Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Common Minimum Program

Our national crisis is becoming more serious and complex, so we need to reach an understanding on a common minimum program and policy. The responsibilities we have on our shoulders include strengthening democracy, solving the problems caused by the Maoist insurgency, establishing the people's sovereignty, activating the constitution, restoring peace and security, providing relief to the people, holding elections to activate the representative organisations and handing over the state power to an elected government. Our common minimum program:

A. Protection of national interest and democracy
1. The country will progress if we protect the achievements of the 1990 Movement so the people are sovereign and exercise power through constitutional provisions
2. Compliance with human rights principles. Cases of serious human rights violations will be probed and victims compensated
3. Elected bodies will be activated and power handed back the people's elected representatives
4. Reforms will be carried out to ensure a clean and committed administration to contain corruption
5. Local bodies will be legally reconstituted
6. National unity, freedom and territorial integrity will be protected, with a national consensus on issues like national security, foreign policy and water resources
7. Foreign policy will be based on the UN Charter and Panchashil. Consensus will be forged to resolve the Bhutani refugee crisis

B. Resolving problems caused by the Maoist insurgency
1. Peace talks with the Maoists will be given top priority by all political parties
2. Rehabilitate families displaced and affected by the conflict
3. Destroyed buildings and infrastructure repaired and restored

C. Emergency relief
1. Relief and support to the displaced families and victims of the Maoist conflict
2. Development programs in Maoist affected areas
3. Priority will be given to activities that foster the people's security
4. Regular flow of food commodities and other basic needs
5. Invest and involve more in human development programs such as education, hygiene and sanitation water supply, health services and rural development
6. Steps taken to gain support of all groups to maintain schools as zones of peace

D. Commitments for political reform
1. Bring the benefits of democracy to the people and for the politics of inclusion
2. Ensure internal democratisation of political parties. The rule of law will be sacrosanct, administrative and electoral reforms will ensure good governance, the civil service the security agencies will not be politicised, impunity will not be tolerated and the CIAA and judicial agencies will be strengthened
4. Ensure free and fair elections, and correct past poll inadequacies by implementing reform reports
5. Activate the Upper House in line with the constitution, and ensure fair representation of women and indigenous groups
6. Local bodies will be transformed into local governments by making them autonomous and self-reliant

E. Economic
1. Poverty alleviation based on social justice, economic growth, just distribution, economic and social policies. Agriculture, hydropower, tourism, human resources, and development of physical infrastructure will be given top priority. Industries, bank and financial business, transportation, communications and management of public enterprises will be encouraged, foreign investment will be attracted on the basis of national interest. While the public sector will be stressed, the private sector will be encouraged.
2. Land reform programs to raise the living standard of farmers. Land will be given to landless farmers. Special attention will be given to farmers, labourers and freed kamaiyas
3. Special program launched to solve the problem of unemployment. Foreign employment will be managed and regulated
4. Concrete steps will be taken for food security and to make clean drinkable water available for the people

F. Social
1. Upliftment of underprivileged groups
2. Involvement of ethnic and indigenous groups and tarai people in every arena of national life
3. Women, disabled and orphans will get special attention, caste discrimination against the dalits will be eliminated and perpetrators will face harsh penalty.
4. Special programs for women's development and equality. Equal rights to property will be implemented. Strong penalty against rape, domestic violence and trafficking
5. Inequities in the labour market will be removed
6. All religious, linguistic and cultural discrimination eliminated
7. Encourage the development of the arts, literature and culture
8. Scholarships for dalit children to encourage them to go to school, national campaign to eradicate illiteracy
9. Education to be made job-oriented and stress on vocational technical education and informal education
10. Accelerate the handover of school management, health posts, postal system and agriculture inputs to local communities with budgetary allocation
11. The citizenship problem of the tarai people will be solved
12. More investment will be made on rural community health service
13. Streamline the judicial process
14. End all negative cultural practices and remnants of traditional prejudice
15. Provision to ensure rights of overseas Nepalis and encourage them to invest skills and capital back

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)