Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today said that his government is committed to holding the final phase of local-level polls on September 18 as part of the successful implementation of the new Constitution. The immediate responsibility of the government is to increase the ownership of the new Constitution, he said. It is also the government’s top priority to implement the new Constitution successfully, Deuba said while inaugurating the second Responsible Business Summit by National Business Initiative. “Two phases of the local-level elections have already been held and the government is committed to holding the final phase of polls on September 18,” he said.\
The government has been making necessary preparations for provincial and federal parliament elections and the election Constituency Delineation Commission has started its work for the same, the prime minister said. Major political parties are gearing up for the third phase of the local-level polls to be held in the Madhesi province after it was postponed by the government. The local-level polls, being held in Nepal for the first time in almost two decades, is scheduled to take place in eight districts including in Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Dhanusha, Saptari and Siraha of southern Nepal under the Madhesi- stronghold province No 2.
Millions of Nepalese voted on June 28 in the second phase of the polls as the Himalayan nation took a crucial step towards cementing democracy amid political turmoil. Deuba said that “increasing gross domestic product, creating additional employment and increasing investment are the priorities for the government”. Increasing national and foreign investment in the country is the government’s top priority, he said. The government has amended certain laws and some other laws are in the process of amendment in order to attract more investment, he said.
“We are preparing to remove administrative and legal hassles for increasing investment. Those showing interest in investment will get all necessary support,” he said. The meaning of responsible business is to spend certain amount of profit for social programme and a major responsibility of a responsible businessman is also to abide by the state’s rules and regulations, he said. Businessmen should try to address issues such as poverty alleviation, conflict management, ending financial inequality and environmental imbalance, Deuba said. More than a hundred traders and industrialists from India, China and Singapore, among other countries, have been participating in the two-day programme.
Nepal has been witnessing political instability. Some Madhes-centric parties opposed the elections on the ground that the new Constitution be amended to accommodate their views: more representation in the Parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries. The Nepal government has tabled a new Constitution amendment bill in the Parliament to address the demands of the agitating Madhesis. Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.