THT 10 years ago: HoR one on 33 pc stake for women

Kathmandu, May 30, 2006

The Parliament today unanimously passed a proposal which obliges the government to issue citizenship paper to an offspring with the mother as approver or legal guardian, to guarantee proportionate representation in all state mechanism including jobs and other opportunities in the long run and to end all provisions in laws that discriminate against women.

For now, it has proposed 33 per cent reservation for women in all levels of state mechanism. This, however, needs a legal shape, members of the parliament said. The proposal was presented by Member of Parliament (MP) Bidhya Bhandari and backed by Member of Parliament, NP Saud.

The proposal also states all existing laws that discriminate against women must be scrapped. Earlier, there was a policy of giving 20 per cent representation for women in certain areas, but there was no law on it.

Urmila Aryal, state minister for women, children and social welfare, told this daily said: “Thirty three per cent representation means reservation in jobs and other opportunities also.” Aryal labelled this as a “victory” for Nepali women, who she said were facing numerous problems. “Now, implementation of the policy is important,” she added.

Advocate and noted women rights activist Sapana Pradhan Malla termed it a historic achievement. She told this daily this was a “sovereign and legal commitment” but “needs to get a legal shape” and be “implemented soon by amending all existing discriminatory provisions” of the laws.

“This has indicated that women’s voices have been heard and heeded,” she added.

Big changes in forthcoming budget likely

The ministry of finance (MoF) is working on a war footing to introduce a paradigm shift in the forthcoming budget for fiscal year 2006-07, likely to be presented in the last week of June.

The biggest ‘victims’ of this major shake-up are to be security and royal palace expenses. Royal palace expenses are being drastically reduced to about Rs 200 million from the current Rs 750 million, said a highly-placed source at the ministry.

The source said the security budget would by brought down by over four billion rupees.

According to the current 2005-06 budget, spending under security head stands at Rs 18 billion, which is likely to be reduced to Rs 14 billion.

The effort by the sevenparty alliance and the Maoists to establish a constituent assembly would require a budget of over Rs 1.20 billion.

The official also said that as the forthcoming budget is being prepared “with a new vision and in keeping with the aspirations generated by the historic people’s movement” heralding an end to the decade-long conflict, a special focus would be laid on the upliftment of rural areas.