House session delay hits law formulationDelay in finalising Parliament regulations and summoning House session has affected the process of formulating laws required for the smooth implementation of constitution.
Delay in finalising Parliament regulations and summoning House session has affected the process of formulating laws required for the smooth implementation of constitution.
It has been six month since the Constituent Assembly (CA) was transformed into Parliament but very little progress has been made on constitution implementation except the formation of a few committees by the government.
Due to disputes over the size of Parliamentary Hearing Committee, the tasks of finalising Parliament regulations has hit a roadblock—causing delay in the summoning of Parliament. The regulation is facing uncertain future after the main opposition Nepali Congress last Friday boycotted the voting in the committee responsible for drafting the regulation. A vote was called after members failed to reach an agreement for nearly six months.
Ruling and opposition parties are trading barbs for the delay in calling Parliament into session.
CPN-UML Whip Gokul Gharti blames the NC for the delay. “Due to the unconstitutional position of NC, the tasks of formulating laws to implement the constitution has been badly affected,” said Gharti, adding that government would call Parliament into session as soon as the regulation is finalised.
NC leader Ramesh Lekhak said that the lawmaking process could be undertaken even under an interim regulation. “Government is indifferent to call Parliament into session which has complicated constitution implementation process—an urgent task of country,” said Lekhak
The elections of President, Prime Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker were held through the interim regulation. After the election for key positions, the Parliament session was adjourned without making progress on formulating laws. “There is a lack of sincerity on part of the government because interim regulation do not create obstacles,” said Lekhak.
The ruling parties, however, maintain that the interim regulation cannot formulate laws required to implement the constitution.
According to the Ministry of Law, a total of 138 laws need to be formulated to implement the constitutional provisions. Speaking at a programme, Prime Minister KP Oli said those laws will be implemented within
The problem related to the formulation of laws is further compounded by the closing deadline for budget presentation. The upcoming Parliament session will be dominated with the issues related to budget. The pre-budget discussion, budget presentation and endorsement of budget are expected to last a couple of months.
NC leader Lekhak suggested that both budget and law-making process could go simultaneously. “Government should prepare draft bills to speed up the law-making process,” he said. But officials at the Parliament Secretariat contradict Lekhak’s argument, saying that it is not possible to push the two agendas simultaneously.
That means there will be very little time to formulate the laws—mainly those related to rights of federal, provinces and local level, distribution of state resources, formation of constitutional bodies and holding national, provincial and local level elections.
The new constitution has also envisioned new commissions and laws related to those commissions. A high-level committee set up for handling tasks related to new constitution has been ineffective in lack laws.
Cross party leaders call for cooperation between ruling and opposition parties to speed up the law formulation process. Along with formulating laws, parties need to strike a deal with Madhes-based parties on the demarcation of federal units. The constitution cannot be implemented without settling the political issues, they say. The Madhes-based parties are preparing to launch another round of protests soon.