Ministry draft gives clarity on foreign visits

  • Local officials can travel abroad if UN agencies and foreign governments invite them
- Post Report, Kathmandu
The directive aims to check local officials’ ‘unnecessary’ sponsored foreign visits

Aug 2, 2018-The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration’s (MoFAGA) draft directive gives go-ahead to local unit officials for foreign visits if they have invitation from United Nations (UN) agencies or any foreign government.

The MoFAGA has prepared a draft directive that will govern foreign visits by elected officials of local units. The draft awaits Cabinet its endorsement.

MoFAGA Spokesperson Suresh Adhikari said, “We have prepared a draft directive that will govern foreign visits by elected officials of local units and sent it to Law Ministry for its opinion.”

The directive aims to check local officials’ ‘unnecessary’ sponsored foreign visit.

The federal government fears elected local officials might give statements that may be contrary to the policy of the national government. The constitution has given central government sole authority to conduct foreign affairs.

“This is the reason we plan to introduce the directive to properly manage foreign trips by officials from local units,” said Adhikari.

On June 11, the government issued a memo informing local officials and staff to travel abroad after taking prior approvals from the MoFAGA as stopgap measure to prevent ‘unwanted’ visits to foreign countries.

The directive will retain most of the provisions including the requirement of officials from local units to take MoFAGA’s approval.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will recommend visa for such officials after the centre nominates them for foreign trips after studying the importance of the visit,” said Adhikari.

The proposed draft directive prohibits foreign trips sponsored by local and international non-government organizations. “They also cannot spend the resources of local units for making foreign trips,” said Adhikari.

If UN agencies or foreign governments invite local unit officials and agree to bear the cost of their visit, the federal government would approve the visit.

Nepal is a UN member, so the government would allow local unit officials to take part in their events, he said.

The government will allow local unit officials to travel abroad when any rural municipality or municipality has sister city ties with any city in another country.

Published: 02-08-2018 07:31

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