Leaders from ruling CPN and opposition parties including former prime minister (PM) have taken exception to the government decision to hand over procurement of medical supplies to the Nepal Army (NA) in coordination with the Defense Ministry.
Federal Council Chairman of Socialist Party Nepal and former PM Baburam Bhattarai has questioned the decision when there are civilian bodies. "Virus is not killed by the guns and bullets. So, why has the government put the army forward to procure medical supplies from China? Are there no civilian bodies like commerce and supplies (ministry)? Why were they not brought through G2G (government-t-government) agreement earlier? Or is it because the army is not under jurisdiction of CIAA? Why take a step back when there is a call to chop the thief's leg (a Nepali proverb)?" Bhattarai has tweeted on Friday.
RPP Chairman and former deputy PM Kamal Thapa has also opined that the army should not be used for public procurement. "It will not be appropriate to use the army even in the work of public procurement. The army should also not accept such responsibility. That will prove that the government's capacity for regular works has been compromised and it has become incompetent. I don't think we are in that situation yet," Thapa has tweeted.
Central member of ruling CPN Bishnu Rijal has said handing over such responsibilities to the army will weaken the system. "Responsibility to build houses at the time of hurricanes to army. Responsibility to procure medicines at the time of pandemic to army. Responsibility to build road with big budget to army. This is not the work of this army. Those handing over the responsibility and those accepting may feel good as the CIAA does not get to look into the army but that will weaken our system. Let's think for the long run," Rijal has tweeted.
Central member of the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) Pradeep Paudel has also slammed the decision and accused that the current government is facing a crisis of confidence. "How can the people's health be secured by those who indulge in plunder? The government leading the disaster is in crisis of confidence. The Cabinet looks like a gang of middlemen. And again the decision to give it to army? Dear PM do immediately sack Deputy Prime Minister Ishwore Pokharel and Health Minister Bhanubhakta Dhakal to maintain your credibility," Paudel has tweeted.
The government on Thursday handed over the responsibility of bringing medical equipment from China to the Nepal Army (NA).
The government opted for the NA following irregularities in the earlier procurement process. The government on Wednesday unilaterally revoked the contract with Omni Group, that had brought the first lot of medical materials from China on Sunday, citing the latter's inability to bring additional materials.
The government will now bring the materials through government to government agreement and the NA will be given responsibility to bring that.
Published Date: Friday, Chaitra 21, 2076, 12:41:00