Thursday, September 07, 2006

Citizenship Bill passed

The Council of Ministers has passed a bill to make acquiring citizenship more convenient to those who have been facing difficulties obtaining one.

The meeting of the cabinet held at the prime minister's residence at Baluwatar on Wednesday decided to move ahead the process to provide Nepali citizenship to those who have been residing in Nepal until the second week of April 1990 and for those having any written evidence of being a Nepali.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Pradip Gyawali said that the government passed the bill to ease the citizenship acquiring process.

"To end the citizenship crisis permanently, the government, in the new bill, has amended the existing Citizenship Act adding some provisions to punish any illegal acquirement of one. And the citizenship acquiring process has been simplified so that no genuine Nepali shall be deprived of a citizenship certificate," said the minister.

It is learnt that with the government decision, some 4 million people living in the Terai regions will benefit from the new bill.

Now, descendants whether from the father or mother, who has Nepali citizenship and given birth to their child before 1990, will have the opportunity to acquire citizenship.

Today's bill, passed by the cabinet also has made provisions for those who have registered their names at the last national census to acquire citizenship.

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