Kathmandu: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha said on Wednesday that Regulations related to citizenship would be brought at the soonest. Addressing a discussions program on the implementation of the Citizenship Act in the capital, he asserted that the situation of an individual applying for citizenship certificate having to wait for months on end to get one will come to an end once the Regulations is brought. The discussions program was organized by Media Advocacy Group and the Forum for Women, Law and Development. “We are presenting the Regulation related to citizenship in the Council of Ministers very soon. We are yet to take the inputs of the Ministry of Law on this. There will be no need for making people entitled for the citizenship certificate to wait for months,” Shrestha said, adding that the distribution of naturalized citizenship has been somewhat simplified at present.
Stating that provision has been made wherein one can acquire the naturalized citizenship through self-declaration and there is no requirement of documentary evidence for it as before, he said there is no provision in the Constitution by which the offspring of a Nepali woman married to a foreign male will get citizenship on the basis of descent, and that one cannot expect to have in the Regulations the provision which is not in the Constitution.
Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Narayan Prasad Bhattarai suggested installing bio-metric system in the citizenship. “Citizenship creates an obligation on the State and citizen’s rights. All problems will be addressed if the biometric system is to be adopted in course of providing the citizenship certificate,” he added.
Home Ministry under-secretary Krishna Bahadur Katuwal said the local level should register the vital statistics like birth, death and migration. He further said some questions still needed to be asked to the applicants while distributing the citizenship despite the latter presenting the required documents.
Sabin Shrestha, Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law and Development, said children born of a Nepali mother holding citizenship by descent and many single mothers are still having problem acquiring citizenship. She observed that the Citizenship Distribution Directives and the Regulations related to citizenship are still not free from the patriarchal mindset.
At the program, participants narrated various difficulties they were facing in lack of citizenship certificates. They complained that they could not apply for government jobs and open bank account as they do not have the citizenship certificate. They also stressed on the need of making provisions for the distribution of citizenship to the members of the LGBTIQ community in a smooth and dignified manner.