Delay in drafting bills hampers works of provincial governments

Published On: April 30, 2018 04:29 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 30: The provincial governments have not been able to formulate necessary laws to carry out their regular parliamentary and administrative duties owing to the failure of the central government to provide them sample bills. 

The provincial assemblies will need 22 different laws to smoothly carry out their duties as assigned by the new constitution.  

But the provincial assemblies are yet to begin works on the formulation of most of the laws almost four months after they came into existence, largely due to the failure of the central government to provide the sample bills.  Sample bills would serve as a guide book for the provincial assemblies to draft the necessary laws. 

The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has been asked to draft a common sample bill for all seven provinces after the newly carved provinces cited lack of legal expertise and human resource to formulate laws. Each provincial assembly would enforce the bill after making desired changes. 

Despite announcing to provide the bills within a month after the elections, the law ministry has not been able to deliver the bills. So far, the ministry has sent only nine of 22 sample bills related to the provincial assemblies. 

They include the bill on the remuneration and perks of chief ministers and ministers, bill on remuneration and perks of office-bearers of provincial assemblies and members, bill on province assembly secretariat, bill on functions, duties and rights of chief attorneys and bill on internal public procurement procedures. 

Further delays are expected in the drafting of the remaining bills. Law Minister Sher Bahadur Tamang said that the ministry has almost completed drafting the sample bills. Stating that he was aware of the difficulties caused by the lack of bills in carrying out the works, he said that efforts are underway to send the sample bills to the provincial assemblies "within a few weeks". 

Officials at the law ministry, however, said that it will at least take a month to draft the remaining thirteen bills. 

Lack of required laws and budget has severely hampered the works of the provincial governments. Chief ministers of all seven provinces have been asking the central government to provide laws and budget so as to ensure smooth functioning of the administrative duties. Some Chief Minister including Lal Babu Raut of Province 2 and Mahendra Bahadur Shahi of Karnali Province have been publicly demanding more power to the provinces, saying that the existing power was not enough for the provincial government to carry out works with tangible results.

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