Mini-parliament begins after a hiatus

Kathmandu, November 19

Parliamentary committees that work as mini-parliament will regularly conduct their meetings from now on to ensure parliamentary checks on the executive after having observed a month-long vacation.

The Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumer Interest Committee of the House of Representatives was the first to meet on Friday after Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivities; the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee met yesterday and dwelt on the citizenship bill, while the Education and Health Committee formed three sub-committees to discuss the National Medical Education Bill.

Today, the Finance Committee started a discussion on capital expenditure; Public Accounts Committee will meet tomorrow and assess how well the government monitored the market during festivals, while the Development and Technology Committee will dwell on reconstruction issues when it meets tomorrow.

Former secretary of the Parliament Secretariat Som Bahadur Thapa, however, isn’t upbeat about the parliamentary committees’ performance. “House committees are acting like wings of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP),” he said, adding that the committees need to monitor activities of the government and should devise new strategies to make their work effective.

Chairpersons of the committees, however, begged to differ. Chairperson of Development and Technology Committee Kalyani Khadka said the committees had worked only for a short period and the criticism was uncalled for. “We could meet just thrice after the committee was formed. We’ll work regularly now,” she said.

Chairperson of the Education and Health Committee Jaya Puri Gharti said the committee had already formed three sub-committees for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education and Science Technology and the Ministry of Health and Population. Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee Bharat Shah said the committee would work proactively to ensure good governance.

Chairperson of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee Shashi Shrestha said her committee would meet soon to discuss issues related to the investigation into the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta.