Dispute puts formation of recon body in doubt

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 9, 2015-

The formation of the National Reconstruction Authority has been thrown into doubt as the ruling political parties and the main opposition the Nepali Congress (NC) differ on whether or not to continue the appointments made by the previous government.

A meeting of the three big parties—NC, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)  held at Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s official residence in Baluwatar on Sunday evening could not reach consensus as the ruling and opposition parties stood by their stance.

“We are in favour of giving continuity to the previous appointment of chief executive officer but ruling parties are against it,” said NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel.

The authority was envisioned to rebuild the infrastructure damaged by the terrible April 25 earthquake in a speedy manner.

The previous government had named former National Planning Commission vice-chairman Govinda Raj Pokharel as the authority’s chief executive officer, but he remained in office for only a few days as the validity of the ordinance ran out.

Lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties spoke forcefully for and against  giving continuity to the previous appointments at the bill committee meeting on Sunday.

Committee Chairperson Ganga Chaudhary had called the meeting after getting the bill from its sub-committee that had reviewed it after receiving it from the government. Chaudhary said that there were no differences among the lawmakers on the other provisions in the bill.

“I urged the lawmakers from the ruling parties and the main opposition party to sort out their differences at the earliest as it has already been very late to form the authority to give relief to earthquake victims,” she said.

The new bill does not contain the provision of giving continuity to the old appointments.

Chaudhary said that she had also urged Law Minister Agni Prasad Kharel on Sunday to sort out the issue at the earliest.

 Even after six months since the deadly earthquake hit the country, reconstruction works are moving forward at a snail’s pace. Donors who pledged $4.4 billion have also expressed concerned at the delay in forming the authority.

Published: 09-11-2015 08:49

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