Bill likely to enter Parliament through voting

  • Parties miss consensus deadline
  • NC insists Govind Pokhrel should helm the reconstruction body
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Nov 22, 2015-

The Bill Committee of Parliament has decided to forward the Reconstruction Bill to Parliament through voting as the major political parties could not reach a consensus on the Bill by Saturday’s deadline.As per the request of Law Minister Agni Kharel the committee’s meeting of Friday had decided to allow the parties one more day to reach consensus. But CPN-UML UCPN (Maoist) and Nepali Congress could not make any progress as Prime Minister and the UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli did show up in Saturday’s meeting.

The UML and NC are at odds, mainly over the appointment of chief executive officer of the National Reconstruction Authority to oversee the reconstruction works of the structures that were either damaged or destroyed in the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks.

Given that the ruling parties hold majority in Parliament and the Madhes-based parties do not obstruct the parliamentary business, endorsing the Bill will not be a problem. “It is too late. There is no way we can wait any longer. The Bill will be forwarded to the full House through voting if needed,” said Chairperson of the Bill Committee Ganga Chaudhary (Satgaunwa).  The meeting of the committee has been called for Sunday to take formal decision on the matter.

The ruling and opposition parties are eyeing the post of CEO, as the authority will be responsible for mobilising over Rs 7 billion, including the government budget and foreign donations, in reconstruction projects.

 The NC has demanded that its earlier appointee Govind Pokhrel should be entrusted the job. Pokhrel was appointed the authority’s CEO by the NC-led government, but his appointment was overturned by the UML government.

UML has said a person picked by NC should not hold the post since the authority is an entity of the government of which NC is not a part.

Chaudhary said that the committee is still trying to resolve the problem by incluuding a provision for appointment through free competition. NC has also opposed the decision of revising the structure of the authority. A panel under the Bill Committee had proposed a three-tier structure of the authority, namely Directive Committee, Advisory Council, and Executive Committee.

Under the proposed structure, prime minister would chair the Directive Committee and the Advisory Council while the authority’s CEO would lead the Executive Committee.  A leader from the main opposition party has been proposed for the post of the vice-chairman of the Directive Committee and the Advisory Council.

NC, however, has registered its note of dissent against the proposed structure of the authority.

The authority established through the ordinance was dissolved as a replacement bill failed to get endorsement from Parliament.

Published: 22-11-2015 09:05

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