” he explained.
PM Oli said the policies and programmes have emphasized on providing social justice through good governance by attaching high priority to maintaining law and order, rooting out corruption and crime prevention.
Acknowledging that the development expenditure has been minimal, he said a policy of expediting the development and construction works would be adopted by involving external capital and technology.
Regarding the doubts expressed by journalists on the implementation of the policies and programmes, the Prime Minister said, “There is no doubt in the implementation of the policies and programmes. We have accepted that the development expenditure has not increased, but we are not dissatisfied. However, we need to speed up the development expenditure.”
Stating that revenue collection has been encouraging and the remittance from foreign employment has increased, he said the agriculture production has gone up and the economic growth rate reaching 7 per cent should be considered encouraging. “The internal saving which was not more than 15 per cent so far has increased to 27 per cent this time.”
There is the need for giving impetus to all our efforts in all sectors and we will get the policies and programmes implemented at any cost. We will use technology in development s well, the PM said.
“Some people have the mentality of anyhow criticizing and opposing the government’s works. It is not right to harbor the thinking that one’s work is only to oppose and criticize. One should call right thing right,” the PM said, adding that how could one accept this kind of mentality.
He stated that the government was ready to make amends if it has taken a wrong track on addressing the development aspirations and protecting the country’s sovereignty.
“The government wants to put an effective policy into practice. It does not involve in telling lies and confusing the people,” PM said.
When journalists referring to the President pronouncing ‘my government’ while presenting the government’s policies and programmes in the joint meeting of the parliament on Friday, asked the Prime Minister whether it was the President’s government, PM Oli said, “It does not mean that it is not others when one says ‘my country’ or my national anthem’. It is not surprising for the Head of the State to say so. There is the practice of saying ‘my government’ by the President while presenting the government’s policies and programmes in India and other countries as well.
It might have seemed uncanny here since the monarchy has been recently abolished in Nepal.” “The Presidential post is the most decent and respected post and if the citation of word ‘my government’, the general and simple practice, is responded with an unusual reaction manifested that we did not understand the system brought by ourselves,” the Prime Minister said. In his response to a query about the situation for youths to go for abroad in search of opportunities, he said, “Only stopping youths from going abroad will not help alleviate poverty. We will create opportunities, but such opportunities need to be attractive, otherwise they prefer to go overseas to seek better opportunities. But our efforts should focus on encouraging them to stay at home.”
He is of the view of reducing dependency on agriculture by offering an appropriate alternative though two-thirds Nepalis are presently involved in agriculture. He promised to increase productivity in agriculture through modernisation. “We are striking labor pact in regard with safe and good destinations.”
Admitting that a fall in development expenditure, the Prime Minister insisted the need of establishing a system of giving contracts regarding development project to competent and efficient people by removing administrative hurdles in the procurement process. In his views about high arrears, he said all arrears is not corruption, it might have occurred due to some legal and procedural insufficiency.
“We have brought those involved in corruption, irregularities and gold smuggling but remained invisible in the past to book. Investigations into the Baluwatar land purchase scam are going on and facts surrounding the incident are gradually coming out. The government is fully committed to the security of nation’s property and we will bring the Baluwatar issue to the definition of law,” the prime minister said. “The 7 percent economic growth achieved this year is the highest gain so far and with this, Nepal has come ahead as an emerging nation,” he said, predicting a double-digit economic growth during the tenure of the government through an increase in the expenditure efficiency and control of corruption.”
In his response regarding the accusations that programmes were brought targeting only home district of the prime minister, he said weaknesses had been admitted that a list of programmes was dispatched to the National Planning Commission inadvertently by a body he is associated with without his information, he refuted the practice of geopolitics in the formulation of programmes.
As he claimed, he has not exercised such practice since 2051 BS when he was the Home Minister, promising to work keeping nation’s prosperity at first. It is not unusual to raise the issues of development in the related electoral constituency.
A significant number of journalists from national and international media houses, former Speaker Subash Chandra Nembang, Prime Minister’s chief advisor Bishnu Rimal and foreign advisor Rajan Bhattarai, press advisor Kundan Aryal among others were present on the occasion.