‘Let us not worry about expenditure but COVID-19 now,’ says PM Oli

Kathmandu / June 10: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has suggested that the lawmakers should worry more about COVID-19 prevention rather than on the expenses on the prevention, control and treatment of coronavirus.

He said this while responding to lawmakers’ questions on topics related to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the National Planning Commission (NPC) Secretariat, the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President under the Appropriation Bill 2077 in the House of Representatives today.

“I do not claim that the amount might not have been misused anywhere and I do not see there is situation to doubt this as well. Let us not worry about the expenditure made in the prevention, control and treatment of coronavirus now, but worry about containing COVID-19,” he said, responding a question regarding the misuse of funds in the name of containing COVID-19 pandemic.

The PM also reiterated that it would not be tolerated if anyone indulged in corruption in a situation of national crisis and global pandemic like this, vowing to bring anyone involved in such misappropriation in the ambit of action.

He tried to assuage the lawmakers not to worry about misuse of funds set aside for fighting against COVID-19 as transparency would be maintained about the expenditure being made at present in that connection and as the Office of the Auditor General would be making an oversight on it.

Stating that more than 85 per cent among the people with COVID-19 in the country were India-returnees, PM Oli said although some mismanagement was seen as tests for coronavirus had to be carried out on a large number of people, efforts were being made to bring improvements in the management.

“Two hundred twenty two thousand 614 Nepalis have returned home from India so far immediately after the outbreak of COVID-19 there.

Around 5,000 are returning daily at present. One hundred sixty five thousand 775 are in quarantine,” he said, adding that problems were faced as a large number of people had to be kept in quarantine and PCR tests conducted on them.

Prime Minister said so far coronavirus infection has been found in 4,085 persons and 584 have returned home after recovery. He said the 15 people said to have died from COVID-19 have died as they were very sick due to several other ailments besides COVID-19, citing the number of people recovering was heartening compared to the number of casualties.

The PM argued that the number of infected people and those dying from COVID-19 would not be much as compared to other countries in the coming days since the Nepalis have better immunity and treatment arrangements.

Stating that 14 thousand 414 Nepalis abroad have been infected with coronavirus and 127 of them have died in 13 various countries, he said 5,000 tests for coronavirus are being carried out daily at present and the government has been working vigorously on the use of new technology.

According to him, so far more than 106 thousand people have been tested using the PCR technology and the quarantine capacity has been expanded to 235 thousand 596. There are 8033 general beds and 900 ventilators in the government and private sector health facilities. Similarly, there are 1,700 ICU in 194 hospitals.

Effectiveness of NPC is growing

Prime Minister Oli said the NPC was moving ahead in a planned way for fulfilling the ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ programme that the government has brought by making a time-bound action plan.

“NPC has formulated the Five-year Plan, it has also been carrying out monitoring and evaluation, and making plans through the Project Bank. It has pursued plans and works in a very systematic way,” he said.

PM Oli contended that the monetary allocation has been done in an appropriate manner in the budget for the next fiscal year. Reiterating that the government has seriously paid its attention to national problems, he said the government was equally serious regarding corruption control and maintaining law and order.

Prime Minister Oli stressed that those indulging in corruption have been prosecuted.

Effectiveness of offices under OPMCM increasing

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has claimed that the effectiveness of all those agencies functioning under the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) has increased lately.

PM Oli said so while responding to the queries raised by parliamentarians in today’s meeting of the House of Representatives during the deliberation on various titles of OPMCM, National Commission Secretariat, Office of President and Vice-President under the Appropriation Bill-2077 BS.

Stating that there was no other ulterior motives to bring those agencies under the OPMCM except for making the government’s performance further effective, PM Oli reaffirmed that the works of those line agencies had been forwarded in an effective manner.

Confessing that he had no intention to concentrate power on him, Oli argued that those agencies’ effective performances in the later days had spoken volume for themselves and validated keeping these agencies under the OPMCM.

Government agencies and constitutional bodies such as National Investigation Department, Poverty Alleviation Fund, Development Board, National Planning Commission, National Development Council, National Vigilance Centre, Constitutional Council Secretariat, Department of Money Laundering Investigation, Central Bureau of Statistics and Department of Revenue Investigation and Office of Attorney General Office function under the OPMCM.

PM Oli had brought these agencies under the OPMCM over different periods in his second stint of premiership. RSS

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