Prez Yadav consults parties: to pass bills thru ordinance or not

KATHMANDU: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is holding talks with top leader of twenty-five political parties today to seek a way out of the current political impasse and remake the souring relations among parties, in the wake of the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA).

In the meeting, this is underway at Sheetal Niwas in Maharajgunj, the head of the state is consulting political stakeholders to find ways to pass the anti- money Laundering bills through ordinance before the June 18 deadline set by the Finance Action Task Force (FATF).

If Nepal fails to meet the deadline, FATF will downgrade Nepal o ‘high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions to which counter-measures apply’ or commonly known as blacklisting.

FATF is slated to meet from June 18-21 in Rome.

President Yadav and political parties are also talking over bringing the fiscal budget for 2012/13 through ordinance by forging consensus among the parties in the absence of Parliament.

Earlier, twenty-two opposition parties including Nepal Congress and CPN UML had submitted a memorandum to President Yadav, urging the latter not to sign any ordinances.

However, President will continue suggesting the parties to forge consensus until June 18. In case they fail to do so, he will sign the ordinances in view of the image of the country, sources said.

The three key Bills — Mutual Legal Assistance Bill, Extradition Bill and Bill Against Organised Crime that are among the major commitments to the FATF were presented before the Parliament earlier. But the intra-party rift within the ruling party, UCPN-Maoist, hindered the Parliament from passing them in February.

But after May 27, there is no Parliament and the government can fulfill its long due commitment through ordinance only.

The government’s failure to fulfill its commitment to FATF will not only downgrade the country to a high-risk zone, it is rather going to cost the country dearly and the financial sector will be the first casualty, besides the flow of foreign investment.

The financial sector will be hit hard as they will not be allowed to make any international transaction, and the country will lose its international market as the cost of exports will go up making Nepal’s exports expensive.

Prime Minster Dr Baburam Bhattarai, and Vice-president Parmananda Jha are also attending today’s meeting at Sheetal Niwas.THT

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