`Nepal`s peace process to be concluded in 45 days`
Nepali Congress has rejected an appeal by the prime minister to join the ruling coalition.
Kathmandu: Nepal`s Maoist-led government
will complete all works related to the stalled peace process,
including the integration of the former rebels with the
security forces in the next 45 days as a breakthrough was
expected soon, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun said today.
"There will be a break-through in the peace process
soon," he said.
"All the works relating to the peace process including
integration and rehabilitation of the Maoist combatants will
be completed in the next 45 days," Pun told PTI in an
interview in the capital.
He underlined that the government-led by Prime Minister
Babu Ram Bhattarai is committed to conclude the peace process
within one-and-a-half months.
The country has faced political instability and deadlock
since the 2008 election to the parliament, delaying the peace
process and drafting of a new constitution.
One of the key sticking points in the peace plan has
been the proposed integration of 19,000 former Maoist rebel
fighters into the army, with military leaders and the main
opposition Nepali Congress resisting the en massed
The former Maoist fighters have been confined in
cantonments across the country with more than 3,400 weapons
following the 2006 Compressive Peace Accord.
However, the Finance Minister claimed there is not much
difference among the major political parties regarding the
number of combatants to be integrated into the Nepal Army.
"Although we are voicing for integrating 8,000 combatants
in the security forces and the main opposition Nepali Congress
has suggested only 4,000 combatants, a middle point can be
reached through negotiations," he pointed out.
The Finance Minister said those Maoist combatants who
wish to be rehabilitated into the society will get between Rs
7 lakhs and 1 lakh as "golden handshake" depending upon their
Pun also said that the combatants who wish to be
integrated into the society may choose whether they want to go
abroad for foreign employment, or self-employment, work in
health or education sector.
In reply to a question on the possibility of formation of
the national unity government with the inclusion of the Nepali
Congress and CPN-UML, he said: "We will go for a national
consensus government once the peace process concludes."
Nepali Congress has rejected an appeal by the prime
minister to join the ruling coalition, saying it was not
possible until the Maoists hand over all the weapons of their
former guerrilla forces to the government.
Earlier this month, the Maoist party started the process
to hand over the keys of the containers with arms to a Special
Committee entrusted with supervision, integration and
rehabilitation the Maoists` Peoples Liberation Army (PLA).
On the issue of labour unrest and insecurity among
entrepreneurs, he underlined the government`s commitment to
provide security to foreign investments, including Indian
He said the government will create an environment which
is friendly to foreign investment so as to attract investment
from foreign countries.
He said the government will provide all necessary support
and security to re-open the largest garment factory belong to
Surya Nepal, subsidiary of the ITC, which was closed last
month due to labour unrest.
The election of 57-year-old India-educated Bhattarai as
the new Prime Minister on August 28 came after weeks of
wrangling among the major political parties.
The political deadlock has impacted adversely the law and
order situation in the country, including leading to shutdown