Plan to finalise rules set to hit snag again

  • parliament regulations
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
Main opposition Nepali Congress has expressed dissatisfaction galore

Apr 21, 2016-The Nepali Congress has taken exception to some government decisions, including Tuesday’s ambassadorial recommendations, as a result the plan of Regulation Drafting Committee (RDC) of Parliament to finalise Parliament Regulations on Sunday is likely to hit a snag. 

RDC Coordinator Radheshyam Adhikari, however, has started consultations with lawmakers, who have registered over six dozen amendments to narrow down the differences, aiming to finalise the draft as soon as possible. 

On Wednesday, a sub-committee of the RDC led by Adhikari held consultation with UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Dhani Ram Paudel and Tharuhat Tarai Party Nepal lawmaker Gopal Dahit, urging them to withdraw their amendments. He told the lawmakers that their genuine concerns will be incorporated in the regulations. 

Paudel and Dahit have said they will withdraw their amendments if their concerns are addressed. 

The Drafting Committee is facing a hard time finalising the draft in the wake of differences between ruling and opposition parties. 

A total of 75 proposals have been registered seeking amendments to various provisions. The most contentious issue is the strength of the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC). 

“We are trying to narrow down the differences,” said Rewati Raman Bhandari, a member of the sub-committee. “The number of amendment proposals is likely to go down to 20.” 

According to Bhandari, a meeting has been called on Sunday to finalize the regulations. Hearing of justices of the Supreme Court has been affected due to absence of the PHSC. 

The House hearing committee also needs to endorse the 21 ambassadors who were recommended by the government on Tuesday. 

“I don’t think the regulations will be finalised before our party President Sher Bahadur Deuba returns from India,” said NC lawmaker Nabindra Raj Joshi, adding that the contentious issues should be finalised by the top leaders of major parties. 

RDC’s efforts to finalise the regulations through voting on April 8 had failed after NC lawmakers did not show up citing their busy schedule as the party was holding the election of its Parliamentary Party Working Committee. 

RDC Coordinator Adhikari, who himself is an NC lawmaker, had announced that disputed issues would be resolved through voting. The Parliament Secretariat had prepared around 75 questionnaires on the disputed issues to be settled through voting. However, Adhikari postponed the meeting after NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha informed the committee that lawmakers from the NC “cannot participate in the voting on that day”.

“The UML has been working unilaterally when it comes to appointments in crucial positions, including ambassadors,” said an NC lawmaker. “The government should correct is decision first.”

The Legislature-Parliament has been functioning under an interim regulation since the adoption of the new constitution due to the dispute among the major parties.

The 61-member Drafting Committee, which comprises  a majority of lawmakers from three major parties, is divided over the strength of the PHSC. Its deadline has been extended four times. 

The NC and some fringe parties are in favour of giving continuity to the 73-member body that existed before the constitution promulgation. The ruling coalition, on the other hand, is pressing for downsizing it to 15 members in line with a provision under the new charter. 

Published: 21-04-2016 07:03

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