Prime Minister KP Oli has publicly apologized after widespread criticism that he had lied to the people regarding an Indian government letter that requested to halt pesticides residue tests on fruits and vegetables at custom points. He added that he was not informed about the letter.
PM Oli added that he was not informed by government officials about the letter and his statement has left him ashamed.
“I told the people that the government had not received any letter (from the Indian government). But later I learned that such a letter had indeed come from India. I am sorry for this,” the prime minister said.
However, the apology from the country’s chief executive over his ignorance about the Indian government letter has raised serious questions about the competence of his administration.
“It is our normal practice that as soon as we receive such correspondence, the division concerned looks into and forwards it to the ministries concerned,” said Deputy Spokesperson at the MoFA Suresh Adhikari.
The officials at MoFA has said that the ministry officials concerned are supposed to brief the prime minister if it is something necessary. Except for some issues considered “urgent’ and “sensitive”, MoFA only facilitates the work of the ministry holding jurisdiction.
Former bureaucrats have argued that the ministers concerned should have briefed the prime minister about the letter and efforts made to resolve the cases of this nature. While Industry Minister Matrika Prasad Yadav claimed in parliament that he was not even informed by senior officials of his ministry about the letter, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Chakrapani Khanal alleged that MoFA should be answerable for the failure to inform the prime minister.