General

New Bill tabled to give legitimacy

  • Bill gives validity to works done by previous ordinance
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu
The Bill provisions National Reconstruction Consultation Council, Steering Committee and Executive Committee

Sep 16, 2015- In a fresh move to give legitimacy to Reconstruction Authority, Minister for Law and Justice Narahari Acharya tabled Bill on Reconstruction of Earthquake Damaged Structure at Parliament on Tuesday.
The Authority had lost its validity after Parliament failed to endorse a Bill to replace the ordinance under which the body was formed to oversee the reconstruction of structures damaged in the April 25 earthquake.  
The latest Bill which the government introduced after consulting with the main opposition party, UCPN (Maoist),  has given validity to the works conducted under the previous ordinance, which means appointment of Govind Raj Pokhrel as CEO has been legitimised.
Parliament source said the Bill will be endorsed on September 19.
As per the Bill, the main task of the Authority will be to assess the damage caused by the earthquake, prioritise reconstruction works, approve the reconstruction projects  and direct the agencies responsible for reconstruction.
The Authority will also acquire land by preparing a working procedure for reconstruction and resettlement, mobilise private sector and non-government organisations, prepare and implement standards for settlement development, and house pooling and remove structure that are risky.
The Bill has also expanded the scope of the Authority where it should not follow existing laws. The Bill has provisioned that it should not follow existing laws on land acquisition, land registration, trust, public procurement, forest, archaeology and environment.  
The defunct ordinance had given the Authority exemption from laws on land acquisition, public procurement and environment clearance only.
The new Bill has set the Authority’s  and its CEO’s tenure at five years with one year extension option.
The provision of allowing the Cabinet the power to dissolve the Authority anytime it sees necessary has been removed in the Bill.
The Bill has also provisioned a three-layer structure-National Reconstruction Consultation Council, Steering Committee and Executive Committee.  
The first two committees will be headed by prime minister, while the executive committee will be headed by a CEO. The consultation council’s main job will be to provide consultation to the steering committee on policy and plans while steering committee will approve reconstruction plans prepared by executive committee, direct the executive committee to make reconstruction effective, approve budget of authority, and approve organisational structure of Authority.
The executive committee will implement the plans and make government agencies execute them. The Authority will constitute Development Assistance Coordination and Facilitation Committee headed by the Authority’s CEO to effectively utilise the financial resources received from donors. Representatives from donors and civil society will also be in this committee.
The Bill has retained the provision on formation of Reconstruction Fund and Appellate Committee headed by current or ex-judge of the Appellate Court to register complaints against the works of the Authority.

Published: 16-09-2015 08:40

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