Parliament’s State Affairs Committee (SAC) has endorsed a much-awaited bill barring government employees from holding permanent residency in any foreign country, paving the way for the upcoming parliamentary session to endorse the bill.
Incorporating a few amendments effected by a sub-committee, the SAC on Wednesday endorsed the bill on amendments to the Civil Service Act. The bill was tabled by the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) last year. Endorsement of the bill had been delayed as numerous lawmakers had registered amendment proposals demanding revision of some of its provisions.
Once it is endorsed by parliament the bill will come into effect after it gets final approval from the president. According to the bill, civil servants holding foreign diversity visa (DV), permanent residency (PR) or any kind of foreign identity will be sacked from service. However, they will be given an opportunity to continue in government service if they are ready to give up their permanent residency status in foreign countries within a month after the law comes into effect.
Minister for General Administration Lal Babu Pandit expressed gratitude to the House panel for approving the bill. “I am glad at the endorsement of the bill by the committee with almost everything in it that I had proposed,” Pandit said.
Only two lawmakers — from Nepal Workers and Peasants Party — voted against the bill in the committee, objecting to their amendments not being incorporated. The bill had drawn wide public attention with its provisions barring civil servants from holding foreign residency permits and their spouses from using government facilities, as well as barring their involvement in I/NGOs, among other things. Making amendments to the proposal tabled by the MoGA, the committee has proposed allowing government employees to work as consultants and present papers after seeking formal approval from the concerned authorities. Similarly, the bill has proposed six specialized services in the civil service, adding four more to those proposed by the ministry.