Make House Businesslike

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It is essential for the ruling and the opposition political parties to forge consensus on key national issues and work in close cooperation and coordination with each other in order to find a preferred solution to the existing problems. When a consensus culture is developed, it may help lead a country on the path of socio-economic development and political stability. Even after the promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal 2015, the nation has been reeling from political instability due to intra- and inter-party feuds. Although the major political parties have time and again vowed to leave no stone unturned when it comes to implementing the hard-won inclusive national charter and the federal system of governance, much still remains to be done. There are some regressive elements who want to nip the federal democratic republic system in the bud.  Under the new political system, the three-tier governments were formed for the first time after holding the 2017 elections. The three-tier elections were held for the second time in 2022 amidst the protracted COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. 

With no single political party having a clear majority in the federal and provincial legislatures, the problem of political instability appears to have been exacerbated in the nation. This year’s winter session of federal parliament came to an end without having passed even a single bill. It shows that the ruling and the opposition parties were at loggerheads with each other over trivial issues instead of concentrating their attention on formulating laws. They were mostly found engaged with power games one after another at the federal and provincial levels, causing a lot of frustration to people. Because of that, they failed to deliver on their promises. Despite all this, three major political forces representing the parliament have now forged a consensus so as to make the current budget session effective. In a meeting held at the Prime Minister's official residence at Baluwatar on Sunday, parliamentary party leaders and chief whips of the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre and the main opposition CPN-UML also reached an understanding to forward the Bills on Constitutional Council and transitional justice, which are under consideration in the House of Representatives. Once the TJ Bill gets a House’s nod, it will help deliver the transitional justice to the victims of the decade-long Maoist insurgency and provide their relatives with reparations.  

The top leaders also discussed the formation of different House panels to move forward the parliamentary proceedings in a smooth manner. Besides, they focused on creating a sub-committee to speed up the process of getting the Truth and Reconciliation Bill amended. They also discussed the leadership and representation of the parliamentary committees based on consensus and the formation of a parliamentary hearing committee. If they stick to the new understanding, the ongoing session of parliament is expected to be desirably more fruitful than the previous ones. Several other important bills, including the Federal Civil Service Bill, are also awaiting a parliamentary endorsement.   

As the nation has been facing an economic slump in the post-COVID situation, the main political parties now need to prioritise addressing the economic problems and challenges. The federal government is preparing to unveil its policy and programmes, and budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2023-24. They need to hold extensive discussions on these matters so as to help the government take the nation out of the existing economic crisis. It is necessary for the government to step up measures to increase revenue collection, create more jobs within the nation and intensify the task of infrastructural development. 

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