Directive on foreign visits gets approval

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 24, 2018-

The council of ministers has endorsed a directive that bars local representatives from going on foreign visits sponsored by international or Non Government Organisations.

The decision taken at the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, thwarts local representatives from travelling abroad on sponsored junkets.

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration Joint Secretary Suresh Adhikari, said the restriction ensures local representatives from across the country are accountable for what they do, their travel plans and the places they visit.

“We have come to know about the directive’s endorsement. We await a formal letter from the Cabinet,” Adhikari told the Post, adding that the tendency of obtaining approval from the federal government is not new for stakeholders of the state mechanism.

“The Cabinet endorses foreign visits of even the president and the prime minister. The directive aims to manage the engagements of local representatives,” he said.

A similar directive on foreign trips of government officials was approved a couple of months ago.

The government has set a formal procedure to regulate foreign visits, activities and official statements made by leaders and government officials abroad because they have a bearing on the state policies.

The Federal Affairs Ministry had sent the directive to the Cabinet for its endorsement two weeks ago after internal

consultations and a go-ahead from the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

As per the new directive, the local representatives must obtain the federal government’s approval before planning foreign visits that require their official presence. This is to ensure such foreign visits do not contradict the state policy.

The directive prohibits local representatives from travelling abroad on visits funded by I/NGOs.

The government has barred local representatives from using funds allocated to local level authorities.

“Many local representatives have misappropriated funds in the past. This directive would discourage representatives from prioritising foreign events,” said Adhikari.

The government permits local level leaders to take part in events hosted by donor countries and agencies, including the United Nations, after they take federal government’s approval.

The Federal Affairs Ministry will dispatch a note on the directive after receiving a formal letter from the Office of the Council of Ministers, Adhikari said.

Published: 24-09-2018 07:29

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