Coalition partners meet to set budget prioritiesParties also discuss possible induction of Rastriya Swatantra Party to the Cabinet.
The ruling coalition held a meeting on Wednesday and discussed the principles and priorities of the government’s annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Preliminary discussion on next fiscal year’s policies, programmes, and the budget was held at the meeting of the coalition partners, said Manhari Timalsina, a media advisor to the prime minister. “Next coalition meeting is slated for Friday.”
While negotiations were underway to bring the Rastriya Swatantra Party to the Cabinet and the Prime Minister Dahal seemed keen on the issue, he surprisingly appointed three ministers from the Nepali Congress.
Congress Vice President Dhan Raj Gurung has been appointed the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, and two other leaders of the party, Mohan Bahadur Basnet and Dig Bahadur Limbu, have been named minister for Health and Population and minister for Sports, respectively. The newly appointed ministers will take the office of oath and secrecy on Thursday.
According to Congress chief whip Ramesh Lekhak, they also discussed inducting the Rastriya Swatantra Party in the Cabinet. “The prime minister has been discussing bringing the Rastriya Swatantra Party in the government. He might address the matter and take it to a conclusion,” he said after the meeting.
Prime Minister Dahal had held back-to-back talks with Rastriya Swatantra Party chair Rabi Lamichhane after the recently concluded bypolls. Moreover, he had publicly said talks were ongoing to bring the RSP in government and that he was willing to incorporate the party’s agenda in the coalition’s common minimum programme.
Also at an event on Monday, Dahal had urged Lamichhane to join the government. He further claimed that he was ready to probe past and present cases of corruption. The Lamichhane-led party has made fighting corruption as its major agenda.