House passes three bills

Kathmandu, October 6

The Parliament today passed three bills: Inter-government Finance Bill, National Natural Resources and Finance Commission Bill, and Civil Servants Adjustment Bill.

The House, however, could not pass the bill related to election of president and vice-president due to lack of quorum.

The Inter-government Finance Bill provisions distribution of excise duty and value added tax deposited in the federal fund.  As per the bill, federal government will get 70 per cent of such revenue. Fifteen per cent will go to provincial governments and 15 per cent to local governments. Revenue from excise duty collected on domestic goods and value added tax will be deposited in this fund, which will be distributed among the three tiers of government.

Also, 50 per cent of royalty collected from natural resources will go to the federal government and 25 per cent each will go to provincial and local governments.

Lawmaker Shyam Kumar Shrestha said the bill was against the spirit of federalism as it gave more funds to the federal government than provincial and local governments. He said the to-be-formed  Finance Commission should have the power to fix the ratio of revenue for federal, provincial and local governments, but the bill had fixed the ratio against the provisions of the constitution.

Shrestha had previously said that as per the spirit of federalism, more resources ought to be allocated to provincial and local governments, but this bill proposed to give more to the centre. He also said some provinces were rich in natural resources and some were poor. Therefore, judicious distribution of resources among provinces was necessary.

The Civil Servants Adjustment Bill provisions that seniority of civil servants, their preferences and current addresses will be criteria for their adjustment.

The bill related to election of president and vice-president is expected to be passed in the next meeting of the Parliament. The House today accepted Home Minister Janardan Sharma’s proposal to amend two provisions in this bill. Minister Sharma said he wanted to remove the provision on requirement of deposit from Section 62 of the bill, which stipulates that a person wishing to be candidate for president should deposit Rs 100,000 and a vice-president aspirant should deposit Rs 75,000. Sharma said he wanted to remove the provision keeping in mind the dignity of the posts.

He also proposed to change the provision that requires a candidate for president to have 25 proposers and 25 seconders. Sharma said a provision will be inserted in the bill requiring the candidate for president and vice-president to have only five proposers and five seconders.