KATHMANDU, June 5: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that the works related to preparing the Works Procedures and Regulations on Citizenship have begun with the certification of the Citizenship Bill.
In a meeting held with a delegation led by the Non Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Vice Chairman RK Sharma on Monday, Prime Minister Dahal expressed commitment to incorporate the NRNs' suggestions in the course of preparing the citizenship-related procedures and regulations.
Stating that 'once a Nepali, always a Nepali,' Dahal said that he was touched to see the NRNs' desire to collaborate with Nepal's prosperity. He urged the NRNA representatives to move forward more vigorously in the coming days.
Dahal stated that the issue of voting rights which the NRNs have been voicing has already been addressed through the policies and programmes of the government while homework is underway on some technical aspects. He assured that the provision would be implemented soon.
Prime Minister Dahal announced that the inauguration of NRN citizenship distribution service would be done amidst a grand ceremony.
The Federal Parliament passed the Citizenship Bill two times and sent it in August last year for authentication by then President Bidya Devi Bhandari. But the then President did not act on this bill and it was lying at the Office of the President. The incumbent President Ramchandra Paudel on May 31 granted assent to this bill.
In the meeting with the PM, NRNA vice-chair Sharma thanked the government for paving the way for the non-resident Nepalis to obtain the 'NRN Citizenship' along with economic, social and cultural rights, with the authentication of the Citizenship Bill.
He stated that this has helped connect the Nepalis spread throughout the world with the motherland and given them an additional sense of responsibility to bring in Nepal the knowledge, skills and capital they have earned in foreign land.
According to him, an environment has been prepared for the protection and investment of the NRNs' property that is in Nepal. Sharma urged the government to prepare the procedures on citizenship and bring that into implementation as soon as possible.
NRNA expressed gratitude to the government for addressing through its policies and programmes the guarantee of voting rights to the NRNs, calling for its implementation.
NRNA has also urged the government for forming an autonomous authority for integrating the small remittances and for creating the investment environment in clean energy and national pride projects ensuring the returns.
On the occasion, Secretary at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dhanaraj Gurung informed the NRNA delegation that the Citizenship Regulation is in the process of being drafted. He said that the plan is to hand over the first NRN Citizenship from the hands of the Prime Minister.
Attorney General Dr Dinamani Pokharel was also present on the occasion.