Kathmandu, May 19
The government today tabled a bill related to management of ties among centre, provinces and local levels.
On behalf of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal presented the bill for thematic discussion in the National Assembly.
Replying to lawmakers’ queries, Minister Dhakal said, “The bill was brought under constitutional provisions. If there are weaknesses and problems in the proposed bill, the House can correct them.”
He also said the central government is not authorised to bring a law which contradicts the provisions in the constitution. However, he added that the provincial and local governments couldn’t undermine any provisions of the law brought by the centre. “As per the constitutional provision, the lower governments should follow provisions in the central government’s law. For example, if the central government amends a particular law, the lower level governments also need to amend laws related to it,” Dhakal said.
The bill stipulates that the three tiers of the government should perform their duties in a way that does not lead to any disputes among them. It adds that the inter-provincial council will settle any political disputes between the centre and the provinces. It will also settle disputes among the provinces. IPC will settle mainly the disputes arising out of provinces’ grievances that certain actions of the federal government and its agencies have infringed their jurisdiction.
Dhakal said formation of the IPC was crucial. IPC can also look into allegations of provincial governments’ actions infringing upon the federal government’s jurisdiction.
IPC cannot discuss issues that are under consideration of the Parliament and provincial assemblies.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Jitendra Narayan Dev commented that there should not be any ambiguities in a law. “If there exists some ambiguities in a law, dishonest lawyers can exploit it to meet their vested interests. Ambiguity in a law on political issues can even lead to conflicts,” he said. He also said that resource and state power devolution should be carried out as per the spirit of the constitution.
Another NC lawmaker Prakash Pant said the government should have held a pre-legislation discussion with the stakeholders before the bill was drafted. “It could have enriched the document,” he said. Ruling Nepali Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said the bill addressed several issues of the constitution and was instrumental in implementing the provisions.
A version of this article appears in print on May 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.