Statute amendment bill by Chhath: PM

Kathmandu, October 19

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today said the government was preparing to bring the constitution amendment bill by Chhath festival (first week of November) as the draft of the amendment proposal was in the final stage.

Addressing Parliament, Dahal said the government was working quietly through informal meetings to forge consensus among all political forces on the content of the amendment.

“The final draft of the constitution amendment bill is being prepared. The government’s target is to bring the bill by forging consensus with the main opposition and agitating Madhesi front. Formal and informal consultations are underway to forge consensus,” Dahal said.

Stating that the government wanted to hold local elections by mid-April, Dahal said the government had already tabled some election related bills to meet the constitutional deadline of forming a new Parliament by January 21, 2018 after holding all three levels of elections.

Bills related to Election Commission, registration of political parties and voters’ list have already been tabled, Dahal said, adding, “The government has given top priority to implementation of the constitution and holding all three levels of elections”.

“The government’s main focus is on implementing the constitution and making it acceptable. So, I request all political parties not to think of the issue only from the perspective of the government or the opposition,” Dahal said.

The PM appealed to all Parliament members and parties to face the challenge of implementing the constitution by forging consensus. “If we fail to give a new Parliament by January 21, 2018 as mentioned in the new constitution, we will face great disaster,” Dahal said.

He said the government was facilitating local bodies’ restructuring commission to accomplish its task at the earliest. He also said the government was working on administrative restructuring with an eye to accomplishing the task in the next eight months.

Dahal said he had given special instruction to government secretaries to implement development projects of national pride and he was also monitoring and inspecting them.

He informed that the government was targeting to achieve 80 per cent capital expenditure this fiscal.

Briefing about his recent India visit, Dahal said it was in the interest of Nepal. “I, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a trilateral meeting in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit on October 16. We discussed issues of trilateral concern.

Although it was unplanned, it was a good coincidence because there was less chance of this kind of visit in a planned way,” he said.

“Chinese President Xi made it public that he would visit Nepal soon. I asked him if he had any concerns regarding Nepal and requested him to pay his visit this year itself. He, then, said that he could not tell the exact time, but he would come to Nepal soon,” Dahal said.