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Date Dec. 25th 11:58 PM Icon 58 Date 1


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Date Dec. 26th 12:11 AM  



Date Dec. 29th 12:05 AM  

3 million to get citizenship

By Milan Mani Sharma

KATHMANDU, Dec 29 - The government estimates that some three million Nepalis will obtain citizenship in the next two and a half months when 520 teams will go out into the field to distribute citizenship certificates to eligible Nepalis.
Dron Pokharel, joint secretary at the Ministry of Home (MoH), said that the figure is based on estimates forwarded to the ministry by all 75 District Administration Offices.

The ministry has already placed an order with the Department of Print (DoP) to print three million citizenship cards. The ministry will pay the department Rs 6.48 million in total, at the rate of of Rs 2.16 per card. Hari Prasad Rimal, director general of DoP, said that the department is using all eight of its offset presses to meet the January 31 delivery deadline.

Officials at MoH also said that they plan to dispatch more than 50 percent of the total number of cards estimated to be required, to the districts concerned before mid-January.

"The holograms for the cards will be brought from India," said Pokharel.

Specifications on the new citizenship certificate show that the new card will have a few major changes. It includes the names and citizenship numbers of both the father and mother.

"This has been done as we will be issuing citizenship certificates on the basis of the mother's citizenship as well," said a source. The card will have the name of the spouse also, among other things.

As the ministry steps up procedures and arrangements for citizenship distribution the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has already disbursed Rs 60 million to MoH.

MoF has further initiated procedures to release Rs 40 million soon, said a source. The government has approved a total budget of over Rs 130 million for the citizenship distribution.

The government has already decided to mobilize 520 mobile teams for citizenship certificate distribution. Each team will comprise seven members, including a gazetted officer to undersign the certificates.

The mobile teams will distribute certificates on the basis of 'descent' and 'birth and residence' at least since April 1990.

Certificates will also be issued on the basis of the citizenship of the mother, which is in line with the new Citizenship Act 2006 enacted on November 26, according to Pokharel.

"A photograph and Rs 5 worth of postage stamp are all that it will cost the applicant for a citizenship certificate. The government will cover the rest, including the cost of the application form," said Pokharel.

MoH has arranged to provide life insurance cover of Rs 1 million each for three months to civil servants going to the filed to distribute citizenship. "We have already paid insurance premium of over Rs 2.8 million to Rastriya Beema Samsthan, the state-owned insurer," Pokharel said.

source: www.kantipuronline


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