Dialogue with the Member of Parliamentarians & CSO Representatives: CSO Enabling Environment

GoGo Foundation organized a "Dialogue with the Member of Parliament and CSO Representatives on CSO related laws, problems, challenges and issues: for CSO Enabling Environment' at Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur on 21 September 2018.

The objectives of this event was to bring the parliamentarians, CSO representatives, academicians, journalists, senior government officials to discuss the legal provisions, problems, challenges and issues faced by civil society organizations and in the present changed socio economic and political context event also for enabling and healthy environment of CSO .

In the beginning, Kedar Khadka, Executive Director of GoGo Foundation made a brief presentation on existing situation of CSOs in Nepal, with specific focus on issues, problems and challenges of civil society organization from the legal and implementation point of views including international initiatives on Civil Society Sustainability Index 2016.

He also presented the ranking of CSO enabling environment of Nepal in terms of legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, infrastructure and public image. He further added that the report states CSOs in Nepal are in evolving stage among the seven Asian countries. After having completed the brief presentation by Khadka, couple of CSO leaders were invited to share their experiences, legal barriers and behavior of government officials toward the civil society organization and requested to kindly frame CSO related laws after big consultation with CSO representatives; based on fundamental rights of Nepal constitution. Responding to the queries tabled by facilitator and CSO leaders, parliamentarians expressed that it is not justifiable/ equitable evaluation to put all CSO under one basket. There is no any question about CSO contribution and initiative in restoring democracy in the country. CSO and its action is the mirror of democratic government: They have to play vital role to caution the government and bring it in right way. However, some provisions of CSO Registration Act 2034 and renewal process has been creating additional burden to CSOs like police report, each and every time of submission of all documents of CSO including the organization constitution.

During the discussion, Joint-Secretary of Ministry of Home Affair (MoHA) Kedar Nath Sharma said that MoHAs has sent new drafted CSO Registration Act to Nepal Law Commission for big consultation with concern stakeholders before it is finalized.

There are many more Acts like National Directives Act, 2018, CSO Registration Act 2034, Social Welfare Act 2049 and Company Registration Act 2063 exists separately; which are creating adverse situation among the CSOs/CBOs. He suggested that for permanent solution, we should merge above four acts and develop umbrella act for CSO registration, renewal, regulation and monitor of all type of CSOs/CBOs. In the program, MPs Rajendra Lingden, Rajendra Kumar KC and Radheshyam Adhikari shed lights on importance of CSO contribution and their needs to be facilitated based on fundamental rights of constitution.

Joint Secretary of MoHA Kedar Nath Sharma responded participant's queries related on legal and administrative hurdles faced by the CSOs. At end of the program, the parliamentarians and MoHA's officials committed to assist in creating enabling environment for the CSOs in Nepal.