KATHMANDU, Sept 1: The government has decided to nominate Deep Kumar Upadhyay as Nepal's ambassador to India and former chief secretary Leela Mani Poudyal as ambassador to China.
A cabinet meeting held on Thursday decided to recommend Upadhyay and Poudyal as Nepal's ambassadors to India and China respectively.
Minister for Information Surendra Kumar Karki said that the recommendations were made in view of the upcoming visits of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India and the Indian and Chinese presidents to Nepal.
“Since some time, we have not had our envoys in various countries, including India and China," Karki said adding, "As our prime minister is visiting India and the Chinese and Indian presidents are also visiting Nepal in the near future, it is really urgent for us to have our envoys in place in those countries.”
Upadhyay was already Nepal's ambassador to India until the Oli government decided to recall him. The previous government recalled him, alleging that he was found involved in various activities aimed at toppling the government. Likewise, the government also accused him of leaving his place of work without informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since Upadhyay's withdrawal from India, the post of Nepal's ambassador to India has been lying vacant.
Likewise, the ambassadorship to China has remained vacant since the end of Dr Mahesh Maskey's tenure there.
Upadhyay and Poudyal will be formally appointed as envoys after their conformation by the Parliamentary Hearings Speical Committee.
Meanwhile, the cabinet has slashed the MRP passport fee from US dollars 80 to 50 for Nepalese working in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Israel, Syria, Jordan and Yemen. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that the decision was taken with the aim to reducing the financial burden of Nepalese workers in those countries.
Likewise, the cabinet has decided to appoint Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha as vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission.
“The cabinet has also decided to give its agreement in principal to draft bills related to elections to the House of Representatives, the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies,” Karki further said.