KATHMANDU, July 12: The Finance Committee of parliament has demanded detailed information from the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the government's decision to purchase weapons for Nepal Police.
A meeting of the Finance Committee held on Monday sought an answer from the ministry as to why the government was going to buy weapons when the country's economic situation was weak and that could result in economic crisis and low dollar reserves.
The committee has stated that the ministry should reply within three days along with all the documents. The government has given permission to Nepal Police to purchase weapons worth Rs 840 million from an Italian company, Beretta. According to a source, the government is set to buy 12-bore guns and 9-mm pistols manufactured by Beretta Company. It has booked a weapon produced by the company for 3,200 Euros per unit even as the weapon costs 700 to 800 Euros each.
Meanwhile, Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Tek Prasad Rai said that the procurement process has been expedited as Nepal Police is in need of weapons. He said that Nepal Police has not been able to procure arms for the last seven years and in the current situation, they are in need of weapons to maintain peace and security in the country.
“Nepal Police had allocated a budget for arms purchase in the past. Weapons are being procured from the same budget,” said DIG Rai. According to him, they are preparing to buy 9mm pistols and 12-bore guns, shotguns and their ammunition. “This is not new, it's an old process and we have only given continuity,” said DIG Rai. DIG Rai also claimed that the police had selected the company and started the arms procurement process.
"There is no dilemma in this as the weapons are being bought at the cost price. As the decision was taken on March 2, 2022, there is no fault of the present leadership," said DIG Rai. He mentioned that though Nepal Police stopped using 12-bore guns 10 years ago, the procurement process has been expedited using the existing law and authority as it is in need of those guns at present.”
Similarly, the issue of arms procurement was also raised in the parliament on Monday as well. Nawaraj Silwal, an MP from the main opposition party CPN-UML, objected to the plan to purchase arms for the police in the current difficult economic situation of the country.