House gets no business with delay in cabinet expansion

Published On: August 22, 2016 03:15 AM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

KATHMANDU, Aug 22: At a time when the parliament should have been expediting the endorsement of new bills for the implementation of the new constitution, House meeting on Sunday was adjourned for a week due to lack of business from the government.

The last two consecutive House meetings were held without government business and were merely limited to discussions, tabling committee report and exchanging committee members from one parliament panel to another. Four house meetings held after the formation of new government have undergone without proper business to discuss or endorse bills. 

Sunday's House meeting had a single business of appointing members in some parliamentary committees. Previous house meeting on Wednesday too had no government business as the meeting was held briefly just to table a report of a parliamentary committee. Earlier, House meetings on August 8 and 14 were also similar. The House meeting on August 14 had just a government business of forwarding two bills to the parliamentary committee. 

After not receiving a single task from the government, the Business Advisory Committee of the parliament, which finalizes business of the House meeting, has been managing minor tasks after the first week of August. 

“I have scheduled the next house meeting only after a week as House hasn't got any specific business from the government,” Speaker Onsari Gharti told Republica on Sunday.
“The government has assured me of providing more business immediately after giving full shape to the cabinet when I reminded the concerned authorities about the lack of business,” she said.

The new constitution has made it mandatory to establish high courts by dissolving the existing appellate courts within a year of the commencement of the new constitution. The former government had tabled the bill related to the high courts in the parliament, which is under discussion in parliamentary committee. 
The government has to formulate 110 federal, 22 provincial and as many as many as six local laws for the implementation of the new constitution. Similarly, the parliament has to amend over 100 existing laws in accordance with the new constitution. 

Only one bill related to the implementation of the new constitution has been endorsed from the parliament so far. Four new constitution-related bills are under discussion in the parliament and other eight bills are waiting to be registered in the parliament after being endorsed by the parliament. According to officials at the Ministry of Law and Justice, seven new bills are in the pipeline to be endorsed by the cabinet. 

As the government is yet to get full shape, the endorsement process of the new bills from the cabinet and registration of the endorsed bills in the parliament have stalled. Minister without portfolio Dhaniram Paudel said that the cabinet meeting last week had seriously discussed about the urgency of endorsing bills from the parliament. 

“The government has taken this issue seriously. Judicial Administration Bill, which must be endorsed urgently, will be expedited,” Paudel said. 

The new government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal is likely to get full shape only after Wednesday as major ruling party Nepali Congress (NC) has said it will recommend ministers from its party after two days.

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