Over Rs 264 million spent on federal MP’s salaries, allowances and foreign trips

Published On: August 4, 2023 03:45 PM NPT By: Ishwari Subedi

KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Since the House of Representatives and the National Assembly are not effective, budgets worth millions  of rupees have been spent on the salaries and foreign trips of lawmakers since mid-December. The main function of parliament is to monitor the government by forming parliamentary committees that formulate laws. But the chairpersons of the parliamentary committees have not been elected and the bills sent to the committees have been stalled.

Since the formation of the House of Representatives last mid-December, up to mid-July, more than Rs 264 million has been spent on salaries and allowances of parliamentarians of both the houses of the Federal Parliament, including the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the HoR, and Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the National Assembly.

More than Rs 199 million was spent on the salaries and Rs 49.2 million on allowances, while Rs 16.9 million was spent on foreign travel. The records maintained by parliament show that Rs 269 million was spent on the salaries and foreign travel expenses of lawmakers. Sources said that if the other perks and benefits of the lawmakers, the expenses of the parliamentary parties including their fuel expenses, are added, the total sum rises to hundreds of millions.

According to the details provided by the Parliament Secretariat, during this period, parliament has only passed the Loan-Sharking Bill 2080, the National Debt Recovery Bill 2080, the Appropriation Bill 2080 and the Finance Bill 2080 to amend some Nepal Acts related to the Civil Code.

Bills that have been received by the parliamentary committees in the House of Representatives have not yet been passed. Prevention of Money Laundering and Promotion of Business Environment, 2079, Constitutional Council (Functions, Duties, Powers and Procedures) Act (First Amendment) Bill, 2079 and Disappeared Persons Investigation, and the Commission for Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Third Amendment) Bill, 2079 have been sent to the relevant committee for discussion, but they have not been tabled in parliament yet.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Bill, Archives Protection (First Amendment) Bill, 2077, Food Hygiene and Quality Bill, 2077, Public Service Broadcasting Bill, Security Printing Bill, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (Third Amendment) Bill have also been sent to the relevant committees, while the anti-corruption (First Amendment) Bill has been theoretically discussed.

Subash Chandra Nemwang, the vice chairman of the main opposition party CPN-UML, said that there is a delay in passing the bills on money laundering and investigation of disappeared persons. He said that these two bills should be passed in this parliamentary session anyway. He said that the government should play a role in making parliament effective.

After the election to the House of Representatives, the first meeting of the first session of the Federal Parliament started on January 9, 2023, along with the session of the House of Representatives. In this session, which lasted for 110 days until Friday, April 28, 2023, parliament met only 28 days. The meetings were conducted according to the House of Representatives Regulations, 2075 until new regulations were formulated.

Since a new parliament was elected, the task of forming a new government, too, was done, and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were elected. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal took a vote of confidence in the meeting of the House of Representatives on January 10. The Prime Minister again took the vote of confidence for a second time on March 20.

Likewise, Devraj Ghimire was elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the election for the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the meeting held on January 19. Indira Rana Magar was elected to the post of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on January 21.

The House of Representatives Regulations, 2079 were passed in the meeting on April 2. In the meeting on February 5, the deadline of the Investigation of Disappeared Persons and Truth and Reconciliation Commission was extended till mid-July as per the decision of the Government of Nepal. According to section 42 of the Investigation, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act, 2071, an order to remove the obstacles was also presented in parliament. 


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