Works under now-expired ordinance validated

The government plans to register the new bill at the Parliamentary Secretariat on Thursday

Sep 10, 2015-The government has drafted a new bill on the Reconstruction Authority. The bill has given validity to the works of the authority that had turned invalid after the expiration of the ordinance. It has also addressed some of the issues raised by the opposition UCPN (Maoist).

The government plans to register the bill at the Parliamentary Secretariat on Thursday so that it could be discussed at a parliamentary meeting scheduled for September 15.

As suggested by the UCPN (Maoist), the bill has provisioned a three-layer structure—a consultative committee, steering committee and executive committee.

The first two committees will be headed by the Prime Minister, while the executive committee will be headed by a chief executive officer (CEO).

Although the UCPN (Maoist) had proposed appointing a vice-chairman heading the executive committee through a parliamentary hearing, the bill has abandoned parliamentary hearing, while making the CEO head of administrative affairs.

At a meeting with the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML on Tuesday, the Maoists had proposed that a vice-chairman would be chairman of the executive committee.

But the bill has given the chairmanship to the CEO. The steering committee would have representation of ministers as recommended by the Prime Minister.

“Maintaining the three-layer of structure, the government sought to address our demand, but it failed to ensure public accountability of the CEO by rejecting our proposal of making appointment through parliamentary hearing,” said a UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker. “It also failed to make a provision of forming an integrity unit to monitor the works of the authority to ensure accountability.”

The new bill has also put in place a provision, under which the works carried out under the now-expired ordinance would be considered as the works done under the new bill, which means the appointment of Govinda Raj Pokharel as the authority’s CEO would get validity.

The bill has also expanded the scope of the authority, provisioning that even the laws related to forest, trust and archaeology would not be applicable to the authority’s works.

The previous ordinance had exempted the authority from the requirement to follow the existing laws on public procurement, land acquisition and environment.

The bill has fixed a five-year the tenure for the authority, with an option of a one-year extension.

The pervious ordinance’s provision of allowing the Cabinet to dissolve the authority anytime it sees necessary has been removed in the new bill.

CEO salary on par with minister’s

KATHMANDU: The Chief Executive Officer of the Reconstruction Authority will get remuneration equivalent to what a minister gets. As per a Cabinet decision, the CEO will get Rs50,000 per month as allowance and an additional Rs100,000 as vehicle maintenance expenses, which include fuel and driver. S/he will also get meeting allowance as set by the authority.

Daily, travel and communication expenses will be given on par with the facility enjoyed by a minister. The government took such a decision as per the provision of the now-expired Reconstruction Ordinance. (PR)

Published: 10-09-2015 08:23

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