NC, UML agree to form state re-do panel

KATHMANDU: Top leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML today agreed in principle to form the constitutional State Restructuring Commission (SRC) at the earliest.

In a meeting held at the UML’s parliamentary party office in Singha Durbar, the leaders agreed upon forming the commission after holding consultations with all the 24 parties representing the Constituent Assembly. The leaders also discussed the gamuts of the peace and constitution-drafting processes, both of which are behind a schedule set by the Interim Constitution.

Emerging from the bilateral meeting, NC vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel told mediapersons that they mainly dwelt on major contents of the new constitution and ways of taking the peace process to a logical conclusion.

“We discussed the most disputed issues such as the forms of governance, state restructuring and process of taking the peace process to a logical end,” Poudel, who is also the leader of the NC parliamentary party, said. This is the first bilateral meeting between the NC and the UML after the demise of NC president GP Koirala on March 20.

On reactivating the High-Level Political Mechanism (HLPM), which was earlier headed by the late Koirala, Poudel said they will revive it after consultations with the Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda.

UML chief whip Bhim Acharya said their discussions focused mainly on the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the constitutional SRC, which should have been formed before the CA committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Power came up with its report on federalism. The CA panel has suggested 14 federal units on identity basis of community, without considering their functional capability. Acharya said the

ToR of the SRC will be designed based on the constitutional provision, the

report of the CA panel on state restructuring and discussions on federalism in the CA full House.

The constitutional provision has it that the SRC will suggest the names, boundaries and numbers of the federal units considering their administrative and economic sustainability.