"MPs Know What Their Constituents Want"

Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel holds the view that there is the need of some kind of fund for CA members to launch development activities. Excerpts:

July 13, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -3 July. 11- 2014 (Ashar 27, 2071)

What is the stand of Nepali Congress on the Parliamentarian Development Fund?

Our party has already decided to look into the demands of parliamentarians. Since the CA members have made many promises to the local people, it is natural for them to seek some kind of fund from the state. I do see nothing wrong with it.

So you are in favor of providing Rs.50 million to each CA member?

We are yet to fix the amount of money. What we want is some money at the disposition of the CA members in order to carry out development activities in their own respective constituencies. As elected representatives, the CA members need to look into the demand of the local people.

Don’t you think this is a huge amount of money?

I have already said that it is a question not of how much money, but a question of the legitimate right of CA members to spend a certain amount of money at their own discretion. We are not demanding the money just like that, we want it used under the legitimate channel like District Development Committee.

This means Nepali Congress will push this agenda?

Our central committee has directed the parliamentary committee to seriously look at the demands of CA members. We will recommend to the government on this after intensive discussions.

How do you respond to the reactions and criticisms coming from the public?

There are only a handful of people opposing the proposal. So far as a majority of people are concerned, they are with us. People in rural parts of Nepal are with us. After all, we are elected representatives of the people and we know what the people want.

That means Nepali Congress will push for Rs. 50 million?

As a leader of the party, I have to consider the views expressed by the elected representatives.  As you know, the CA members are accountable to the people and they know much better than what a few people who are creating a hue and cry.

Have you read the Auditor General’s report that pointed out how CA members of previous Constituent Assembly misused the money rampantly?

This happens often. Some members might have misused the money. So far as a majority are concerned, the money was used rightly under the guidelines of District Development Committee (DDC). One must be clear that we are not demanding cash, our demand is to allocate certain amount of money which can be spent under the jurisdiction of CA members. That is all. There is nothing to create a hue and cry.

What about other facilities?

Our party will decide after extensive discussions and consultations.

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