By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Sept. 14: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal has said that Nepal will be prosperous only after improving the living standards of the people living below the poverty line. While inaugurating the 4th Central General Convention of the Nepal National Employees Union, Rastriya Banijya Bank on Monday, she stressed the need for all the state institutions to fulfill their social and civic responsibilities sincerely.
Minister Bhusal said, “We need to contribute to poverty reduction, not only focus on profit. The first goal of all of us should be to make Nepal free from poverty. We have to work with creative programme in this regard.” The politicians, employees, industrialists and businessmen have been criticised for not making such a significant change in the living standards of the people despite great political achievement by means of people's movement, she said, adding that work should be done to make the people realise the change achieved through huge sacrifice.
Stating that she has decided in favour of the people after becoming the minister, she said, “People who consume up to 20 units of electricity are getting it for free. About 2.85 million households will be benefited from this decision.” Mentioning that the government has decided to provide relief to the people by reducing the electricity tariff, she said, “Now electric stoves are cheaper than liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This is a Nepali product. Let's use it.”
Minister Bhusal informed that it has been decided to provide free electricity for shallow tube wells used for irrigation and 50 per cent discount on deep tube wells. According to her, the reduction in the import of agricultural products will help reduce trade deficit. Stating that people should focus on social responsibility, Minister Bhusal said, "Rastriya Banijya Bank should be number one and play an important role in alleviating poverty." She has said that the government is in favour of Rastriya Banijya Bank and it should stand as a standard bank of the country.
Recalling that after a prolonged effort, the account of the federal parliamentarian has been opened in Rastriya Banijya Bank and the salary and allowances are paid through this bank, said Minister Bhusal. She said that it should provide sound and modern banking services to people with the mutual efforts of the government, bank management and employees. Stating that public institutions have been affected because of the practice of appointing employees without competition, she assured that she would play a role to improve the situation by facilitating the Public Service Commission to help select competitive staff in time.
On the occasion, Chief Executive Officer of the Rastriya Banijya Bank Kiran Kumar Shrestha said that the government should take initiative to increase the capital structure of the Rastriya Banijya Bank. He also stressed the need to focus on capital increase to compete with big private banks. According to him, the Rastriya Banijya Bank is currently serving 3.8 million customers from 247 branches spread across 77 districts.