PM for putting amendment bill to vote by August 23

Kathmandu, August 16

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today sought help from all parties that have representation in the Parliament to pass the constitution amendment bill.

The prime minister called an all-party meeting and told leaders that he favoured putting the constitution amendment bill to vote by August 23.

Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch (Tharuhat) lawmaker Rukmini Chaudhari, who attended the meeting, said although the PM told the meeting that the amendment bill would be put to vote by August 23, there were chances that the House could put the bill to vote by August 21, as the PM would embark on a visit to India on August 23.

UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang, who also attended the all-party meeting, told THT that his party leaders were in favour of taking the amendment bill to a conclusion long time ago but the ruling parties did not move the process ahead. “We’ll help bring the process to an end. It depends on us whether to pass or fail the bill,” Nembang said when asked whether his party’s lawmakers would support or oppose the bill. According to the UML, the constitution amendment bill is against the interest of the country.

CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who was present in the all-party meeting and the meeting of three major parties that the PM held prior to the all-party meeting, told THT that the PM favoured putting  the amendment bill  to vote in the next  two to three days.

Shrestha said UML leaders told others that they would vote against the bill.

According to sources, the PM discussed the amendment bill, poll dates and relief and rescue operation being carried out in floods-affected areas in the two meetings.

Nepali Janata Dal lawmaker Hari Charan Sah said the PM told the all-party meeting that the government would announce dates for provincial and parliamentary polls within two to three days.

According to Sah, the prime minister told the meeting that the government could hike ex gratia payment for families who lost their loved ones in recent floods and landslides from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. On August 13, the government had decided to make an ex gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh to each family who lost their loved ones in the natural disaster.

Lawmakers Chaudhari and Sah said almost all parties demanded that the government carry out relief and rescue operation more effectively. They also said that the parties opposed government’s one-door policy to distribute relief materials to floods victims.

According to Chaudhari, the PM told the meeting that the one-door policy was only for those parties that wanted to distribute huge quantity of relief materials and that there was no bar for those organisations that wanted to distribute small quantity of relief materials.