Nepal

Pass bills soon

Sep 2, 2017
It is absurd for the Parliament to be adjourned for seven days citing that there is a lack of business. There are reported to be 53 bills under consideration in Parliament. Some of these bills require immediate attention of the House. Out of the 53 bills that are under consideration in the House it is ridiculous that some of them have been pending for three years. Successive governments have failed to pass these bills even when they were given more than ample time to do so. Bills of an urgent nature include those related to the elections of the National Assembly, House of Representatives, provincial assembly and local level as well as the election of president and vice-president. These have been delayed and looking ahead it would be difficult to meet the deadline of holding all the three tiers of election, namely local level, provincial and Parliamentary ahead of January 21 of next year.
 
Among the 53 bills under consideration, some have been pending in the House for three years, according to Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Bharat Raj Gautam.
 
Among the bills that need to be passed soon are those relating to election of National Assembly, the Upper House of the Parliament, election of the president and vice-president and bill relating to election of the House of Representatives.
 
Gautam said the bills needed to be passed urgently to meet the constitutional deadline of holding the three types of elections — local, provincial and parliamentary — before January 21. He said if the bills under consideration were not passed in the Parliament before January 21, they would lose their validity and the government would have to bring new bills in the Parliament to be formed after general elections.
 
According to the bills section of the Parliament, only seven of the 53 bills are ready to be tabled in the House. The House has already debated bills related to social practice reform, civil code, penal code and rights of disabled persons that are ready to be passed by the House. Civil and penal code bills were to be passed nine months ago.
 
Relevant House panels have finalised some of the bills that can be endorsed by the full House.
 
House panels have already finalised reports on bills relating to social practice reform, labour, cooperatives, National Dalit Commission, National Inclusion Commission, Commission for Indigenous Nationalities, Madhesi Commission, Tharu Commission and Muslim Commission.
 
Once a bill is finalised by the relevant House panel it is ready to be put to vote.
 
A source at the home ministry said the bill relating to social practice and reform could not proceed in the House because Home Minister Janardan Sharma sought time to study the bill. The bill, which proposes significant reforms in the Nepali society, was registered in the Parliament three years ago by the then home minister Bam Dev Gautam.
 
The bill relating to exchange of goods is also ready to be passed in the House.
 
Six bills relating to Language Commission, Khwopa University, health insurance, auditing, racial discrimination and untouchability (offence and punishment), and direct sale of goods are ready to be tabled in the House after which they will be sent to the relevant House panels.
 
Six bills, which have already been tabled in the House, can be directly passed or can be sent to relevant committees, according to bills section of the Parliament. Constitution amendment bill and local governance bill fall under this category. Lawmakers have not registered any proposal of amendment on electricity regulation bill.
 
There are three bills in the Parliament Secretariat whose proceedings have been halted after the government informally informed the Parliament Secretariat that it would withdraw those bills.
 
The government has notified the Parliament Secretariat that it will withdraw Veterinary Council Bill and bills relating to regulation of private security services, Public Service Commission and National Security Council. The Parliament Secretariat has not moved any process on these bills.
 
House panels have finalised their report on 11 bills but they are yet to submit them to the House.
 
Thirteen bills are under consideration of the relevant House panels.
 
 
The Himalayan Times, September 2, 2017

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