House session being prorogued todayThe session stretched for 5 months and did nothing more than passing budget bills and making anti-usuary law.
The ongoing session of the federal parliament is being prorogued from Friday midnight without endorsing crucial bills and proving to be one of the most unproductive sessions of late.
President Ramchandra Paudel will call off the session on Friday after the recommendation from the government. “As the festive season is around the corner, the government is preparing to prorogue the session starting Friday night. Friday's meeting will be the last this season,” Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dhanraj Gurung told the Post. Dashain begins on Sunday with Ghatasthapana and will be followed by other big Hindu festivals like Tihar and Chhath.
The ongoing session, which commenced on May 7 as a budget session, stretched for five months.
Despite holding 62 meetings so far, the federal parliament endorsed one bill other than the mandatory three bills related to the national budget for the ongoing fiscal year. The lower house will hold its 63rd meeting on Friday, the last in the current fiscal year. The National Assembly has held 43 meetings.
In July, the federal parliament passed the bill to criminalise the practice of loan sharking.
The government had consulted the chief whips and whips of the ruling parties before deciding to prorogue the session.
“We suggested the session’s prorogation as lawmakers need to visit their constituencies during the festivals. Also, the present session has already been stretched too far,” Ramesh Lekhak, the Nepali Congress chief whip, told the Post.
The incumbent coalition government had pledged to make the ongoing session productive.
However, neither the government provided adequate business to Parliament nor did the opposition parties cooperate in making it effective. The repeated obstruction by the CPN-UML wasted around two months since the new session began. As a result, the federal parliament couldn't endorse crucial bills, some of them needed for full-fledged implementation of federalism.
The government had been reiterating that endorsement of the amendment bill to the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TJ) Act, federal civil service bill and school (federal) education bill is its top most priority. However, the current session is concluding even before the government registered the federal civil service bill. Despite discussing for over seven months, there is no consensus on the bill to amend the TJ Act.
The subcommittee under the Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday submitted its report without finalising the bill. Following differences among the parties, the subcommittee has been unable to decide on classifying murder as a serious violation of human rights and non-amnestiable. The present bill lists only ‘cruel murder’ as a serious violation of human rights, drawing criticism from various quarters.
Similarly, the school education bill has also received widespread criticism. As many as 165 amendments have been registered with the bill. The federal civil service and the federal education laws are a must for the implementation of the constitution.
Records at Parliament Secretariat show 15 bills are pending with the Federal Parliament; half of them under the National Assembly were registered even before the election of the present House of Representatives. Speaking to the Post, Khim Lal Devkota, a National Assembly member, blamed both the government and the opposition party for the present situation.