KATHMANDU: The 13th European Meeting and Second Knowledge Conference of the Non-Resident Nepalis Association (NRNA) has urged the parliament on the need of passing the Act Related to the Non-Resident Nepalis’ Citizenship at the earliest.
The conference held on October 3 and 4 has called upon all the lawmakers and the major political parties to pass the Act with the provision of connecting the future generation of NRNs with Nepal, reflecting the theme ‘once a Nepali, always a Nepali’.
The Act has been passed by the State Affairs Committee of the federal parliament and it is now under consideration of the parliament.
The meeting and the conference were held virtually under the theme of ‘Skills and Knowledge for the Motherland, Our Campaign for Voice of Women and Youth’. Various sessions as the 11th European women assembly, the youth conference and contemporary topics were organized as part of the conference.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai, had inaugurated the conference and it was attended by Nepali Congress joint general secretary Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, the Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel, NCP leader Dr Gangalal Tuladhar, Nepali Congress leader Gagan Kumar Thapa, Nepali ambassadors, the central leaders of NRNA, NRNA former presidents, representatives of various social organizations based in Europe, journalists and NRNs.
The Conference has urged all the NRNA communities to stay safe as the experts have been warning of a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus pandemic in Europe. It has also pledged to implement the agreement establishing a Rs 10 billion investment fund on behalf the NRNA for the infrastructure sector of Nepal. The NRNA had proposed this fund during the Global Investment Summit organized by the government in 2019.
The conference has called on the government to remove the legal and procedural hurdles for establishing this fund while urging the Nepalis living in Europe to invest in this fund. A decision has been made according to which the NRNA and NRNs will play special role for encouraging the use of Nepali products at their home and for increasing the export of Nepali products like handicraft items, pashmina, tea and coffee in the European market.
Likewise, the conference has urged the government to sign double taxation avoidance treaty and investment promotion agreements with as many of the countries of the world as possible for promoting Nepal’s export and inviting foreign direct investment into the country.
Stating that NRNA was willing to works as a reliable partner for the revival of the tourism sector in Nepal in accordance with the ‘Tourism Revival Strategy’ brought by Nepal Tourism Board and the Government of Nepal, the Conference, through its 18-point decision, urged the bodies concerned to explicitly mention in the strategy about the NRN tourism as well besides the internal tourism.
The conference has urged the government of Nepal to accelerate ongoing diplomatic initiative to lift the ban on all Nepali Airlines service including Nepal Airlines in Europe as soon as possible. It has also urged the government to establish Nepali Embassy in Malta, Poland and Portugal of Europe keeping the increasing number of Nepalis in such countries.
A decision has been made to request NRNA Centre to launch broader campaign by collaborating government bodies and private sectors of Nepal to help provide the employment to around 500,000 abroad returnee Nepalis, returned to home after losing job due to COVID-19, inside Nepal.
The conference also urged the Government of Nepal to make arrangement of free flights to those waiting to return to home from different countries including Malaysia and Gulf countries mainly women, sick people, helpless and those facing financial crunch as well as to make a plan to repatriate stranded Nepalis before Dashain and Tihar.
It is also drawn a conclusion to suggest the NRNA Centre to set up Regional Emergency Centre in all sectors of the NRNA.
Discussion was held on the working paper presented by Nepali and Non-Resident Nepali experts in five subjects in the conference. Coordinator of NRNA, Europe, Narayan Acharya, said that the conference called for collaboration with government bodies, partners of intellectuals and research organizations of Nepal as well as NRN experts on topics such as COVID-19, climate change, renewal energy promotion, environment conservation and infrastructure.