Nepal parties oppose govt`s plan for early budget

The parties have warned of protests if the govt went ahead with its plans.

Updated: Apr 29, 2011, 16:08 PM IST

Kathmandu: Several political parties in
Nepal including the main opposition Nepali Congress have
joined hands against the government`s plan to introduce budget
for the next fiscal year two months in advance, saying the
move will put on hold the peace process.

Nepali Congress, three key Madhesi parties and other
smaller parties have handed over a joint memorandum to Prime
Minister Jhala Nath Khanal and Speaker of the Parliament
Subhas Nemwang asking the government not to present budget
before May 28, when the extended deadline of the Constituent
Assembly expires.

The UCPN (Maoist)-CPN (UML) coalition government led
by Khanal has summoned a budget session of the Parliament for
May 2 to table an early budget for the new fiscal year
2011-2012 tentatively on May 23.

The coalition government intends to present the new
budget putting on hold the issues of peace process and
constitution writing, reads the memorandum.

Khanal, who was elected the Prime Minister on February
3 after 17 attempts over a seven-month period, is yet to sort
out differences over power sharing with his key ally Maoists.

Political parties in the country are deadlocked over
some of the key issues of the peace process, including the
fate of the former Maoist combatants, amid demands by the
ex-rebels for their en masse integration with the security

The non-Maoist parties have made it clear that drafting a
democratic constitution and concluding the peace process was
not possible unless the Maoists agree to manage their
combatants, return the seized property and dismantle their
paramilitary youth wing, Young Communist League.

The government`s bid to bring a new budget two months
ahead of the schedule only fuelled suspicion aroused by the
controversial seven-point deal between the Maoist chief
Prachanda and PM Khanal for power sharing purposes by
sidelining the peace process and the constitution making, it

The parties have also warned of strong protests if
the government went ahead with its plans.

Expressing doubt over timely drafting of the
constitution, Nepali Congress central leader Bimalendra Nidhi
said, "In the current situation there is no likelihood of
accomplishing the task of drafting the new constitution within
the stipulated time frame."

The Maoists` behaviour and activities are mainly
obstructing the peace process and the constitution drafting,
he pointed out, Nidhi said.

The Maoists are still holding discussion in their
high level body on whether to pursue peoples revolt for
capturing power or to move the peace process forward, which
signifies that they are not sincere to the peace and
constitution, the two main agenda of the government, he
pointed out.

If the Maoists were committed to the peace process
they would have implemented the agreement on integrating and
rehabilitating their combatants, he added.