Kathmandu, June 10, The Parliament Secretariat has estimated that Rs 4 billion will be needed to establish provincial assemblies in all seven provinces of the country.

According to Spokesperson for Parliament Secretariat Bharat Raj Gautam, a study conducted by the Parliament Secretariat also stated that each provincial assembly might need 60 to 70 staffers to handle legislative proceedings. “But this number could rise after relevant laws are enacted,” he said.

“As the constitution devolves power to the provinces and the number of MPs will be reduced in the Parliament after the new general elections, we may not need all the staffers currently working at the Parliament Secretariat,” he said.

As per the new constitution, there will be 59 members in the Upper House of the Parliament and 275 members in the House of Representatives. The Parliament now has more than 300 employees. Gautam said some staff employed at Parliament building could be transferred to provincial assemblies later.

“We have estimated the staff and infrastructure on the basis of the format of provincial assemblies provisioned in the constitution,” Gautam added. The estimation, however, excludes expenditures provincial assemblies may need for office arrangements and infrastructure. Managing infrastructure before provincial election is a challenge, Gautam said. “All assemblies will need parliamentary party offices and must be well-equipped. Maintaining uniformity in all the provinces is also a challenge,” Gautam said. He said the assemblies should understand the concurrent list of power, which could be a crucial issue after provincial elections.

Former secretary of Parliament Secretariat Som Bahadur Thapa said laws related to provinces should be enacted soon. “The recently elected local representatives have not understood their rights and duties and the same could be the case with provincial assemblies if laws were not enacted soon, ” he said.

Another former secretary of Parliament Secretariat Mukunda Sharma said, “In 1991, when the first Parliament was elected, we had copied some practices of the Indian Parliament, but now we can make early arrangements on the basis of our own experience.”

Source: The Himalayan Times

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