Parliament scrambles to meet time limit

  • Both Houses have to endorse 17 new Acts by Sept 18
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 13, 2018-

The federal parliament is in a frantic hurry to endorse the Acts on fundamental rights with just five days left before the constitutional deadline ends on September 18.

Both the Houses of Parliament have to endorse the Acts followed by President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s authentication by September 18.

The Constitution of Nepal that enshrines 31 fundamental rights in Articles 16 to 46, requires 17 new Acts or amendments to existing Acts to implement them. The federal parliament has completed only one Act on environment.

The House of Representatives (HoR) and the National Assembly must endorse the remaining 16 Acts before the constitutional deadline. Among the 16, nine are new Acts while seven require amendments.

HoR Speaker last week issued a deadline that ends on Thursday. The respective parliamentary committees have to complete all bills on fundamental rights and forward them to the full House before this deadline.

Merely eight laws are ready for presentation to the full House with nine pending.

It requires more than three-days for the House to endorse a draft Act through routine procedure.

After discussions on the drafts are over, lawmakers have 72 hours to register their amendments before putting that to vote.

“We could suspend the law that allows 72-hours to register amendments in order to expedite the endorsement process,” HoR Secretary Gopal Nath Yogi told the Post.

In the past, such suspensions were done after consensus among all parties.

HoR Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, before embarking on his six-day trip to China on September 6, had said top leaders of major parties had agreed to expedite the process.

After separate meetings with Prime Minister and Nepal Communist Party Co-chair KP Sharma Oli, Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, seeking their support to expedite the endorsement process, Mahara had told the media he was confident the laws would be ready before the deadline.

The government has two options either amend the statute or bring the laws through an ordinance ending the House session, to meet the constitutional deadline if the House does not receive the needed laws on time. Speaker Mahara has returned from China and the HoR meeting is due on Thursday.

Some of the acts awaiting house approval

  • Right to safe motherhood and reproduction
  • Right to public health
  • Compulsory and free education
  • Right to residence
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to food and food sovereignty
  • Right to Employment
  • Consumers Right
  • Right of people with disability
  • Right to clean environment
  • Social security
  • Related to land
  • Against caste discrimination and untouchability
  • Public Security

Published: 13-09-2018 07:31

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