Kathmandu- Ranju Kumari Jha, a member of the House of Representatives from the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal, firmly believes that the primary duty of lawmakers is to engage in formulation of laws, rather than being solely focused on development enedvours.
Talking , the lawmaker stressed that lawmakers should dedicate adequate time for policy discussions and the enactment of laws. She called for close cooperation between the government, parliament and parliamentary committees to achieve the desired results.
According to Jha, although the House is primarily responsible for formulations of policies and laws, this aspect is often sidelined in practice. During election campaigns, candidates often promise voters that they will accelerate development in their respective electoral constituencies and bring more and more budget for them in a bid to take them into confidence and win the elections. “First and foremost, it should be clear that lawmakers are not direct development actors, they are legislators, instead,” she said.
She echoed the need of the effective role of lawmakers within the parliament before the presentation of any bill, during the formulation of the budget, and other policy-making procedures. As she assessed, the government has not provided sufficient business for the parliament, and the House has become a venue for making accusations and counter-accusations, which undermines its effective functioning.
Jha believed that obstructing the House goes against the rules and the spirit of the democratic movement. She was of the opinion that the House should be properly utilized to amplify the voices of the people and promote dialogue among lawmakers, with experienced and senior members taking the lead. Furthermore, she stressed that any member in the House should analyze issues thoroughly before making hasty remarks. Regarding the revival of the Member of Parliament Development Fund in the form the Parliamentary Constituency Infrastructure Development Programme and its relevance, Jha said that she is unaware of the reason behind its restoration.
“However, it falls within the jurisdiction of the parliament and should not be subject to court intervention.” She also called for the inclusion of lawmakers from proportional representation, especially considering that the majority of women lawmakers belong to this group if this programme is implemented. The lawmaker urged political parties and leaders to demonstrate honesty and integrity to create an atmosphere conducive to enforce the constitution effectively, adding that politics should be improved first to see improvements in other areas.