Nepal | April 05, 2020

Prime minister skips question-answer session in House

Jagdishor Panday

“The PM decides to attend programmes as per their significance. He attends most important programmes of the day

— PM’s Press Adviser Kundan Aryal”

Kathmandu, February 3

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who was supposed to respond to lawmakers’ queries in the House of Representatives today, skipped the question-answer session.

As per the HoR Regulation, the PM should take part in the question-answer session twice a month, which should be held during first week and third week of the month. The question-answer session should take place in the first meeting of the first and third week of the month when the Parliament is in session.

According to the PM’s private secretariat, Oli was busy  in a meeting with Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and main opposition Nepali Congress  President Sher Bahadur Deuba at Baluwatar today.

Press Adviser to the Prime Minister Kundan Aryal told THT that PM Oli could not take part in the question-answer session because he had meeting with Dahal and Deuba.  “The prime minister decides to attend programmes as per their significance. He attends most important programmes of the day,” he said.

Spokesperson of the Parliament Secretariat Roj Nath Pandey said the Parliament Secretariat  received a message that the PM was busy and therefore, he couldn’t attend the HoR meeting.

The question-answer session, which was held on January 18 as per the House Regulations, didn’t continue on the second occasion.

Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe said the HoR would hold the question-answer session with the PM on Tuesday.  “If for any reason the PM fails to show up on Tuesday, we will start the question-answer session with other ministers,” he said.

Earlier in the morning today, the Business Advisory Committee led by Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara had included the question-answer session on the probable schedule of the House meeting. But during the day, the PM Secretariat informed that the PM would not available for the session.  Speaker Mahara then asked his office to change the schedule for the day excluding the question-answer session with the PM.

Meanwhile, Nepali Congress lawmaker Prakash Rasaili Snehi, who sought an answer from the PM on the government’s official stand on  Venezuela crisis, told THT that the PM skipped the HoR meeting because he did not want to take questions from lawmakers.

According HoR Regulation, the PM and other ministers should answer the queries registered by the lawmakers. According to the regulation, the speaker led Business Advisory Committee should approve those questions before allowing lawmakers to raise them in the House.

A version of this article appears in print on February 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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