Oppn parties urge prez not to endorse budget ordinance
KATHMANDU, July 4: The major opposition parties, who have been opposing the government´s move to bring a full-fledged budget, have formally asked President Ram Baran Yadav not to endorse the budget ordinance.
Top leaders of the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), CPN-ML and Rastriya Janasakti Party (RJP) on Wednesday met the president at his office and asked him in writing to invoke his constitutional powers to block the caretaker government´s move to introduce full-fledged budget.
"As per the constitutional provision, the president can approve an ordinance only if he is satisfied," said CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal after submitting a joint written request to the president.
Khanal was referring to Article 88 of the interim constitution. The provision says the president, on the recommendation of the cabinet, may promulgate an ordinance when there is no session of parliament.
Besides Khanal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, RPP Chairman Pashupati SJB Rana, CPN-UML General Secretary CP Mainali and RJP Co-Chairman Prakash Chandra Lohani had reached the president´s office to make the formal request.
The leaders, who have been meeting the president frequently in recent weeks, made the formal request, stating the government´s ´move to introduce full-fledge budget is “unconstitutional”.
Earlier on Tuesday, a meeting of 22 political parties, including the NC, CPN-UML and the newly formed CPN-Maoist, had decided to make such a request to the president.
In the written request, the parties have maintained that promulgation of a full-fledged budget would push the country toward further political and constitutional crisis.
"Even in the past, the caretaker government had introduced only a partial budget under the existing constitutional provision," said Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat, indicating that they would accept it if the present government brings a partial budget as per Article 96 (2) of the interim constitution.
The provision says, "A vote on account bill shall not be introduced until the estimates of revenues and expenditures have been presented in accordance with the provisions of Article 93, and the sums involved in the vote on account shall not exceed one-third of the estimate of expenditures for the financial year."
Mainali said the president told them that he would move as per the recent decision of the Supreme Court on the issue of budget promulgation.
"He told us that the government and his institution would act in accordance with the constitution," said Mainali.