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Efforts on to forge agreement on controversial IT Bill

Published Date : December 24, 2019

Kathmandu, Dec 24, 2019 : The bill on information technology has been pending at Development and Technology Committee of the House of Representatives for four months for lack of agreement.

Although the Committee meeting on Tuesday was scheduled to agree on the bill, the Committee has decided to sit again on coming Sunday for it.  The ruling party lawmakers insisted on forwarding the bill to the House with correction on 36 points.

However, the lawmakers from major opposition Nepali Congress and Rastriya Janata Party (RJP) stressed that the bill could invite host of problems if it is passed based on majority of votes. So, it needs to be forwarded by forging agreement.

In a bid to forge consensus, the meeting presided over by Committee Chairperson Khalyani Kumari Khadka was also attended by Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Banskota, former prime minister and NCP leader Jhalanath Khanal. At the meeting, lawmaker Bahadur Singh Lama wrote a ‘note of dissent’ in the report of the subcommittee on IT Bill.

Lawmaker Bahadur Singh Lama shared that the Committee was striving to reach agreement to forward the IT bill. The time is allocated till Sunday for the agreement.

Lawmakers Ganesh Kumar Pahadi and Yagyaraj Sunuwar opined that the works on making the bill complete was made after amending 36 points. They argued that citizens were not getting justice due to lack of law as the bill remained stranded for four months.

Lawmakers Jipchhiring Lama, Bahadur Lama, Ram Bahadur Bista, Rangamati Shahi opined to remove the provision of clause from 88 to 94 of the bill as they may hurt democratic norms and freedom of citizens.  Parliamentarian Mahendra Ray Yadav opined to reach consensus after holding discussions at the political level. 

Committee Secretary Banshiraj Poudel shared that the committee was exercising to forge consensus for past four months.  However, the committee secretariat has stated that the bill would be decided through voting if consensus was not forged.

The provisions on the Bill hinders to raise people’s voices through different mediums, particularly from social sites.

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