Wednesday, April 18, 2007

2.2m citizenships distributed
The government on Tuesday said over 2.2 million citizenship cards were issued by mobile distribution teams across the country since the teams were mobilized on January 15.
Speaking at a press conference organized in his office, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula said the mobile teams distributed altogether 2,250,869 citizenship cards in all 75 districts of the country. This includes 1,055,180 citizenship cards in terai, 1,022,268 in the hilly and 173,421cards in the mountain regions of the country.According to a press statement, altogether 2,065,531 citizenship cards were distributed on the basis of descent, while 119,343 others received cards on the basis of birth. Likewise, altogether 65,705 people have been issued citizenship cards on marriage basis and 290 others became naturalized citizens.
The House of Representatives reinstated after the success of the democratic movement in April had passed the Nepal Citizenship Bill-2063 BS with a majority vote on November 26, 2006. Besides granting opportunity for people settled in Nepal before and since 1990 to acquire Nepali citizenship, the ratified bill has provisioned for individuals to receive citizenship through the maternal line for the first time in the history of Nepal.
Minister Sitaula informed that distribution work has already been completed in 64 districts, while the deadline for distribution has been extended until April 28 in seven districts --- Saptari, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Parsa, Accham and Kailali--- in Terai region. Likewise, the citizenship distribution work will continue until May 12 in four mountain districts - Humla, Dolpa, Mugu, and Mustang.
The distribution work could not be completed within the stipulated date in the districts due to growing unrest in terai region and incessant snowfall in the upper Himalayan districts until a month ago.
The government had deputed 562 mobile teams to distribute citizenship certificates in various districts across the country from January 15. The government had to extend the deadline for one more month though it initially planned to complete distribution work within two months.
Minister Sitaula claimed that mobile distribution has settled the existing problem of citizenship. "The campaign to distribute citizenship through mobile teams has ended. But distribution will continue from the local administration," he said.
He also said the government will cancel illegally acquired citizenships and initiate legal action against those helping to acquire the cards through fake details.

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