KATHMANDU, June 12: Lawmakers of the Nepali Congress and Rashtriya Janata Party-Nepal have asked the government to withdraw a bill on the management of lands belonging to Guthis (religious and social trusts).
Speaking at a session of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the lawmakers also urged the government to address the demands of agitating local residents and heritage campaigners.
Lawmaker of the main opposition, Prakash Man Singh urged the government to withdraw and revise the proposed Guthi bill after holding consultation with the concerned stakeholders. He claimed that the Guthi bill is against the spirit of the Constitution.
"The government has brought the bill to finish off the unique Guthi tradition that has existed in Nepal since time immemorial. If the proposed bill is endorsed from the House, it will directly affect over 2000 Guthis in the Kathmandu Valley," Singh said.
Anil Kumar Jha, a lawmaker of the RJP-N, also urged the government to withdraw the proposed Guthi bill tabled in the Federal Parliament.
The lawmakers have stressed the need for holding comprehensive consultation with the stakeholders before passing the Guthi bill from the House.
The bill, which was registered at the National Assembly, proposes forming an 'Authority' to manage Guthi lands, which are currently managed by the Guthi Sansthan or Corporation.
Those opposing the bill have argued that if it is endorsed as proposed it will only serve the interests of the so-called land mafia.
They have also maintained that the new law as proposed in the bill will turn public guthis (trusts) into a 'playground for politicians, government officials and influential people who wish to embezzle guthi land'.