News Digest: Federal Affairs (July 8-14, 2021)

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Obstruction PA meeting

The Provincial Assembly (PA) meeting of Province 2 has been obstructed by the main opposition parties—Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and CPN-MC (Maoist Center). The oppositions have been obstructing the meeting objecting in the budget titles. Meanwhile, the opposition have warned that the meeting obstruction continues until their voices be addressed in the budget. Similarly, opposition parties have also expressed dissatisfaction with the provincial government while allocating budget for the police under the federal government.

After 27 days of the budget presentation, on July 11 the Lumbini PA meeting was held for the budget discussion. Even though it was not consented between the ruling and opposition parties. While there is provision for the provincial government to pass the budget by the end of the Asadh month of Nepali calendar.  

On July 11, the main opposition party CPN-UML had obstructed the Karnali PA meeting while three CPN-UML MPs participated. Now CPN-MC is the ruling party in Karnali. Meanwhile, CPN-UML has demanded to return within the party who crosses the floor.  Similarly, the budget discussion has been affected due to the continuing obstruction in the parliament by the opposition. Moreover, opposition has also put an objection demanding to make public the details amount which is allocated without a mention in the budget.

Similarly, on July 13, the speaker of Karnali Pradesh has warned opposition to forcibly start the budget discussion. The opposition CPN-UML is continuing obstruction in the Provincial Assembly after budget presentation on June 15. The speaker called several times for the budget discussion but the opposition has not agreed.

It is assumed that the Asadhe Bikas (expend capital budget at the end of the fiscal year) has dominated this current fiscal year like last. Consequently, most of the projects are being completed in a hurry which does not result as a sustainable development. Corruption and audit objections are more likely to occur due to Asadhe Bikas.

240 farmers have got loans through Farmers Loan Program under the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives started by the Karnali Pradesh. The ministry has allocated Rs 500 million under the program for the next fiscal year 2021/22, while Rs 700 million allocation in the current fiscal year 2020/21. The program was started from the fiscal year 2020/21.

On July 11, despite obstruction of the PA meeting by the opposition the Bagmati Pradesh government has passed budget for the next fiscal year 2021/22.

Administration Issues

The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has staged-sit in front of the Lumbini PA and demanded the withdrawal of the Media Bill. The federation has accused that the bill is anti-freedom of press and is autocratic. The federation has also demanded rewriting of the draft media in such issues—media registration, renewal, formation of media council and media. The FNJ has also expressed dissatisfaction while the Provincial government proposed that a lot of the members can participated from the Ministry of Internal Affair and Law in the Communication Council. The FNJ also blamed the government is trying to control the media as well.

Employees of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City has increased dozens of their facilities through the Employees Service Facilities Act, 2077 BS. In the Act the employees receives several additional allowances except of specified allowances which is motioned by the government.

Province 2 government has appointed two members for Mass Media Academy and four members for Media Council.

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