As the winter session of the federal parliament is set to kick off on Monday, opposition parties are gearing up to address pressing issues, ranging from corruption and black marketing to the exodus of youths and the urgent need for legislation to enforce the constitution.
The opposition’s role in a parliamentary democracy is deemed significant, with a responsibility to scrutinize government activities and contribute to the effectiveness of parliamentary proceedings. As the parliament enters its second year since the second general elections following the 2015 constitution, the upcoming session is expected to witness the discussion of crucial bills aimed at enforcing the constitution and federalism.
As the new parliaments in place since the second general elections following the 2015 constitution entered the second year, the imminent winter session of federal parliament is poised to see slew of important bills to enforce constitution and federalism.
Even the budget calendar has been revised this year, which would see pre-budget discussion within this session.
With the winter session of federal parliament slated to begin coming Monday, the opposition parties have decided to raise the pressing issues as corruption, black marketing, exodus of youths, and urgency of law making for enforcement of constitution.
Currently, there are 24 bills in the federal parliament, while many others are in the offing. The work advisory committee of the National Assembly on Friday endorsed a tentative agenda for Magh and Falgun months.
In this connection, the opposition parties have shown concern over lackadaisical efforts of the government for advancing good governance, social justice, development and prosperity in the country.
Whip of parliamentary party of major opposition CPN UML, Mahesh Bartaula, said his party had decided to put forth the issues of nationality, constitution’s implementation and people’s concern. “Government must give business to the parliament, but there was nothing done on it. More than 39 laws are required to enforce the constitution. Government’s efforts to give business to parliament are slow off the mark,” he said, adding that further watchfulness is imperative.
He further pointed out the need of bringing bills on time and passing accordingly. “As an opposition party, CPN UML presents itself cogently,” Bartaula stressed.
Whip Bartaula shared, “Country’s economy is under pressure and we are forced to receive loans for general expenses. There is no favourable atmosphere for establishing new industries, while many industries are sick and some on verge of closure. Investment-friendly environment is much awaited. These are our priorities.”
Similarly, Chairperson of the Rastriya Janamorcha, Chitra Bahadur KC, said they would strongly raise the issues about corruption, nationality, sovereignty, in the coming winter parliament session.
Aam Janata Party Chairperson, Prabhu Saha, commented that the issues of corruption and people’s livelihood would be raised vociferously in the coming parliament session.
Chief Whip of the Rastriya Swatantra Party Santosh Pariyar stressed, “The main responsibility of the government and ruling alliance is to take the laws to conclusion. Issues related to troubles facing the people daily, curtailing of citizen rights, corruption will also be raised in the winter session.”
According to him, in the way political parties collaborate to form a government, they should collaborate to address the concerns and agendas of the public. Lawmaker Pariyar pledged to raise voices on the public concerns in a manner that they are addressed.
He reaffirmed, “We will raise the agendas that were never raised by any mainstream political parties in the upcoming session of parliament. With the presence of youth brimming with new energy and critical awareness, the RSP will make every possible effort to raise issues intensely and establish them.”
Ruling parties hope for an effective winter session
Meanwhile, the leaders of the ruling alliance have said the coming session would concentrate on making laws and they would contribute to this end for spreading positive messages.
CPN (Maoist Centre) Chief Whip Hitraj Pandey said that his party will prepare a schedule and will eloquently push a couple of agendas in the upcoming session of parliament. “Works should be taken forward effectively by preparing a schedule to accelerate endorsement of pending bills in the parliament. Bills related to truth and reconciliation, money laundering, education and province police adjustments should be concluded in this session,” he added.
The upcoming session of parliament will deliberate on what kind of budget should be prepared for the next fiscal year since the Ordinance related to it has been issued after the recommendation of the Prime Minister, he added.
He viewed the parliament should accelerate its pace in which it endorses the bills. “The government has prioritized good governance. A positive message is being disseminated to the public.”
Stating that the increasing exodus of Nepalis seeking greener pastures is a matter of grave concern, Pandey observed, “Such issues should be addressed at policy level. Blaming others does not ensure a solution. The trend of obstructing the House even in minor issues is wrong. This should be corrected.”
Similarly, Nepali Congress’ parliamentary party’s Chief Whip Sushila Thing asserted that the main task of this session of the House is to conclude the bills considered essential for implementation of constitution and federalism, and to discuss pre-budget on the basis of parliament.
She said, “The subcommittee has taken forward the Truth and Reconciliation related Bill keeping some issues aside to work on. The bill will be sent to parliament after deliberating on it in the full meeting of the committee. The pre-budget discussion to be held in the upcoming session would send a new message.”
CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Metmani Chaudhary explained that his party had set a mentality to raise issues related to Guthi and landless squatters, opening check points with China and corruption control.
The party would exert pressure on all concerned to implement the constitution and forward the remaining bills related to federalism.