Parliamentary hearing of ambassadors-designate Khatiwada, Regmi and Biswakarma slated for November 12

Published On: November 2, 2020 04:48 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 2: The Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) will conduct hearings on the nomination of ambassadors-designate Yuba Raj Khatiwada (United States), Lokdarshan Regmi (United Kingdom) and Nirmal Kumar Biswakarma (South Africa) on November 12.

A meeting of the PHC on Monday took a decision to this effect, according to PHC President Laxman Lal Karna.

The government had forwarded the names of the three ambassadorial nominees to the PHC for hearing. Earlier on October 1, the Cabinet had recommended Khatiwada, Regmi and Biswakarma as the Nepali envoys to the United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively.

Issuing a notice, the committee sought complaints against the proposed ambassadors, if any, within ten days. The deadline for registering complaints expired on Sunday.

Although four complaints were registered against the proposed ambassadors Khatiwada and Regmi and the complainants were invited to the committee meeting on Sunday and Monday, to substantiate their complaints, no complainants showed up at the meeting. However, no complaints were registered against Biswakarma. 

Three complaints were registered against Khatiwada and one complaint against Regmi.

During the hearings, lawmakers will ask the ambassadors-designate separately regarding their qualifications, abilities, experiences, and action plans and eventually endorse their nomination.

In one of the complaints, ambassador-designate Khatiwada has been accused of taking sides with the troubled Oriental Cooperative while serving as the governor of Nepal Rastra Bank.

Khatiwada, who is also the immediate past finance minister of the country, was projected as being unfriendly toward thousands of members of Oriental Cooperatives who lost their deposits worth billions of rupees. Oriental, a cooperative run by Sudheer Basnet has faced charges of embezzling deposits worth billions of rupees.

Likewise, a complaint was lodged against Regmi, who has been proposed as Nepal’s next ambassador to the United Kingdom.

In the complaint, Regmi has been accused of being involved in a foul play in the appointment of the Inspector General of Nepal Police when he was the home secretary in 2017.

The PHC invited the complainants to discuss their complaints on November 1.

During the hearing, the PHC will take up these issues with the ambassadors-designate and even grill them - a practice that has been followed for the past several years.

After the Cabinet nominates an individual for the post of ambassador, s/he has to face the parliamentary hearing. For any nominee’s appointment as the ambassador, the committee must approve the government’s recommendation.

Khatiwada will succeed Arjun Kumar Karki who has been serving as Nepal’s ambassador to the United States for the past six years. Likewise, Regmi, who is the immediate past chief secretary, will succeed Durga Bahadur Subedi, a career diplomat, as the new envoy to the UK.

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