Wednesday, September 20, 2006

NRNs demand immediate adoption of NRN bill with amendments

Lawmakers and Non Resident Nepalis (NRN) have stressed that there is a need of adopting suitable policy on the NRN to promote their investment in the country.

Speaking at an interaction programme on the proposed NRN bill, which is being tabled before the parliament, organized by the NRN Association in the capital on Tuesday, president of the association Dr. Upendra Mahato expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in making laws related to NRN.

He said political change and stability would further prolong if the country could not make progress on economic front. He said investment by the NRNs would be instrumental in country's progress. He warned that adoption of the bill without consulting NRNA would be boycotted.

Speaker Subash Nemwang assured NRNA that the bill would incorporate suggestions made by the NRNA. The reinstated House is serious towards mobilising income of the Nepalis abroad for Nepal's economic and social development, he said.

Speaker Nemwang said the environment would be easier if the NRNs invest in Nepal not only with the business motives but with intentions to support the overall progress of the country. "NRNs should feel grievances of the Nepalis at this critical period as their own and vice versa. This would build confidence between Nepali people and NRN community thereby promoting environment for investment," he added.

Former president of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) Binod Bahadur Shrestha said government must address the demands of the NRNA since they have demanded what foreign investors are already entitled to in Nepal so far.

Member of the Upper House Radheshaym Adhikari urged that the NRN should ensure that money from Nepal would not flee to other countries. "The brain drain has increased so much that people have begun to transfer their properties from here to either Europe or America. The adoption of the bill has been delayed since it needed provisions that could ensure that profits from the investment remain within the country," he added.

MPs Parshu Ram Meghi Gurung, Lila Mani Pokhrel and Hom Nath Dahal said the parliament was serious with the issue raised by NRNs.

The NRN Association has put forward a number of suggestions to the bill. It has asked to replace the phrase 'to engage them for investment in Nepal' with 'to involve them for overall development of Nepal'.

Similarly, it has demanded the NRN Identity Cards should be validated as the residential visa to Nepal for at least 10 years and allow them to own, use and sell land and house here. It opposed the proposed provision that landholdings of NRN is non transferable to offspring or relative on his or her demise. The NRNA should be allowed to register in Nepal with special provision in the bill, NRNA demanded. The existing Registration Act allows registration of company owned by Nepali citizens only.

The government has already tabled the NRN bill at the parliament to encourage NRN investment in Nepal, among others.

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