House sits idle with no business to deal with

  • Yet to enact 100 laws needed to implement charter
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Mar 22, 2017-

Around 100 new laws required to implement the constitution, adopted 18 months ago, are yet to be enacted by Parliament.

Of the 138 laws required for constitution implementation, only 39 have been 

enacted so far. 

What is interesting amid this is Parliament lacks business, thanks to government sluggishness in drafting new laws.

Records of the Ministry of Law and Justice show 37 laws are under consideration either in the House or in its various committees. This means, the government is yet to draft 62 new laws. 

There are 308 Articles in the Constitution of Nepal-2015. For their implementation, either new laws have to be introduced or existing legal provisions need to be amended. 

Articles or Clauses of the constitution explicitly say that new laws are required for their implementation. 

“The House could have enacted many more laws had the government kept on introducing related bills,” said Bharat Raj Gautam, spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat. “There has been delay on the part of the government in drafting even some crucial bills.”

New legal provisions are a must for the implementation of around half of fundamental rights, directive principles, state restructuring and various provisions related to federal, provincial and local governments. 

After the constitution was promulgated in September 2015, then Constituent Assembly turned into Parliament and it is in its second session. Its term will end on January 21 next year.

The current House session has been going on since May 3, but precious little has been done in the last 10 months when it comes to enacting new laws. 

Parliament has been adjourned several times, at times for weeks, for the lack of business, while many a time House proceedings have been obstructed by one party or the other. 

The country must hold three levels of elections by January 21 next year as per the constitutional deadline. Four election-related bills have been approved by Parliament so far while one related to political parties is stuck at the State Affairs Committee of Parliament for the last three months. 

Laws are generally drafted by the respective ministries and they have to get the approval from the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs before they are introduced in Parliament, which subsequently enacts them. 

A law comes into force once the bill is passed by a simple majority in the House. 

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shankar Nayak said at a press meet on Tuesday that “election-related laws are the ministry’s priority”. 

“We are working on other laws as well,” Minister Nayak said stopping short of giving any details on the bills the government is working on.

 

In Numbers

-    New laws needed: 138

-    Endorsed so far: 39

-    Under consideration: 37 

-    Need to drafted: 62

Published: 22-03-2017 08:08

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