THT 10 YEARS AGO: Govt to ask ADB not to leave Melamchi

Kathmandu, June 6, 2007

The government today registered the Interim Constitution (Second Amendment) Bill at the Parliament secretariat. The Cabinet approved the draft Bill before it was registered.

The Second Amendment was necessitated by the government’s failure to hold the Constituent Assembly elections by mid-June.

The government also decided to write to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to continue its necessary commitment to execute the Melamchi Drinking Water Project (MDWP).

Minister of Physical Planning and Construction Hisila Yami had insisted that ADB could well keep out of the Melamchi project if it was keen to retain British company Severn Trent as the manager of the drinking water supply in Kathmandu, and it had generated doubts on whether the project would be executed.

“The government has now decided to write to the ADB to continue the good job,” Yami told reporters after the Cabinet meeting held at the official residence of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at Baluwatar. But the government has not yet made clear whether it would still retain controversial British firm Severn Trent as a manager of the Kathmandu valley water supply system. The government will now write to the ADB that the bank should continue its cooperation and it will “cooperate.”

Bill ensures 50 per cent CA quota for women

Kathmandu, June 6, 2007

A task force of the State Affairs Committee (SAC) today finalised the Constituent Assembly Member Election Bill overcoming the hurdles in proportional electoral system by ensuring 50 per cent representation for the women.

The bill ensures equal representation of 6.5 per cent for Dalit women and men; 18.8 per cent each for the men and women from the indigenous minorities; 15.6 per cent each for the Madhesi men and women; 1.8 per cent each for the men and women from the backward regions; and equal representation of 14.3 per cent for the men and women other categories. SAC would formally finalise the bill tomorrow so that the interim legislature could endorse it in a couple of days.

This is one of the bills that once becomes an Act would pave the way to hold Constituent Assembly elections. The task-force comprises Purna Bahadur Khadka, Minendra Rijal, Raghuji Panta, Radhey Shyam Adhikari, Khim Lal Devkota, Sunil Prajapati and Prashu Ram Meghi Gurung. “The parties have been granted liberty to give 40 to 60 per cent representation to women while deciding their candidates,” said lawmakers representing the task force.

Meanwhile, the Administration Reform Monitoring Committee of the interim legislature today formed a committee to take care of the interests of the civil servants in the bill.