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Nepal government to retrieve encroached lands: Minister Banskota

Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Banskota press meet

KATHMANDU: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Banskota, has said government would bring back all encroached government lands under its ownership. Spokesperson of the government, Minister Banskota underscored that serious discussions were held on protection of government properties, and the government would make public information on the encroached lands after study.

The Spokesperson said this during a weekly press meet organized to share Cabinet decisions on Thursday. “The protection of government lands is not only related to land, but to the public property and economy,” he said, adding that even the policy and program mentioned it bearing its significance.

According to him, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s formal visits to Vietnam and Cambodia were as per government commitment to taking Nepal’s foreign relations to a new height. “Both countries have spent long time in peace process after conflict. They have made developments out of destruction. So, the exchange of their experience and struggle and ours can beneficial,” he argued.

The Minister further said Vietnam has been able to strengthen economy and made progress on postal service, which Nepal can learn.

Responding to a query raised by journalist, Minister Banskota asserted that Visit Nepal Year 2020 would not be affected because the PM himself was looking after the Tourism Ministry. The preparations are in full swing to make the Visit Year successful. It is also mentioned in the policy and program.

Good relations with opposition
As the Minister said the government had good relations with the opposition because its concern were addressed. He however said opposition always creates disputes on government activities in parliament, so current responses from opposition carry no weight.

He lauded the government policy and programs, saying it is very good. “As per the parliamentary practice, opposition always objects to good programs, so it reactions are natural,” he added.

The spokesperson of the government accused the opposition parties of unnecessarily exaggerating the words ‘Mero Sarkar’ (my government) used by President Bidya Devi Bhandari while reading out government’s policy and programmes. He referred to former King Mahendra using the words for the first time, ‘Jay Nepal’, which Nepali Congress too uses now, and wondered, “Does it mean the NC has been ‘Jay Nepalbadi’ of Mahendra?”

“This government is for all Nepalis. This government is yours, mine and President’s. Instead of wasting time on words, a discourse should be held on where the state is heading to achieve social economic development of the country,” he underscored.

The meeting decided to accept loan worth USD 100 million to be received from the International Development Association of the World Bank Group as part of second phase to make policy reforms in public finance management.
Likewise, it was decided on extending term of current Nepal’s Ambassador to the United States of America Dr Arjun Kumar Karki until another person is appointed to the post.

The government will acquire approximately 1,440 hectares of land at Ratamate of Nuwakot district and Bardaghat of Nawalparasi and various places of Dhading, Chitwan, Tanahun, Makawanpur districts to construct 400 KV transmission line and substations.

Loksanchar Marga that is incorporated in the possible strategic roads operated under the Department of Roads will be put under the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport.

The meeting decided to allow chopping down additional 899 trees along the project route for the 400 KV Hetauda-Dhalkebar-Duhabi transmission line (second part).
Likewise, it was decided to give agreement to the government to sign an air service agreement between Nepal and Vietnam.

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