Nepal | July 08, 2020

State bodies fail to submit delegated legislation

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, June 13

Although the parliamentary Delegated Management and Government Assurance Committee directed ministries, Prime Miniter’s Office and constitutional bodies to submit their delegated legislation within a month, all the ministries except one and constitutional bodies have failed to comply.

Except the Ministry of Defence, no ministries or constitutional bodies have submitted delegated legislation to the committee.

On March 24, the DLGA committee had directed all 22 ministries to submit their drafts of delegated legislation. As they failed to comply, the committee directed the ministries and constitutional bodies for the second time to submit delegated legislation on April 1.

“It is sad that only the defence ministry has submitted its delegated legislation,” said committee Chair Ram Narayan Bidari.

Delegated laws incorporate office or institutional rules, regulations and bylaws. Based on the parent laws, ministries or constitutional bodies are entitled to draft delegated legislation. For example, if the government comes up with new citizenship law, the concerned ministry can draft regulations, rules and other laws, based on the parent citizenship law.

“As of now, there is no record of delegated laws in the country. It has not been verified whether the existing delegated laws are based on the parent laws,” Bidari said. He explained that the committee had issued the directive as part of its plan to ensure that delegated legislation confirmed with parent laws.

In 1959, a system was in place to look after delegated legislation by the parliament. But the system short lived as the then King Mahendra usurped power from the democratic government in 1960. In 1991, the parliament of Nepal had initiated a culture of delegated legislation, but it too proved ineffective. After the country was declared a federal democratic republic in 2007, parliamentary committee was entrusted with the responsibility to look after delegated legislation. “But that did not happen,” Bidari said.

This time a separate committee in the National Assembly has been formed to look after delegated legislation. “The current practice has been to formulate institutional laws on a whim, in contravention with parent laws,” said Bidari, claiming that corruption will be reduced by 50 per cent if delegated laws formulated by following the parent laws, are enforced in the country.

Bidari said the committee will grant a week deadline for the third time to the ministries and constitutional bodies to submit those delegated laws. In case of their failure to submit delegated legislation, the committee will present a report to the House on the non-compliance by the concerned bodies, according to Bidari.

A version of this article appears in print on June 14, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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