Govt preparing to table bill in House

  • constitution amendment
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 10, 2016-

The government is preparing to register a constitution amendment proposal in Parliament before September 15, the day when Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to embark on his India visit. 

The agitating Madhesi and Janajati forces, which have been pressing for constitution amendment, have demanded that the government table a proposal to that effect in Parliament before PM Dahal’s visit to India. The demarcation of federal boundaries is one of the issues that the amendment proposal will try to address. 

Leaders say districts from Nawalparasi to Bardiya could be included in Province No 5 and six hill districts of Province No 5 could be separated from where they have been placed now. 

Redrawing of federal boundaries is one of the key demands of the Madhes-based parties. But, parties are yet to arrive at consensus on disputes over Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailai and Kanchanpur districts.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Bimalendra Nidhi, under whose coordination the proposal is being prepared, said at a function in Kathmandu on Friday that the government is in a bid to find a meeting point before the proposal is tabled. “We are trying to seek a meeting point with Madhesi, Adivasi, Janajati and other groups. We are trying to make the constitution acceptable to all,” he added.

Holding key state positions by citizens by descent and naturalised citizens is yet another issue that the amendment proposal will try to address. 

The governing CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress have agreed to shorten the list of citizens who can hold key positions. 

According to the proposal, naturalised citizens can hold top positions except those of President, prime minister, chief justice, House Speaker and Army chief. Naturalised citizens can be elevated to the posts like deputy House Speaker, chief of security agencies, head of the constitutional bodies, chief of provinces and deputy head of the provinces among others.

Parties are also zeroing in on the issue of representation in the Upper House. 

The agitating Samyukta Loktantriak Madhesi Morcha has been demanding that representation in the Upper House should be made on the basis of population. According to the constitutional provision, each province will send eight-eight members for the Upper House which the Morcha has been objecting to. 

The agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has been demanding that representation in the Upper House should be made on the basis of population. 

Another issue the amendment proposal will try to address is ensuring citizenship for foreign women married to Nepali men. The working language of the provinces is yet another issue which the government is trying to address.

 The government has already formed a committee headed by Laba Kumar Abasthi to determine the working language of states.Minister for Law and Justice Ajay Kumar Nayak told the Post that parties are seeking a political agreement.

“There is no such urgency that the amendment proposal should be tabled before the prime minister’s visit to India, but we are making our best efforts,” he said. 

Issues under consideration

  •  Demarcation of federal boundaries 
  •  Key state positions for citizens by descent and naturalised citizens 
  •  Representation provinces in the Upper House 
  •  Citizenship for foreign women married to Nepali men 
  •  Working language of provinces

Published: 10-09-2016 08:03

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