Lockdown lifted to ease pubic life: Minister Khatiwada
Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada, has made it clear that lockdown was lifted not because the threat of coronavirus subsided but to ease the public life. Minister Khatiwada further warned of increasing cases of coronavirus if the people did not become alert.
Minister Khatiwada said it during a press meet organized to share the decisions of the Cabinet meeting held last Monday. “Both the government and citizens have equal role to minimize the risk of coronavirus spread. Government is committed to making people’s life normal,” he added, urging everyone to maintain social distance.
He further argued that grappling with the virus, it is essential to return to normal life. “As per global practice, government emerged tough with lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus and lifted it by making people aware of health safety,” Minister Khatiwada reminded. Moreover, the Minister said Nepal-India border is still closed and decision on it would be taken after taking stock of the situation.
The security agencies have been directed to curb the surreptitious entry at night time. The local levels were also directed to disinfect the schools used for quarantines and resuming teaching-learning activities. Now onwards, no school building would be used for quarantines, he added. The government also decided to begin school admission of new academic year (2077) from coming Bhadra 1 and immediately publish the result of the last year if it is not done.
The schools are asked to make available the textbooks and teachers. It was also decided by the government to provide Rs 200 thousand to each household losing family member in the disaster. The relief amount would be Rs 200 thousand in case of a loss of one family members which would be increased by Rs 100 thousand for each loss over one member of the family. One door policy of relief distribution will be adopted- it will be mobilized by the respective local levels with the coordination of Chief District Officer.
Likewise, the cabinet meeting decided to appoint Buddhi Bahadur KC as the Executive Director of Radio Nepal while Dr Mohan Krishna Shrestha was appointed the Chairman of Nepal Health Professional Council. Furthermore, the meeting approved the resignation of Dr Uma Shankar Prasad tendered as the Chairman of Health Insurance Board.
Minister Dr Khatiwada shared that the cabinet meeting also promoted joint-secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini to the post of secretary. The council of ministers also approved 64 temporary posts for medical education commission and different programmes, projects and committees under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Khatiwada shared. Likewise, such temporary posts have also been approved for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Commission on Enforced Disappearances, Nepal Veterinary Innovation Project and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
Furthermore, decision has been taken to constitute a talk team under the joint-secretary of International Finance Assistance Coordination Division of the Ministry of Finance to receive Rs 5.96 billion in loan and grant assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to implement the projects for river basin flood risk management. The meeting also decided to allow import of 10,000 metric tonnes of sugar to Food Management and Trading Company Limited and 20,000 metric tonnes of sugar to Salt Trading Corporation Limited with 50 per cent customs subsidy.
Spokesperson Dr Khatiwada said that Deputy Inspectors General of Nepal Police Niraj Bahadur Shahi and Pradhyumna Kumar Karki were promoted to the post of Additional Inspectors General. The cabinet meeting has also given a nod to the Embassy of Nepal in Oman to sign a contract to lease the land plot for 20 years to build embassy building, chancery and ambassador’s residence.
According to Dr Khatiwada, the government dissolved the central working committee of Nepal Children’s Organization and decided to appoint Bidhya Upadhyay Neupane as the Chairperson of the Organization. Similarly, the central working committee of the Nepal Red Cross Society was dissolved and a 33-member ad-hoc committee under Dr Netra Prasad Timilsina was formed.
The cabinet meeting also appointed Bhuwan Purna Satyal as the Military Attaché in Embassy of Nepal in Washington DC; Mohan Chhetri in Embassy of Nepal in Beijing; Roshan Shumsher JBR in Embassy of Nepal in Dhaka; Ratna Bahadur Godar in Embassy of Nepal in London; Ram Chandra Khatri in Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi; Jagdish Khadka in Permanent Mission of Nepal in UN and Amrit Kaji Gurung in Embassy of Nepal in Islamabad.