‘Medical bill will pass as wished by government’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 25, 2019-

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara said on Thursday that Friday’s meeting of Parliament would endorse the National Medical Education Bill as per the government’s wish, a statement that drew sharp criticism from the main opposition, Nepali Congress.

Speaking at a press conference in Singha Durbar, Mahara said the ruling Nepal Communist Party— of which he was a member before he was elected House Speaker— has been calling for endorsing the bill at the earliest. “We can expect a conclusion at Friday’s meeting,” he added.

Just as Speaker Mahara made his statements, he was echoing Communication Minister Gokul Banskota, also a spokesperson for the government, who during Thursday’s weekly press briefing said: “The bill is now Parliament’s property. It is under Parliament’s jurisdiction and it will get endorsed through due process.”

“The government does not dictate Parliament. And Parliament does not need to oblige to government order. Mahara as the House Speaker should play a non-partisan role, but he has failed,” said Gagan Thapa, a lawmaker from the Nepali Congress, which has been objecting to the bill, saying some crucial provisions have been tweaked. 

The government’s bid to push the bill on Tuesday had failed after Nepali Congress lawmakers obstructed House proceedings. Mahara had also come 

under fire from the opposition lawmakers that day. The NC lawmakers had 

accused Mahara of failing to give due regards to the opposition and working 

as a government minister rather than the House Speaker.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Central Working Committee of the Nepali Congress on Thursday decided to obstruct the House proceedings on Friday. The ruling and opposition parties have been at loggerheads over the medical education bill, while Dr Govinda KC has been staging his 16th hunger strike for the last 16 days, demanding that the bill be endorsed “in its original form”.

Earlier on Thursday, KC in a letter to ruling party lawmakers called on them to endorse the bill as per an [July 26] agreement the government had reached with him.

Published: 25-01-2019 07:10

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