Parliamentary debate on proposed Citizenship Bill makes no headway yet again
September 3, 2019 04:23 PM NPT
By: Kamal Subedi
KATHMANDU, Sept 3: Members of Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee were sharply divided over some of the provisions of the proposed Citizenship Bill on Tuesday.
During the meeting of a sub-committee under the SAC held at Singha Durbar, lawmakers expressed differing views on the proposed Citizenship Bill. The sub-committee was formed to settle disputes on Citizenship Bill.
During the meeting, sub-committee member Yashoda Gurung Subedi expressed her dissent on the provision of issuing citizenship certificate only in the name and address of males. She urged the committee members to remove such a discriminatory clause which goes against the principle of gender equality and women's movement.
“The proposed provision is against the existing law which can’t be accepted at any cost,” said Subedi adding, “The report which is said to be passed by the sub-committee states that a woman, either a married or divorced can get her surname amended after a designated officer inspects upon her old citizenship. This is totally against the principle of gender equality.”
Another parliamentarian Jhapat Bahadur Rawal claimed that the procedure carried out by the sub-committee was erroneous and was unacceptable at any cost.
“We need to discuss the action against those officials who issue citizenship to foreign nationals, however, the sub-committee prepared the committee ignoring all these sensitive issues," he said.
The lawmaker from main opposition Nepali Congress Dilendra Prasad Badu said there was no meaning of discussing the issue which was never discussed in the committee in the past. “I wonder how this issue entered into the sub-committee which had never been discussed and no member of the committee had tabled an amendment proposal on the same,” Badu added.
Earlier, the SAC sub-committee led by ruling NCP lawmaker Bijay Subba had prepared the report.
Responding the members, sub-committee head Subba drew the attention of committee chair Shashi Shrestha to sort out the disputes over the report.