Question-answer session between MPs and govt ministers in House of Reps - English Version of Pharak Sandesh

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Question-answer session between MPs and govt ministers in House of Reps

Kathmandu, Feb 6 : A new practice of question-answer session between lawmakers and the government ministers has been initiated in the House of Representatives, the lower House of the Federal Parliament. 

This practice is in line with the provision made in the Federal Parliament Business Operation Regulation under which the lawmakers can ask questions related to issues of public concern and daily life of the people to the ministers concerned.
 
As per the provision, the lawmakers should submit written questions to the Parliament Secretariat first and the Secretariat makes arrangements for question and answer session between the MPs and the ministers based on necessity. The lawmakers can also ask supplementary questions to the minister if they are not satisfied with the answer furnished by the minister. 

Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa; Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal; Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens Thama Maya Thapa; Minister for Forests and Environment Shakti Bahadur Basnet and Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada faced the lawmakers' questions in the today's meeting of the House of Representatives.
 
Lawmaker Devendra Raj Kandel put a question to the Home Minister asking for explanation regarding the police encounter with Gopal Tamang and Ajaya Tamang, the alleged kidnappers of 11-year-old boy Nishan Khadka. The Tamang duo was killed in what police described as an encounter. The Tamang duo had kidnapped the boy on August 6, 2018 from Kandaghari of Bhaktapur and killed him for ransom. 

In reply, Home Minister Thapa said that the police had opened fire in self-defence after the kidnappers tried to shoot at the security personnel. He clarified to the parliament that Gopal and Ajaya were killed when police shot at them in self-defence. 

The Home Minister added that the police had to fire in self defence after they came under fire from the criminals when the former were making attempts to arrest them in a safe way. 

Lawmaker Bal Krishna Khand had put a question as to who ordered the police encounter. Responding to Khand, Home Minister Thapa stated that the situation itself warrants the police encounter.
 
MP Dila Sangraula quizzed the Home Minister when the murderers of Nirmala Panta would be arrested, saying the criminals who raped and killed the 13-year girl from Kanchanpur were hiding in Singha Durbar. 

Responding to this question, the Home Minister expressed his commitment to book Panta's killers. He said the criminals involved in this heinous crime would not be spared whether they be hiding in Baluwatar or Singha Durbar. 

He reiterated that the government was working vigorously to track the criminal(s) behind this abominable rape and murder case at the earliest possible. He clarified that investigation into the case was continuing and even the police officers who showed lapses in the investigation into this case in the past have been taken action against. 

"The state cannot let off any criminal. The criminals cannot escape the long arm of the law. The parliament has expressed its concern over the issue and the government is serious in this regard," Home Minister Thapa said. 

Stating that the government has become successful in resolving 96 per cent of criminal cases and the Nepal Police was active in searching for the criminals behind the remaining four per cent of crimes, he said no one involved in any type of crime would be let off and every incident of crime would be minutely investigated into and the criminals brought to book. 

Lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa questioned Home Minister Thapa about identifying the culprit of Nirmala rape-and-murder case although Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwor Pokhrel had sometimes ago announced that the government would find out the culprit within five days. 

According to Minister Thapa, Pokhrel's views on the same could have come on the basis of the government's pledge to find the culprit at the earliest. 

Lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu asked why the government had used force while the Nepal Students Union agitators had peacefully put forth their demand. 

Minister Thapa responded that the government and Ministry of Home Affairs did not receive any information on the same. 

Stating that the Nirmala rape-and-murder case was a meal's ticket for some NGOs and a means for the opposition party to engage in politicking, Minister Thapa expressed his confidence that the government would identify the culprit soon. 

Ram Bahadur Bista also nailed down Minister Thapa when will the government find out the culprit of 19-year-old Namaraj Bista's murder case taken place in Mangalsen in Achham district some seven months ago. 

Likewise, lawmaker Ghanashyam Khatiwada asked the government about progress made in connection to finding the culprit of the poisoned water consumption case in Letang Municipality-9 in Morang district on August 14. 

More than two dozen students had fallen sick after drinking water laced with poison at Shree Secondary School. 

Minister Thapa replied that hair-splitting investigation into the both cases was underway.
 
Agriculture Minister says government's stress is on producing organic food 
Meanwhile, to the question posed by lawmaker Ram Bahadur Bista on when can Nepalis consume pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal answered that the government had emphasized on production of organic food items, vegetables and fruits. 

According to him, around 700 vegetables and fruits samples tested in the lab recently, it was found that around 90 per cent of them were organically grown. 

He also said that the Pesticides Act 2048 was under amendment and the government had been launching the organic manure. 

Replying to Dr Minendra Rijal's supplementary question that one cannot believe that the food items, fruits and vegetables available in the market are free of pesticide, Minister Khanal said, "The use of bio pesticide is growing and the use of hazardous pesticide is nominal. So, the availability of pesticide-free food items, vegetables and fruits is increasing." 

To MP Devendra Raj Kandel's supplementary question as to when the country will become pesticide-free, Minister Khanal said, "The government is on a campaign of making Province-6 as the 'Organic Product Province'. The government is oriented towards making the country pesticide-free on a gradual basis." 

MPs Rajendra Kumar KC and Rajendra Lingden also had put supplementary questions to the Agriculture Minister on the occasion.(RSS)

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