Friday, July 21, 2006

Govt Set To Amend Military Act

The government is all set to amend the Military Act 1959 along with 24 other Acts to make their provisions compatible with the House of Representatives Declaration. It would also scrap 16 laws as per the July 17 Cabinet decision soon.

The Acting Chief Secretary, Mukunda Sharma Paudel, on Thursday told a meeting of the House Declaration Implementation Special Committee chaired by Speaker Subas Nembang that the government would produce the Military Act amendment bill in a couple of days.
According to him, the Nepal Law Reform Commission and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs have almost completed the draft of the Acts. The same would be presented to the Council of Ministers for its approval in a few days.

Paudel, the secretary of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Kul Ratna Bhurtel, Defence Secretary Bishnu Dutta Uprety and Secretary of Nepal Law Reform Commission, Hari Prasad Neupane, briefed the committee on their homework.

Paudel said the government has formed a committee under the secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to look into the issue of the Palace Secretariat officials. "The committee would submit its report within 30 days. We will make appropriate arrangements for the officials. They, however, will not be included in the civil service," he said. He said the government could come up with a voluntary retirement programme for them.

Paudel further said the reform commission and the law ministry are set to resolve the issue of citizenship rights. He said the Muluki Ain and Investiture Act are being amended for the same.

Paudel also said that the Act related to the succession of the throne has already been endorsed by the Council of Ministers and that a draft of it would be produced in the House very soon.

Uprety told the meeting that the Nepal Army is already inclusive. According to him, the Chhetris have 49 per cent representation in the army while the Bramhins form 9 per cent of the total force. Rais have 5 per cent representation, Jirels 0.54 per cent and the Damais 3 per cent. He, however, said the Sharkis have zero per cent share in the 92,308 strong army.

According to him, the Thamis, Ghartis and Badis have one per cent representation in the army, while the Naus, Kushles, Limbus, Rajputs, Rajbhojs, Darais, Chepangs, Dhobis and Kasais have less than one per cent representation.

He also said there are several barracks where the personnel are from only one caste. He said there are 1,000 female officers and 25,00 non-gazetted women employees in the army. He added that people from all the 75 districts are serving the army.

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