Nepalis who do not reside in the country now have a good chance of being conferred with special nationality certificates. These documents would confer on them all rights with the exception of political rights. The Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the Constituent Assembly recognised the long – overdue demand this Friday.
It is noteworthy that Special Nationality are also going to be conferred on ex – British Gurkhas. The NRNs and Nepalis who discharged from the British Army have for a long time been campaigning for dual nationality.
An NRN is a Nepali who lives in a foreign country for over two years, with the exception of the Saarc region. If the advice by the PDCC is adopted by the Constituent Assembly, it would create the fourth level of the Nepali nationality. Other levels include nationality by descent, naturalization, and honourary nationality. Without any form of political privileges, NRNs will have no voting powers and would be stopped from contesting in elections. However, they will be allowed to buy and sell property, make investments, and enjoy social and economic privileges.
After the meeting, the PDCC Leader Baduram Bhattarai said that they had concluded that dual nationality could cause problems in time to come. This was the reason why they had opted for special nationality. However, a Sadbhawana Party legislator Laxman Lal Karna said that the agreement was not new as the first Constituent Assembly had once made a similar understanding. He stated that the previous group had agreed to confer nationality with political privilege to NRNs if they criticize the nationality of their resident country and opt to remain in Nepal for five years.
The PDCC equally agreed that for a person to acquire nationality by descent, both of their parents should be Nepali nationals of descent. For nationality by naturalization, just a parent could be a national from Nepali.
PARTIES IN DISAGREEMENT BECAUSE OF LAND CEILING
The PDCC meeting were is disagreement on a land ceiling which would have been added in their constitution. This was as a result of the different opinions that the different parties held. They were not in agreement as to if any ceiling was really important and if it was then how was reimbursement to be paid to owners for letting go their lands. The parties equally deliberated on whether to put a maximum value on the possession by individuals of properties.
UCPN (Maoist), Rastriya Janamorcha and alternative Left parties were asking for a maximum value in which surplus land is publicly owned but without any reimbursement given to the owner. They stated that all land is possessed by the state, and not individuals. Therefore, any land above the specified maximum value should come under the state’s control. They argued that the state can share land to those in need in the country. However, directors from the Nepali Congress and the Madhesi groups were in disagreement to the concept and chose to defend a national’s right to own property. They argued that the government should pay reimbursement to owners of any land that is possessed.