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Government has no intention to curb press freedom but anarchy: Commnications Minister Baskota

Kathmandu, July 5:  Ministers have started replying queries of lawmakers in the National Assembly over various headings of the Appropriation Bill from today.

While responding to the queries, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Banskota said that the government is willing to control the anarchy, not press freedom.  Minister Banskota clarified that the government has no intentions of curtailing the press foredoom.

He also said that the sovereign Parliament is the only right place to hold discussions on any matters.  Minister Banskota opined for holding healthy discussions on any bill in the parliament before endorsing it.  Stating that works towards the expansion of 4G services were forwarded; he presented the studies conducted on the 4G expansion case by the parliamentary committee.

Furthermore, the Minister informed about the upgradation and expansion of Nepal Television and Radio Nepal’s reach. Minister Banskota clarified that the journalists should get minimum wage and reaffirmed his commitment to work for the cause of journalists.

Similarly, replying to lawmakers’ queries, Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada clarified that the recently unveiled budget for the fiscal year 2019/20 has not discriminated against anyone. The budget is socialism-oriented. He also called for all to come together to make the country prosperous instead of blaming each other.

The budget focuses on education and health has been distributed proportionally and on human development index, he said, adding that new projects were initiated with the due procedure for state and local levels.

Minister for youth sports Jagat Bahadur Bishwakarma, while responding to the queries of lawmakers in the Upper House today said the budget has been allocated to make youths self-employed with a concept of one youth club in one local level and one youth employment program.

He further said the budget was also allotted for construction of two stadiums in each province, construction of sports infrastructure in Karnali province, and construction of sports academy in Hetauda to enhance the capacity of players among others.

Forest and environment minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet said upcoming fiscal year budget was brought to protect forest areas, herbs cultivation and storing, control of environment degradation,  president Chure preservation, protection of wild animals and programs to make the visit Nepali 2020 by preserving 60 percent special area for tourists and 15 percent areas for nature-based tourism development.

Minister for land management and cooperatives and poverty alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal said upcoming fiscal year budget was oriented towards managing free bonded laborers and bonded laborers prioritizing in the creation of job for them. She further said works are underway by forming a high-level commission to protect the encroachment of Guthi and public lands.

Minister for urban development Mahommad Istiyak Rai said Ministry has been moving ahead to complete old projects in the coming fiscal year. The minister further said bases for Mega-city and smart city have been forwarded.

Likewise, minister for Water Supply, Bina Magar, has said relieving the people of Tarai/Madhesh of the compulsion of using arsenic-contaminated water is the first priority of the ministry.

She informed the Upper House that the implementation of remaining works of the first phase of Melamchi Drinking Water Project had been initiated. She assured that all districts would be declared open defecation-free zones in the next fiscal year.


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