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UCPN-M will make new efforts for national consensus government: Gajurel

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SINDHULI — Minister for Agriculture and the treasurer of the main ruling partner UCPN-Maoist Haribol Gajurel on Monday contended that though the party’s efforts to form a national consensus government failed this time, it would be make efforts for the same again.

Minister Gajurel spoke of the need of the formation of a national consensus government to lead the country towards the path of development and to create ground for the effective enforcement of constitution while laying the foundation stone for a new building of Jhagajholi-based Pragatisheel Higher Secondary School in Sindhuli today.

Country’s existing education policy must also be revised for better results, he added.

The construction of the school building is estimated to cost around Rs 15 million and Rs 7 million has been collected so far through the initiation of former students, locals and students.

Minister Gajurel also informed that peasants will start getting pensions from the upcoming fiscal year after going through their categorisation.

Though Nepal falls in the category of agro-based country, state investment in this sector is very minimum and the government is committed to motivate people involved in this sector, by launching various programmes for their benefit.

Minister was on his way to Mahottari in order to attend the national convention of the All Nepal National Peasants’ Association.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

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KATHMANDU — The new government is likely to have 15 to 18 ministries in total as Prime mInister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to give his cabinet a full shape.

As per discussion between Prime Minister Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the government may include Madhes-based parties to make the government inclusive and have two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

According to Article 76 (9) of the constitution, the number of ministers cannot exceed 25 in the federal Cabinet. With the new constitution limiting the size of Council of Ministers to 25, the new governing team could be limited to 18 members including three state ministers. A formal decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Speaking at a program organised in Kathmandu on Tuesday, UML leader Pradeep said: “Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on Wednesday. A few Maoist ministers will be joining the Oli government.”

“Our taskforce has recommended that the government form a 15-member Cabinet. Some of the ministries will be integrated and others scrapped.”

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Ishwor Pokhrel, Pradeep Gyawali, Rabindra Adhikari, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Padma Aryal are the probable ministerial candidates from the UML.

Like3wise, Maoist chair Dahal and senior CPN-MC leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa have been given the responsibility of selecting ministers from their party.

Probable ministerial candidates from the Maoist Centre include Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, Devendra Poudel, Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal, Pun, Girirajmani Pokhrel and Dev Gurung, according to the sources.

Thapa may lead the CPN-MC in the government as deputy prime minister. Yadav is being considered for appointment since he represents Madhes, Bhusal as a woman while Poudel is one of the leaders who joined the party lately. Poudel had left the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party to join the Maoist Centre just ahead of unification talks with the UML.

Leaders involved in discussions said the Maoist Centre could appoint up to eight ministers if the Cabinet size does not exceed 18.

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