Lawmakers elected through proportional representation (PR) system have vented ire after revelation that their consent is not required in appropriation of Rs 40 million allotted to each constituency and one tore the regulation about local infrastructure development program in the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting on Wednesday.
The government through the last budget had allocated Rs 40 million for each constituency for development of local infrastructure.
The majority of lawmakers elected through PR system slammed the regulation stating that there has been discrimination among the lawmakers. “We have been treated as naturalized lawmakers,” Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Laxmi Pariyar stated drawing parallel with the naturalized citizens and citizens by descent. “The government has showed that there are two classes of lawmakers in local infrastructure development programs. If we are really of two kinds, provision should be made to sit in two places.”
She demanded that both kinds of lawmakers be treated as equal. “Those elected through the first past the post (FPTP) system have been treated as lawmakers by descent. Let the lawmakers of both FPTP and PR systems participate on equal footing. If not, the process is wrong and should be revoked.”
NC lawmaker elected from Chitwan through PR System Uma Regmi took exception to the regulation for trying to classify the lawmakers even though the difference is only in electoral system and tore the regulation during the meeting. “Why did the government formulate such a regulation?” she asked. “This regulation has made PR lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties alike second-class lawmakers. This cannot be tolerated,” she fumed.
Another NC lawmaker Ram Bahadur Bista said the government has treated lawmakers as first, second and third classes like during the Rana regime.
The PR lawmakers are angry after the government prepared the regulation giving the FPTP lawmakers a final say while deciding about local infrastructure projects.
The government had allocated Rs 40 million to each constituency in the last budget against the principle of federalism.
Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada had tried to stop the program pointing that provincial and local governments were already in place. But he could not bear the pressure of lawmakers and allocated budget saying it can be appropriated through a committee including lawmakers.
The committee includes both FPTP and PR lawmakers, and representatives from the local bodies in the constituency but the newly-formulated regulation has given the FPTP lawmakers a final say in appropriation of the budget.