Kathmandu, May 18
As many as 40 bills introduced in the Parliament have been gathering dust with concerned government ministers or House committees taking no initiative to proceed with them. Of them 38 bills were introduced by the previous government.
Some of the important bills, including Bill on Local Self Governance Act (amendment), Contempt of Court Bill and Social Practice Reform Bill were introduced in the Parliament two years ago.
Altogether 17 bills, including bill on public procurement and bills on civil and criminal codes, brought to replace decades old Muluki Ain, are now gathering dust at the House committees.
Bills related to control of torture, private security services, social security, regulation and control of international trade of endangered wild lives and plants and management of vehicle and transportation were registered in the Parliament on different dates, mostly one-and-a-half years ago. However, the concerned ministries have not taken any initiative to table them at the Parliament for further process.
Although the Parliament is mainly a law-making body, the records at the bill section of
the Parliament Secretariat show that the law-making process in the Parliament is moving at very slow pace.
Only a few bills of high public importance, including National Reconstruction Authority Bill and First Amendment of Constitution of Nepal Bill were passed by the Parliament in the previous House session. Not a single bill has been tabled in the ongoing session that began on May 3.
Former law minister and Nepali Congress lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak said, “The primary responsibility of moving a bill is of the concerned minister who introduces it in the Parliament. The minister, in coordination with the Speaker, needs to take the initiative to table the bill in the Parliament and proceed with it. The parliamentary committees and their heads are also responsible for proceeding with the bills.”
CPN-UML deputy leader and former speaker Subas Chandra Nembang said the concerned minister had the sole responsibility of moving ahead the bill. “The government should determine priority and should take initiatives to move ahead the registered or tabled bills.
In case it finds any bill introduced previously out of context and irrelevant, it should withdraw it,” Nembang said.
Change in position of parties about a bill while in government and while out of the government, disputes among them on political issues and carelessness of all concerned are other causes for the bills not getting priority for further process, according to Nembang.
Lekhak said lack of coordination among the government ministries while introducing bills is also a reason for the slow pace of lawmaking process.
“As the government ministries lack coordination, many provisions of the government-introduced bills are contradictory and lead to disputes in the Parliament,” he said.
Nembang said development works had been affected due to the delay in passing the public procurement bill that was stranded in the Parliament.
A version of this article appears in print on May 19, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.