Kathmandu: Amidst wide-scale protests in Kathmandu, the Nepalese government on Wednesday withdrew the controversial Guthi Bill.
The proposed legislation was tabled in the Federal Parliament of Nepal on April 30 by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli-led government, seeking nationalisation of the age-old religious trust system of the nation. It spearheaded a massive public outcry in the Himalayan nation including protests from the ethnic Newar community.
According to reports, minister of land management, cooperatives and poverty alleviation Padma Kumari Aryal informed about the bill’s withdrawal at a press conference, stating that “attempts are being made to mislead and provoke the people and spoil the peaceful environment”.
“I have decided to withdraw the bill from the National Assembly after realising the need to hold additional consultations with the stakeholders concerned,” she added.
However, the picketers are not satisfied with the government’s move and are demanding for scrapping the Bill.
The Guthi system is integral in the Newar social construct of the Kathmandu valley. The system which has been in place since the 5th century BC plays an important part in maintaining temples and traditional public spaces, as well as organising festivals and religious parades.
Earlier on Wednesday, the main opposition, the Nepali Congress lawmakers obstructed the working of the Lower House of the Nepalese Parliament as the Prime Minister was supposed to talk about the Guthi Bill.