Rights watchdog seeks financial autonomy

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 12, 2016-

The National Human Rights Commission has demanded financial autonomy from the government controlled provisions of existing laws, citing readjustment with the provisions of the new constitution. 

As per Article 293, the constitutional bodies remain answerable to federal legislature except the NHRC. However, the government has total control over the budget, which “ultimately paralyses” entire activity of the commission. 

“The control over the budget programmes affects our activities, which ultimately reduces the commission as a mere government body,” said NHRC Commissioner Govinda Sharma Paudel.

The issue of autonomy of the commission was also raised in the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection 

of Human Rights (ICC). Despite widespread criticism, Nepal was re-accredited ‘A’ status last year.  

The issue of autonomy will keep resurfacing in international forums until Nepal amends its laws in line with the Paris Principle, which has set complete freedom on financial transaction of the institution as a parameter to qualify for the A status. 

Nepal is one of the 70 countries with ‘A’ status in the 106-member global association of national human rights institutions. 

The Paudel-led team has forwarded amendments to the government in the Act recently, demanding lump sum of budget, which will be at the commission’s disposal. 

Besides, the team has demanded freedom to seek budget from other sources both within and outside the country for its programmes on condition that it informs the Finance Ministry about the spending.

Published: 12-01-2016 08:40

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