‘73 govt staff have PR, citizenship of foreign countries’

April 2, 2017

Kathmandu – Apr 1, 2017- Seventy three civil servants have been found to be holding permanent residency (PR) or citizenship of foreign countries, according to a report of the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA).

A July 2015 amendment to Civil Service Act-1993 bars civil servants from acquiring PR or citizenship of foreign countries.

The Act was amended at the initiative of then minister for general administration Lal Babu Pandit who had vowed to initiate action against those government officials who despite being in the country’s civil service were taking PR or citizenship of foreign countries.

According to the report tabled by MoGA at the State Affairs Committee (SAC) of Parliament on Friday, 34 civil servants have relinquished foreign PR or citizenship while 16 have left government service.

The then minister Pandit had estimated that there could be 1,000-1,200 officials in civil service with foreign PR or citizenship.

There are 83,000 people in the country’s civil service.

Maheshwor Neupane, joint secretary at MoGA, said the report was prepared on the basis of those who acknowledged to have acquired foreign PR or citizenship in the last two years.

Of them, 50 have either decided to abandon them or resign from government service, he said. “The status of 23 officials is yet to be ascertained by the ministry.”

On what action these officials would face, Neupane said: “It’s the jurisdiction of the ministries they are working under.”

Lawmakers in SAC, however, were dismayed at the number, saying many more officials could be enjoying such dual facility-having PR or citizenship of foreign countries and jobs in Nepal’s civil service.

“There was so much of hue and cry among civil servants when the Act was amended, which clearly indicated that the number of such government officials could be in hundreds,” said Ganga Lal Tuladhar, a SAC member, calling of MoGA to launch its own investigation.

Lawmaker Aindra Sundar Nembang said politicians as well as former and sitting ministers should also be investigated and brought to book if they are found to be holding foreign PR or citizenship.

“Governance cannot be improved only by cracking down on civil servants,” he said at Friday’s SAC meeting.

Source : The Kathmandu Post

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