Friday, November 27, 2020

National Planning Commission faces battery of questions


Narayan Neupane


National Planning Commission (NPC) has faced battery of questions on its relevance after the progress of the national pride projects was slow off the mark. During the 43rd meeting of the national development problems solution committee, the Prime Minister and Ministers questioned the NPC's role and relevance after hearing the miserable progress of the development projects in the country.

"What's the meaning of NPC which has failed to suggest plan, make amendments, point out weakness, and show methods of solution," PM KP Sharma Oli wondered in the meeting. He vented the ire that it was not good to have NPC's suggestion as if these are the mantras chanted by traditional shaman.

To the NPC, which has been contributing to country's policy making and budgeting for six decades, the PM added the huge reform was needed in it

Similarly, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population, Upendra Yadav, said as per the NPC there was 50 percent progress in the last 30 years in the national pride project. In more than a decade, the construction of postal highway made 25 percent success. "At such situation, what's the relevance of NPC? I can debate for hours on it, we are backtracking," he argued, why and where we failed to set development priority.

Unless health and education are improved, prosperity is not possible, according to him.

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav said the slogan, 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali' could not be feasible from the present 'wrong' working style regarding project selection.

The NPC team led by its vice-chairman Dr Pushpa Raj Kandel, is preparing to formulate the 15th National Plan and reviewing the 14th five-year plan.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanubhakta Dhakal said he was surprised by the report presented that there was no problem in the government ministries directly concerned with the public in the context of public complaint of lack of good governance in the country linking with corruption and bureaucratic red tape.

Education and Technology Minister Giriraj Mani Pokharel stressed on the need of clear work plan to mobilize resources and human resources.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradip Gyawali said there is the need of constructive intervention and a project bank to remove the problems resulting from lack of inter-ministry coordination in connection to taking forward the infrastructure development projects.

Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management, Raghuveer Mahaseth warned that his ministry would start carrying out works in its own way if it did not get the response from NPC on time regarding its requests to address the problems seen in course of project implementation.

Labour and Employment Minister Gokarna Bista underlined the need of identifying the problem and locating it in the construction of development infrastructures in order to address it. He also stressed on inter-ministry level coordination in the design and implementation of development projects.

The meeting highlighted selection of development projects on the basis of their appropriateness and not on the influence of some leaders or access to power in the backdrop of the most of the projects not meeting the target. RSS

Published on 16 September 2018