A parliamentary panel has suggested to the government to introduce a new law barring not only civil servants but all public office-holders and government employees, including Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepal Army personnel, from holding permanent residency (PR) or diversity visas (DV) of foreign countries.
Submitting a report to the State Affairs Committee (SAC), a sub-committee of the SAC suggested that the council of ministers table a bill to this effect in the upcoming session of parliament.
“The sub-committee’s suggestion to the SAC is to direct the council of ministers to introduce a new bill in the upcoming session of parliament to prohibit not only civil servants but also employees of other government services from obtaining PR or DVs in foreign countries,” Secretary of the SAC, Mukunda Acharya, told Republica on Monday.
The sub-committee has asked the SAC to prohibit PR and DVs for public office holders including politicians and all employees such as police, armed police and army personnel, Acharya said.
The Civil Service Act (Fourth Amendment) Bill, which is now under consideration at the SAC, has not envisioned any such sweeping provision. It has only envisioned prohibiting civil servants from holding PR and DVs in foreign countries.
A large number of security forces personnel are said to be holding DVs of the USA and PR permits in Australia, Canada and the UK while still holding on to their government jobs in Nepal.
“Politicians, members of parliament and any kind of public office holders and security personnel must also relinquish their jobs in Nepal if they are holding PR or DVs in foreign countries. Why are security personnel not to be punished if they are holding PR or DVs in foreign countries? It is total injustice to enforce the new dispensation only against civil servants,” an official at the Prime Minister’s Office said. Talking to media Monday after submitting the report to the full committee, the coordinator of the sub-committee, Ramesh Lekhak, also said that they have submitted new suggestions to the government for reforms in the bureaucracy.
The committee has suggested to the SAC to go for six specialized government services, such as Engineering Service, Agriculture and Forestry Service, Judicial Service, Foreign Service, Administrative Service and Accounts Service. “If the sub-committee’s suggestions to the SAC are approved by parliament, the aforementioned services will become specialized and that means special-class officers will be promoted only within their respective services,” Lekhak said. The sub-committee was formed under lawmaker Lekhak to provide suggestions on the Civil Service Act (Fourth Amendment) Bill.
Lekhak said they have suggested that government officials would be given a certain period of time to opt for DVs, PR or green cards on one hand or government service on the other, as the law will not be retroactive. According to the recommendations, civil servants will be given an opportunity to continue in government service if they are ready to give up their permanent residence status in foreign countries.
The sub-committee has also proposed that the spouses of government employees who have already obtained such documents will need to inform the government mandatorily. Likewise, the sub-committee has also proposed a provision for appointment of new secretaries at the ministries within a month of such posts falling vacant, replacing the earlier provision of promotion secretaries twice a year. The sub-committee has also proposed allowing government employees to work as consultants and present papers after seeking formal approval from the concerned authorities.