Constituent Assembly meeting on Thursday endorsed 15-day rogram to collect people’s feedback on the first draft of the new constitution, beginning on Thursday. CA plans to complete the task by July 23.
The programme tabled by Chairperson of Committee on Citizen Relations and Public Opinion Collection Pramila Rana was endorsed by a majority vote amid sloganeering. Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal voted against the program and four Madhes-based parties – Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, Sadbhawana Party, Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal – protested against it in the well of the House.
They were demanding new constitution with demarcation of boundaries of federal units.
“The CA is flouting recent order of the Supreme Court by not demarcating boundaries; it is violating the CA Rules; it is not allocating sufficient time for people’s feedback; the first draft omitted rights of Madhesis, Dalits and other underprivileged groups and the fast track method is motivated by personal wishes of a few leaders who want posts of President and prime minister,” said Laxman Lal Karna of the Sadbhawana Party before resorting to sloganeering inside CA Hall.
The feedback report is scheduled to be submitted to CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang on July 23. The Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee will then determine the issues to be incorporated in the first draft. The Constitution Drafting Committee will prepare the final draft only after that.
As per the 15-day programme, Nembang held a press meet on Thursday to appeal to all Nepalis to take ownership of the document by providing suggestions and taking active participation in discussions and public hearings on the first draft.
Nembang said, “The CA has taken a big stride towards institutionalising the decades-long achievements of struggles and movements and fulfill people’s desire for writing a constitution through their representatives. I am confident the responsibility given by people will be fulfilled.”
He said the ongoing constitution-drafting process was in accordance with the Interim Constitution, CA Rules, rule of law and democratic process.
Stating that the first draft was prepared on the basis of people’s feedback collected during the first CA, Nembang expressed his commitment to review the document on the basis of people’s feedback.
As per the feedback collection programme, feedback will be recorded in written or audio-visual form. People can also make their suggestions on the toll free number.
July 10: Copies of the first draft will be distributed to all District Development Committee Offices, municipalities and VDCs. Two lakh copies were dispatched for the purpose on Thursday
July 10-19: All-party meetings will be held at VDC and municipality levels
July 10: CA will hold a press conference in Kathmandu for publicity
July 11-14: Interaction will be held in Kathmandu in the presence of representatives of professional organisations and civil society
July 17: Teams of CA members (all 598 CA members are divided into teams as per their interests) will leave for the assigned constituencies. (They may use helicopters for remote areas)
July 20-21: Public hearings, interaction and discussion will be held in each constituency in the presence of assigned teams of CA members
July 21: All 240 teams of CA members will submit their reports to the concerned CA panel via email or fax or phone.
July 23: The panel to submit final report to CA reports The Himalayan Times.
Modes of collecting suggestions
Snail mail can be sent at Post Box No 20099
Fax: 977-1-4200194, 4200053, 4200141
Toll free number: 16600122344
Email for Nepali citizens living outside country: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Constituent Assembly (CA) secretariat has sought Rs 1.4 billion from the finance ministry for publicizing the draft constitution and collecting public feedback.
It is argued that the amount is required for hiring helicopters, providing foods and other necessities to participants, lawmakers and officials visiting all 240 constituencies across the country.
"The CA secretariat has sought Rs 1.4 billion for the lawmakers' visits to districts and to distribute the draft constitution to the public," said a senior official at the ministry of finance.
According to the official, the CA secretariat has demanded a huge amount of money to arrange helicopters, planes and other vehicles.
Bharat Gautam, spokesperson at the CA secretariat, informed that the secretariat sought budget from the finance ministry for the purpose. He, however, refused to disclose the amount sought.