Hearings for ambassadors to begin Tuesday
KATHMANDU, Aug 2: The Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee (PHSC) has directed the government not to take any decision regarding names recommended for various positions before the House panel completes its hearings process.
The PHSC issued the directive after the Council of Ministers on June 16 decided to send the names of 22 individuals recommended for appointment as ambassadors to various foreign countries to the countries concerned for the latter's agrement.
The PHSC had summoned Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi and Foreign Secetary Shankar Bairagi to its meeting on Monday to explain the government's decision. During the meeting, Subedi informed the House panel that the government had decided to seek the agrements from the countries concerned before the parliamentary hearings could take place as this was a special situation with no parliamentary regulations or the hearings committee in place and the positions of ambassador at the missions abroad had remained vacant for years.
Likewise, Bairagi informed the House panel that the cabinet decision had not been executed as Parliament finalized the regulations and formed the PHSC just two days after the agrement decision.
Following discussions at the meeting, the PHSC concluded that the government was not taking the jurisdiction of the House committee seriously.
The House panel directed the government not to take such decisions in future.
Members of the committee debated at length before deciding whether or not to issue the direct to the government. CPN-UML lawmaker Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal took the stance that there is no need to issue any directive to the government as it had refrained from executing the decision as soon as Parliament finalized the hearings regulations and formed the PHSC.
However, Nepali Congress lawmakers Ananda Prasad Dhungana, Prakash Sharan Mahat and Chitralekha Yadav urged the committee to direct the government not to take such decisions in future and encroach on the jurisdiction of Parliament.
Hearings to begin today
While the panel members debated whether or not to issue a directive, it also decided ultimately to begin the hearings for the proposed ambassadors.
The PHSC has decided to conduct hearings on Tuesday for four of the 22 names recommended for appointment as ambassadors.
The PHSC is set to conduct hearings Tuesday for Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, who has been proposed as ambassador for Pakistan, Tara Prasad Pokharel (proposed for Brazil), Prakash Kumar Subedi(Austria), and Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi (United Kingdom). All four are career diplomats at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The government had decided to name ambassadors for 21 countries on April 19 and nominated Sharmila Parjuli Dhakal as ambassador to Oman on May 6.