Govt to foot Rs 14m bill for treating Madhes agitation injured

GYAN P NEUPANE

KATHMANDU, Sept 23: The government has decided to provide Rs 14 million to cover the expenses incurred in the treatment of  protesters injured during the Madhes agitations last year. This is as per the demands of the agitating Madhes-based parties.

Government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki informed that the government will pay all the medical bills submitted to the Home Ministry by the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), an alliance of the agitating parties.

“The cabinet meeting has decided to bear expenses of Rs 14 million incurred in the treatment of the injured protesters,”  Karki told reporters while emerging from the meeting held at the prime minister’s office at Singha Durbar on Thursday.

The UDMF had earlier submitted bills for around Rs 8.7 million that the agitating parties reportedly owed to various hospitals. Similarly, they demanded around Rs 4.2 million for the families of the injured. UDMF leaders submitted the bills and other details to Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi on September 18.

Meanwhile, the cabinet meeting has appointed Kamini Rajbhandari as executive director of Nepal Telecom (NT). She has hitherto been working as Chief Technical Officer at NT.
Minister Karki also informed that the government has increased the monthly salaries of post office staff by 25 percent with effect from the start of the current fiscal year.

According to him, the government has decided to establish High Court Attorney Offices in Biratnagar, Janakpur, Patan, Pokhara, Tulasipur, Birendranagar and Dipayal, under the federal setup. The government had earlier formed the seven high courts in those cities.

Govt to shorten bidding process
Minister Karki informed that the government is planning to shorten the existing procurement procedures and establish a fast track bidding system.

“The government has been preparing to award contracts through a fast track,” he told reporters. “The next cabinet meeting will finalize all procedural matters.”

He also said that the new system will be helpful in awarding contracts speedily and this will eventually expedite the work progress.

“If we want to build a toilet under the existing procurement act, it will take almost three months. We therefore wanted to introduce a fast track system,” he informed.

First appeared in Republica national daily

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