State Law Making Powers in Nepal
The State Assembly of Nepal possesses jurisdiction over several matters of the state and can pass laws accordingly. Some of the powers vested in the state are as follows:
- State Police and Administration
- Property and Land Registration
- State Civil Service
- State Health Services
- State Highways
- Intra-State Trade
- State Governmental Office Matters, etc.
Procedure for Introducing Bills by State
Any member of the State Assembly can propose legislation, initially referred to as a bill in the State Assembly.
Generally, bills related to taxation, revenue management, and state funds can only be introduced by the government, while all other types of bills can be proposed by individuals.
However, if a dispute arises regarding whether a presented bill is a money bill or not, the Speaker of the State Assembly can make a final and conclusive decision on the matter.
Procedure for Enacting Laws
Upon presentation in the State Assembly, the bill undergoes thorough discussion.
The discussion involves all participating members and parties expressing their viewpoints on the bill and identifying necessary sections requiring amendment in the bill.
The bill undergoes an exhaustive process of discussion and debate in the State Assembly. Should the discussion persist while the bill is still under consideration, it can be deferred to subsequent sessions.
However, if the term of the State Assembly expires during an ongoing discussion, the bill will not be carried forward and will be considered lapsed.
Once discussions and deliberations on the bills are concluded, the State Assembly can vote on whether to ratify the bill or not.
If the majority of the Assembly votes against the bill, it cannot be ratified. Conversely, if the Assembly accepts the bill, it is forwarded to the Chief of State for their assent.
Withdrawal of Bills
During the discussion session of a bill, if the member of the State Assembly who introduced the bill is dissatisfied with it in any way, they can withdraw it from consideration.
The withdrawal, however, can only be carried out with the approval of the State Assembly. If the Assembly does not authorize the withdrawal, the bill persists in the Assembly and can still be passed.
Assent and Enactment of Bills
Once the bill has gained the approval of the majority of the State Assembly and has been certified by the Speaker of the State Assembly, it is intended to be presented to the Chief of State for their approval.
The Chief of State is obligated to provide their approval within a period of fifteen days from the date of the bill’s presentation.
They must either endorse the bill or inform the assembly of the necessity for additional discussions and deliberations.
If the Chief of State endorses the bill immediately upon granting approval, the State Assembly is notified of this action.
If the Chief of State holds the opinion that the bill necessitates further discussions or deliberations, they are required to return the bill to the State Assembly within fifteen days of its initial presentation.
Following the re-evaluation of the bill, the State Assembly must once again pass the bill, either with pertinent amendments or in its original form.
Subsequently, the Speaker of the State Assembly certifies the bill, and it is presented to the Chief of State once more.
Upon this renewed presentation of the bill, the Chief of State must grant approval within fifteen days of receiving it.
Following the approval, the State Assembly is informed, and the bill is officially deemed a state law.
Laws Enacted by Each Province
As of 2022, the Bagmati State Assembly had enacted a total of 70 bills, encompassing 55 original bills and 15 amendment bills. Among these 70 bills, 66 had received thorough approval from the Provincial Head.
The Koshi State Assembly has also enacted numerous laws and ordinances up to the present date. These laws cover subjects such as the Public Service Commission, State Police, and Education.
The Madhesh State Assembly has enacted bills pertaining to the implementation and utilization of both tax and non-tax revenue. Additionally, they have formulated bills concerning Appropriation and Finance.
The Gandaki State Assembly has also enacted over four dozen laws, with nearly three dozen proposed amendments. These laws encompass various areas, including Water, Right to Information (RTI), Civil Service, and Tourism Regulations.
As of 2021, the Lumbini Provincial Assembly had enacted 59 laws out of the 65 registered bills.
By 2021, the Karnali Provincial Assembly had formulated a total of 36 laws within a span of three years.
As of 2020, the Sudur Paschim Provincial Assembly had successfully enacted 33 laws, among which was the Civil Service Act.
The process of lawmaking in the State Assembly mirrors that of the Federal Assembly. Operating as a unicameral legislature, the State Assembly can propose and pass laws without impediments.
Furthermore, the Chief of State’s approval is a requisite for the enactment of bills.
After nearly six years of federal practices in Nepal, the collective State Assemblies have collectively enacted more than two hundred bills.