MPs press for lifelong perks as retirement draws near

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Lawmakers tell State Affairs Committee of Parliament that there has to be some state benefits for retired members of Parliament

Sep 12, 2017-As the countdown for dissolution of the incum-bent Legislature-Parliament begins, lawmakers have started lobbying for securing state facilities for them after retirement through an amendment to the Bill on Provision of Facilities for Former Office Bearers.

Lawmakers taking part in a discussion on the bill in the State Affairs Committee of Parliament on Monday said there has to be some state benefits for retired members of Parliament both in the Upper House and the Lower House for their contribution. 

They have demanded medical, travel and other facilities for life time. With the election to the Federal Assembly set to conclude on December 7, incumbent lawmakers have hardly three months of their tenure remaining.

“No worries about what others say. There have to be some benefits and recognition of the MPs’ contribution,” CPN-UML lawmaker Man Prasad Khatri told the meeting, asking all lawmakers to stand for it.

The bill, which is under consideration in the House Committee, will be finalised within a week. 

An SAC subcommittee led by Nepali Congress lawmaker Jeevan Bahadur Shahi 

will give it a final shape by September 17 before tabling it for endorsement in the House two days later. 

Lawmakers Tapta Bahadur Bista, Sanjay Gautam, Rajeeb Bikram Shah and Nar Bahadur Chand from the NC and Kalpana Chaudhary from the Nepal Loktantrik Forum have registered amendments to the bill seeking retirement facilities for the MPs.

“Members of the House of Representatives, National Assembly, Constituent Assembly or the Federal Parliament must be provided with medical, travel and other facilities after retirement,” reads an amendment proposal. Rastriya Prajatantra Party lawmaker Bikram Thapa said the “worldwide practice” must be adopted in Nepal as well. Ishwari Neupane and Arjun Joshi from the NC also strongly lobbied for the facilities.

However, lawmakers from the same party had differing views on the issue. Contrary to Khatri’s claim, UML lawmakers Rameshwor Phuyal and Ganga Lal Tuladhar and Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party lawmaker Prem Suwal suggested dropping the bill at least for now as the demand would create controversies at a time when thousands of earthquake and flood victims are still facing hardships in the lack of government support.

In addition to Rs200,000 and Rs75,000 monthly for residence, the bill proposes 

allowances of Rs50,000 and Rs40,000 for former presidents and vice presidents, respectively. It also provisions Rs75,000 for house rent for a former PM, chief justice, speaker of the House of Representatives and chairperson of the National Assembly or the Constituent Assembly.

Published: 12-09-2017 08:11

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