Nepal | February 20, 2019

‘Government should face questions from lawmakers every week’

Rewati Sapkota

HoR Regulations provide for question-answer session every first, third week of the month

Kathmandu January 7

The Parliamentary Business Advisory Committee today decided that the government should face questions from lawmakers in the House of Representatives every week. Ministry-wise question-answer session will be held in the House now onwards every week, said Rameswor Ray Yadav, a member of the committee representing the ruling Nepal Communist Party.

The committee’s decision comes a day after Nepali Congress lawmakers disrupted House proceedings after Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara did not allow them to ask questions to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli who had delivered a speech of public importance.

“We reviewed yesterday’s incident. The main opposition and the speaker realised they both committed a mistake by exhibiting aggression and agreed not to repeat it again,” Yadav told THT. “Henceforth, lawmakers can put forth their questions and ministers and/or the prime minister should furnish their answers every week.”

The House of Representatives Regulations has a provision whereby a question-answer session shall be held in the first and the third week of the month during the house session.

“On a designated day of the week, a question-answer session will be inserted in the parliamentary business schedule, besides the zero hour, special hour and business hour,” Yadav said. “The speaker will consult with the prime minister to finalise the day for the question-answer session.”

According to sources, NCP lawmakers committed they would help bring PM Oli to the House for a question-answer session as soon as possible to address the NC’s demands. NC Chief Whip Balkrishna Khand told the meeting the opposition had the right to ask questions to PM Oli. “The ruling party and the speaker failed to uphold the dignity of the House,” a participant of the meeting quoted Khand as saying.

NC Lawmaker Dilendra Badu, who was present in the committee’s meeting today, said they were firm on their stand that opposition lawmakers should be allowed to put forth their questions and the prime minister should furnish his answers. “We told the speaker that he had failed to make the government answerable by not allowing opposition lawmakers to put forth their questions after the prime minister’s speech of public importance,” he said.

The NC has called its parliamentary party meeting tomorrow to decide on its role in Wednesday’s House meeting. NC had submitted names of five lawmakers to Speaker Mahara before the House meeting began yesterday, and Mahara had told NC Chief Whip Khand that only two lawmakers would be allowed to ask questions, after which Khand told Mahara that he could move ahead as per his discretion.

In today’s committee meeting, Mahara said he was planning to allow two lawmakers from the NC, Prem Suwal from Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and Sarita Giri from Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal. Mahara also realised he had lost his cool when NC lawmakers stood up from their seats.

The next meeting of the Business Advisory Committee will be held on Wednesday before the House meeting begins.

 


A version of this article appears in print on January 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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