KATHMANDU, Feb 21: Lawmakers elected under the proportional representation (PR) category have accused the government of treating them as second-class citizens by entrusting the authority only to the directly elected members of parliament while choosing projects in the constituencies.
Venting their ire against the government policy, lawmaker from the main opposition party Uma Regmi tore the government directive for Local Infrastructure Development Program at the House meeting on Wednesday. Under this program, the Ministry of Finance releases Rs 40 million budget annually for each constituency.
“The directive has made us (elected under PR category) as second class lawmakers although we are also elected by the people,” lawmaker Regmi said after tearing down the directive.
Another NC lawmaker Laxmi Pariyar also criticized the directive for undermining the inclusive policy adopted by the constitution of the country.
“The directive has classified us in two categories. We are treated like citizens with naturalized citizenship certificates,” lawmaker Pariyar said. She also demanded separate arrangement for seats in the House for directly elected MPs and those elected under the PR category.
Ram Bahadur Bista of NC compared the directive with the classification of Rana rulers into different class families.
“The directive has discriminated against the PR lawmakers and has left no role for them in choosing projects under the program,” said Bista.
Another NC lawmaker Ramgamati Shahi also expressed discontent against the directive and demanded the government to revise it prior to the budget announcement for the next fiscal year.
The Ministry of Federal Development and General Administration had issued the directive in October 2018 stating that lawmakers elected under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category shall take decision on the project selection if the project advisory committee failed to take decision unanimously.
Similarly, the directive has proposed directly elected MPs as coordinator of the committee while any lawmaker elected under the PR category and National Assembly member representing the constituency will be members.