HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The government today registered a bill seeking an amendment to Article 138 (2) of the Interim Constitution in order to pave the way for formation of ‘an experts’ committee’ within the CA by replacing the State Restructuring Commission.
House is scheduled to endorse the amendment bill on November 11. “The CA, by passing a special proposal, will form an experts’ committee to give suggestions for state restructuring. The CA will determine work, duty, rights and working procedure of the committee,” reads the proposed amendment bill. The incumbent provision of the Interim Constitution has it that the government will form a commission to give suggestions for state restructuring, and the government will determine work, duty, rights and working procedure of the commission.
With the passage of the bill, the CA will form the experts’ committee to garner suggestions for determining number, name and boundaries of the federal units.
A Cabinet meeting held this afternoon approved the amendment proposal after which Minister for Law and Justice Brijesh Kumar Gupta and Minister for Youth and Sports Kamala Roka registered the bill at the House Secretariat on behalf of the government.
Earlier today a meeting of the sub-committee under the Constitutional Committee formed to sort out the contentious issues related to the constitution had urged the government and CA Chairman to take initiatives to form an ‘experts’ committee’ from within the CA by amending the Interim Constitution.
Today’s was the first meeting of the Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led seven-member sub-committee since the parties struck a seven-point deal on November 1 on peace and constitution-drafting processes, as well as formation of a national consensus government. It has been agreed to form an experts’ committee from within the CA, replacing the constitutional clause of forming the SRC.
The Interim Constitution has a provision of forming SRC to recommend the CA about the federal structure (names, numbers and boundaries of the provincial states) based on the principles of identity and economic viability.
The Unified CPN-Maoist and Madhes-based parties had been objecting to the idea of SRC, saying it was too late to form such a commission and that it would also undermine the report already submitted by the CA thematic Committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Power, which has recommended formation of 14 federal units — two in the Tarai-Madhes region and 12 in hill and mountain regions.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai was also present at today’s sub-committee meeting as an invitee.