Congress blocks replacement bill

  • Raising questions over process and contents, opposition wants major provisions of the ordinance retained
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Jul 2, 2018-With the House of Representatives failing to begin discussion on Sunday on the Bill to replace the National Medical Education Ordinance, the government may need to go for alternatives as there is no possibility of the July 4 deadline for presidential seal for the legislation being met.

The government was planning to endorse the bill through the parliamentary process by July 3 by suspending the rule so that it could be signed into law on July 4. But that did not happen after the main opposition stood against suspension of the rule.

They threatened to obstruct Parliament if the government brought the replacement bill by changing major provisions of the ordinance. After Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokhrel failed to convince the main opposition, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara postponed the meeting of Lower House until 11am on Monday.

Organising a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Minister Pokhrel appealed to all the parties including the main opposition to allow the passage of the replacement bill by the deadline.

“In order to give continuity to the works and to prevent a legal vacuum, I would like to appeal to all the parties in the federal parliament to support the bill,” said Pokhrel. He warned that ongoing activities including examinations at the National Academy of Medical Sciences and the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan would be hit if the ordinance ceased to be effective without an alternative.

HoR Secretary Gopal Nath Yogi said chances of the bill passing the federal parliament within the deadline were slim as the main opposition has raised questions over both the process and contents of the bill. NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal Gautam said her party stood against suspension of the regular procedure as it would prevent discussion on the contents of the bill.

Minister Pokhrel said a powerful and autonomous commission would be formed to decide matters related to medical college affiliations, among others. It would also sort issues linked with integrated entrance tests, setting standards, and determining the student number and fees for medical courses.

Published: 02-07-2018 07:36

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