Govt welcomes any recommendation on Security Printing Press case: Baskota

Kathmandu / Jan 9: Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota said on Thursday that the government would welcome any recommendation to be given to the government regarding the security printing press purchasing process.

“The government (Ministry of Communication and Information Technology) will forward over 1,000 pages of proposals sent by the French and German companies to the Public Account Committee and the Finance Committee to study, and it is ready to accept any recommendation of the two committees,” Minister Baskota said, referring to the letters sent recently to the Ministry by the committees.

Speaking at the weekly press meet organised to make the Cabinet decisions public at the Ministry this afternoon, he said that the recommendations to be forwarded by the committees would be helpful to the government.

“But we want the recommendations from the two committees as early as possible to conclude the security printing press purchasing process,” Minister Baskota said.

If the committees point out any wrongdoing in the process, they should clearly point out it in their recommendations, he said.

Minister Baskota, who is also the government spokesperson said that purchasing the security printing press was a matter of urgency and important to the government from the data security and financial point of view.

The security printing press will print passports, national ID, citizenship certificates, academic certificates, voter ID, land ownership certificates, postal tickets, stickers of excise duties, SIM cards except chips, recharge cards and driving license, among others, he said.

He said a decision to purchase the security printing press was required as soon as possible, as the government had very limited copies of MRP passports, approximately 600,000 to 700,000.

He also informed that the Information Technology (IT) bill would be taken to the House of Representatives for extensive deliberations to make it further stronger.

“It is the full House where the lawmakers from all political parties can point out the errors that are identified and discussed in the public forums, Minister Baskota said, adding that the lawmakers would have extensive and hot discussions on the bill in the House.

“It will not be difficult for the government to accept the truth associated with the bill’s provisions, but it may be difficult sometime to hear and address someone’s request,” Minister Baskota said.

If there is anything such in the bill that contradicts the constitutional provisions, including the right to speech and expression and the press freedom, it will not be difficult for the government to listen to the truth, Minister Baskota said.

“There is still a long way to pass the bill from the full House where the lawmakers can make deliberations from different aspects,” he said.

“We want the parliament will have a very hot and to-the-point discussion before its endorsement,” he said.

Similarly, Minister Baskota said that the government was effortful to give completion to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee after seeking understanding from the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress.

“On behalf of the ruling party, our party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has also been exercising to reach a conclusion on this issue by holding discussions with NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba, and from the government level, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is also equally putting his efforts to this issue,” Minister Baskota said.

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