Approval of unaffected provinces is not needed for altering provincial boundaries

Sujit Mainali / May 9, 2017

Nepali Congress leader Dr Shekhar Koirala                                          Photo:

Nepali Congress central committee member Dr Shekhar Koirala in an article titled “Formula for solution: Consensus government” published in Naya Patrika daily on April 30, said the following:

“Of course, a new province can be carved out of Province 5. But how reasonable would it be to seek permission from Province 1 for carving a new province out of Province 5?”

South Asia Check has examined whether the permission of Province 1 is required to alter the boundary of Province 5 or not.

For this, we studied the provisions of the Constitution of Nepal-2072 regarding making changes to the provincial boundaries.

Clause 5 and 7 of Article 274 of the constitution state that the amendment bill meant for altering the boundary of a province(s) should be endorsed by simple majority of the provincial assemblies concerned.

Agitating Madhes-based parties are demanding parliamentary endorsement of the provisions on altering the provincial boundaries mentioned in the first amendment bill brought by the incumbent Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government.

Dr Koirala has mentioned the same amendment bill [which has already been withdrawn by the government] in his article.

If the provincial boundaries are altered as per the first amendment bill, then the boundaries of Province 4, Province 5 and Province 6 will change.

If the provincial assemblies of two out of the three provinces concerned accept the bill through simple majority, the federal parliament can endorse the bill through its two-thirds majority.

None of the provisions of the constitution makes it mandatory to seek the permission of Province 1 to alter the boundaries of Province 5.

Therefore, Dr Koirala’s statement is wrong.

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