House likely to vote to decide PHSC strength

Kathmandu, May 15

Ruling parties and the Nepali Congress today failed to forge consensus on the strength of the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee and both are preparing to register amendment proposals at the Legislature Parliament Secretariat tomorrow, sticking to their stances.

Ruling parties are preparing to register a proposal seeking a 15-member PHSC as provisioned in the new constitution, according to CPN-UML Chief Whip Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal.

NC, on the other hand, is planning to register a proposal to continue with the existing 73-member PHSC, NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha said.

After the meeting of top leaders of the ruling parties and the main opposition party held at Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s residence for the second consecutive day today failed to forge consensus, they decided to settle the issue through voting in the Parliament.

If the issue is put to vote, the ruling parties’ proposal will prevail with simple majority.

Although the amendment proposals can be registered by 3:00pm tomorrow, they will be put to vote only after the Parliament meets on May 26. “Even if separate amendment proposals are registered, the parties can try to forge consensus before the issue is put to vote,” said UML Chief Whip Dhakal.

The ruling parties have been insisting that the PHSC should be a 15-member body, as per the new constitution, which is being implemented, Dhakal said.

NC leaders argue that the 73-member PHSC should be retained, as the National Assembly is yet to be formed by holding new parliamentary elections to form a 15-member PHSC with the representation of the Upper House, as mentioned in the new constitution.

“If other committees are working as per their existing strengths, why should the hearing committee’s strength be changed until we form the NA and get representation from it for the 15-member body?” argued Shrestha.