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NRNs, ex-Gurkahs to get special citizenship

Courtesy:  eKantipur.com

KATHMANDU, SEP 26 - Non-Resident Nepali s are all set to receive special  citizenship certificates which will guarantee all rights, except political.

A meeting of the  Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee(PDCC) of the Constituent Assembly on Friday agreed on the agenda. Such special  citizenship will also be awarded to ex-British Gurkhas. The NRN and ex- British Gurkhas have been lobbying for dual  citizenship since long.

As per the act formulated to deal with NRNs, the term refers to any Nepali, except for those residing in Saarc region, for more than two years.

If the new provision is endorsed by the CA, it will be fourth category under which a person will be entitled to receive Nepali  citizenship . Other categories include  citizenship by descent, naturalized and honorary.

Barring political rights means the NRNs will not have voting rights nor can they contest elections.

However, they will have the right to purchase/sale of properties and make investments. But they will enjoy the social and economic rights under the existing laws.

"We concluded that the provision of dual  citizenship may invite complexities in future and proposed special citizenship to the NRNs and ex-British Gurkhas," PDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai said after the meeting.

“This is not a new provision. We had envisioned such provisions in the previous Constituent Assembly as well,” said Sadhbhawana Party lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna. He said the committee also agreed to grant  citizenship with political rights to the NRNs if they relinquish  citizenship of the country they are residing in and stay in Nepal for five years.

If the person had naturalised  citizenship in the country s/he was residing, then the person will get the same citizenship in Nepal. For a person to be entitled to hold any constitutional post including president and prime minister, the individual needs to have  citizenship by descent. 

The PDCC has also decided that if any person is to acquire  citizenship by descent, then both the parents need to be Nepali citizens by descent. In case of acquiring naturalized  citizenship , either parent could be a Nepali citizen. The Interim Constitution provisions that any person, whose father or mother was a citizen of Nepal at his or her birth, would be entitled to  citizenship .

No deal on land ceiling

The PDCC meeting fails to adopt land ceiling in new constitution as political parties came up with divergent views.

Parties were divided over whether or not to fix land ceiling and what would be the procedure to provide compensation to the land owner if such ceiling is determined. Parties were also divided over whether to fix ceiling on properties owned by the individuals. In the meeting, UCPN (Maoist), Rastriya Janamorach and other small left parties demanded land ceiling in which excess land will be automatically owned by the state and landowners, in such case, will not be compensated. They opined that land is property of state, not individuals, and land owned beyond the ceiling would naturally come under the state's ownership. They also argued that the state can distribute land to the landless people through scientific land reform.

Leaders from Nepali Congress and Madhes-based parties, however, opposed the idea saying that keeping private property is an individual's fundamental right and the state should provide compensation if it acquires land from individuals. The meeting also adopted a provision that indigenous communities and Janajatis can promote their culture and language and will get special treatment and welfare.

Posted on: 2014-09-26 08:54

 

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