Leaders skipped House meetings

Kathmandu, November 17

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, were among other top leaders of the ruling and opposition parties, who skipped most of the parliamentary meetings during the budget session.

According to Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Rojnath Pandey, a total of 82 meetings of the House of Representatives were held during the budget session from March 5 to September 27.

According to Pandey, NCP (NCP) Co-chair Dahal attended 22 meetings, while NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba was present only in 20 meetings. The Parliament Secretariat said that in the 275-member House of Representatives, only 183 lawmakers were present only in 75 per cent meetings of the House.

In the National Assembly, of the 59 lawmakers, 54 lawmakers were present during the House meetings. In the NA, 63 meeting were held from March 4 to September 27.

Leader of the opposition, chief whips and whips of parties get Rs 60,970 monthly salary apart from other allowances, whereas lawmakers get a monthly salary of Rs 55,230.

Former speaker of House of Representatives Daman Nath Dhungana said top leaders should attend the Parliament meetings regularly. “Those leaders need to share their views and listen to others’ voices as well,” he said, adding, if all the lawmakers did not attend the meetings, the parties should issue whips.

He said the Speaker should also play a proactive role in ensuring participation of all lawmakers during the House meetings. Former parliament secretary Som Bahadur Thapa said lawmakers who get paid from taxpayers’ money should live up to people’s expectations.  “People view their representatives in high esteem and therefore lawmakers should be present in the meetings. They should actively take part in the meetings and should also listen to the voices raised by fellow representatives,” he added.