Kathmandu: The bill convention of the restored House of Representatives is being prepared to end before passing any bill.
There are 36 bills under consideration in the House of Representatives, including long-standing citizenship. But the government is preparing to end the current convention.
The bill convention of the parliament should have started within January 1. But on the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, the parliament was dissolved on 20 December last year. After a two-month-long debate, the Supreme Court annulled the dissolution of parliament on 23 February and issued an order in the name of the government to convene a session within 13 days.
Accordingly, five meetings were held in the convention which took off on 7 March, which was basically limited to formalities. Now the next meeting has been called for March 31.
Now the government is preparing to end the convention by holding a series of meetings. Vishal Bhattarai, chief whip of the ruling CPN-UML, said that preparations are underway to end the current session as the budget session is scheduled to start from mid-April.
There is a constitutional provision that the budget should be brought on May 29 (Jestha 15). It is customary to discuss pre-budget before the budget comes. Government policies and programs are presented by the President. The main priority of the annual convention is to pass policies, programs and budgets. However, there may be some bills.
36 Bills withheld
Currently, 36 bills are under consideration in the House of Representatives. Some bills have already been passed by thematic committees.
The Citizenship Bill registered in the second convention of the parliament has reached the parliament. The bill was passed by the thematic committee on 21 June last year.
The committee has agreed on the bill to give a residence permit to a foreign woman who is married to a Nepali man at the beginning and citizenship only after 7 years. The bill has not been able to move forward as the government itself has not agreed to this provision.
The bill on the formation, operation and conditions of service of the federal civil service, which is linked to the rights of the provinces, has stalled even after it was passed by the State Management and Good Governance Committee.
Due to the disagreement of the government on some provisions of the bill passed by the committee on 29 June last year, it could not be tabled in the parliament. The (federal) government is of the view that the chief administrative officer at the local level and the secretary of the provincial ministry should be under its jurisdiction. The committee has passed and sent both these posts under the jurisdiction of the province government.
The bill to amend and consolidate the insurance law is the oldest bill stalled in the House of Representatives. This bill is still under discussion in the Finance Committee.
The bill to amend the Plant Protection Act is in the process of becoming law only after it is passed by the House of Representatives. This bill has not been able to move forward in the current convention.
There are six bills tabled in the House of Representatives with messages from the National Assembly.
Nepal Media Council, Kathmandu Valley Public Transport (Management) Authority, Nepal Special Services, Policy Research Institute, Plant Protection (First Amendment), Seed-Vision (Second Amendment) Bills were passed by the National Assembly but could not move forward in the current convention.
10 bills are under discussion in the thematic committees of the House of Representatives include Insurance Bill, Federal Civil Service Bill, Information Technology Bill, Nepal Engineering Council (First Amendment) Bill, Public Debt Management Bill, Banking and Financial Institutions (First Amendment) Bill, Nepal Rastra Bank (Third Amendment) Bill, Prison Bill, Animal Health and Animal Services Council Bill and Securities (First Amendment).
Export-Import (Regulation) Bill, Competition Promotion and Market Protection (First Amendment) Bill, Military (First Amendment) Bill, Public Procurement (Third Amendment) Bill are only being presented in the Parliament.
8 bills have been registered and distributed in the House of Representatives include Peacekeeping Bill, Accelerated Construction and Development of National Priority Projects Bill, National Security Council Bill, National Human Rights Commission (First Amendment) Bill, Customs Bill, Credit Information Bill, Pokhara Institute of Health Sciences (First Amendment) Bill, Social Security (First Amendment).
Similarly, only five non-government bills have been registered in the parliament. The Cannabis (Management) Bill and four others are related to the amendment of the Constitution of Nepal.