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Govt to form probe panel to look into budget leak

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has expressed its commitment to form a probe panel to address the demand of the main opposition party Nepali Congress.

The probe panel will investigate into leak of vital facts and figures of budget that was presented by Finance Minister Bshnu Paudel in the House on Saturday.

A meeting of the ruling alliance called by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday morning made the decision to that effect.

The government agreed on forming the probe committee after NC repeatedly disrupted the parliamentary meeting on Monday for four consecutive times despite Speaker Onsari Gharti’s attempt to commence the meeting.

The NC had announced that it would not let the debate on budget begin unless the Parliament formed a probe panel to look into how media got information about size and features of the budget announcement before it was presented at the House on Saturday.

On Monday too, the NC had obstructed the House proceedings demanding investigation into the budget leak.

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Govt fixes 18 ministries including Office of PM in Center

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has fixed 18 ministries, including the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) from the current 30, at the central level, under the new federal setup.

A cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar on Friday fixed the number of ministries including the OPMCM at 18.

The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli decided to limit the Cabinet to 18 ministries, including the Prime Minister’s Office, according to Environment Minister Lal Babu Pandit.

“Now the number of ministries will be 18, with the OPMCM included,” Minister Pandit told reporters following the cabinet meeting.

The cabinet decision comes two days after leaders of the left alliance–CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center)–agreed to bring down the number of ministries to 18 at the federal level.

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The new constitution has stated the central government can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the prime minister.

Besides the OPMCM, the proposed 17 ministries are the federal affairs and general administration; ministries of finance and planning; foreign affairs; defense; physical infrastructure and transport; health and population; information and communications; law, justice and parliamentary affairs; culture, tourism and civil aviation; labor, employment, women and children; urban development, drinking water and sanitation; and agriculture, cooperatives and land management; education and sports; home affairs; forest and environment; water resources and energy; industry, commerce and supplies.

Likewise, the Cabinet meeting has also appointed CPN-UML politburo member Bishnu Rimal as Chief Political Advisor to PM. Earlier, Rimal had served as the chief political advisor during Oli’s previous premiership.

The decision will come into effect after the government endorses the proposal on the jurisdictions of the 17 ministries, according to OPMCM officials.

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