House session to end in a week

Kathmandu, March 18

The government is preparing to end the current session of the House within a week. This means the constitution amendment bill will not be put to vote in this session.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had recently told the United Democratic Madhesi Front, which has launched street protest against the local polls, that the constitution amendment bill could be passed if the UDMF agreed to drop issues related to revision of provincial boundaries.

A source close to Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar said the Speaker and government officials were discussing matters related to the House session. He said the Speaker and government officials were thinking of calling a new session of the Parliament after 10 to 15 days.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said there was no possibility of passing the constitution amendment bill in the current session. “The full House is unlikely to decide as there are 15 amendments proposals  registered on the constitution amendment bill,”  Bidari added.

He said his party wondered why Madhesi parties had moved so many amendment proposals on the bill as these could lengthen the process of passing the bill. “In this situation, the Parliament has no option but to send the bill to a special committee for clause-wise discussion,” he said.

The ongoing budget-session was called by the UML Chair KP Oli-led government on 3 May 2016. One of the longest parliament sessions in the country’s history is holding another meeting tomorrow, but the tentative work procedure of the meeting has not stated any business related to constitution amendment.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajaya Shankar Nayak said a bill related to local governance was likely to be tabled. He also informed that the bill would deal with the procedures of administrative work of the newly formed local levels.

The House will endorse commodity exchange bill and discuss the bill related to delineation of constituencies, pay and perks of former office bearers and a bill related to determination of number of wards of municipalities and rural municipalities. These bills are most likely to be passed on the same day after clause-wise discussion. The House is also likely to pass the bill related to pay and perks of judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court.

According to Minister of Science and Technology Prem Bahadur Singh, there will be a short gap between two sessions. He said many bills were likely to be tabled in the new session of Parliament as dozens of bills related to constitution implementation were being formulated. Minister Singh also said, “The government is trying to find common points for constitution amendment as this is not merely about process, but also a matter of garnering two-thirds majority.”