Lawmakers to question PM Oli in House today

Kathmandu, January 17

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has statutory obligation to respond to lawmakers’ questions twice a month, will meet this obligation for the first time tomorrow after the new parliamentary regulations came into effect eight months ago.

A meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the House of Representatives led by Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara and attended by Nepali Congress lawmakers decided to start direct question-answer session with the PM tomorrow.

According to the HoR regulations, lawmakers can pose questions to the PM related to PMO and other ministries under him. A few days ago, Nepali Congress lawmakers obstructed HoR proceedings demanding explanation from the PM on his address to the House, but the PM had declined to respond to their questions.

As per the Parliamentary Regulations, the speaker can schedule House meeting in the first and third week of every month during the parliamentary session so that the PM can respond to lawmakers’ questions.

As per the regulations, if the HoR meetings are not held on the first day of the first and third weeks of the month, then the PM will take questions in the first and third weeks of the month on the days the HoR meetings are scheduled.

The regulation states that lawmakers can ask only 10 questions during one question-answer session.

The PM will have to directly respond to lawmakers’ questions. As per the regulations, the PM can also send his Cabinet colleagues to respond to lawmakers’ questions on his behalf.

NC’s Dilendra Prasad Badu, who attended the Business Advisory Committee meeting, told THT that NC lawmakers were all set to question the PM. “The House meeting will start at noon tomorrow and we’ll register our questions one hour before the meeting,” he said.

Laxman Lal Karna, chairperson of the Parliamentary Hearing Committee and one of the key persons to add the provision of direct question-answer session with the PM in the regulations, told THT that the drafters of the regulations wanted to make  the PM answerable to the Parliament.

“The questions will be related to the PM and his jurisdiction. The public can see the live telecast of the question-answer session with the PM,” he said, adding, “Lawmakers are accountable to the Parliament and so is the PM.”

Karna said under the previous parliamentary regulations, there was a provision for direct question-answer session only with ministers and not with the PM.

Radhe Shyam Adhikari, lawmaker of the National Assembly and another key person to advocate the provision of question-answer session with the PM in the regulation, said, “The PM should tell lawmakers what is happening in the country and the Parliament can follow up on the responses offered by the PM.”

Adhikari said the question-answer session would enable the public to know about the government’s functioning.

“If the PM lies in the House, he will bear the consequence,” he said. Adhikari added that people would judge the PM and his work through the question-answer session.