Let all patriots commute by cart: DPM Gautam

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KATHMANDU, APR 22 – Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam has remarked that a genuinely patriotic Nepali should commute by cart or rickshaw.

He was responding to questions raised at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature-Parliament regarding the government’s bid to outsource the visa processing job to a foreign company.

“Let us all abandon the vehicles and commute by cart or rickshaw from today itself if our nationalism and patriotism is so deep. Vehicles were made by foreigners.”

Earlier, the International Relations and Labour Committee of the Legislature-Parliament has directed the government to stop its bid to outsource the country’s visa processing job to a private company.

At the meeting, he suggested the lawmakers should rather give go-ahead to the Home Ministry’s bid to outsource the visa processing job if they think it would be good instead of bothering whether or not there would be corruption.

“I put forward the proposal for this work with a good intention so as to get my name written in golden letters. I would take back the proposal if you have objection to my proposal,” said Minister Gautam.

Saying that corruption would not take place just by handing over the contract to foreigners, he claimed that most of the corruptions—around 98-99 percent—happen in the work undertaken by Nepali. “So let’s not be suspicious,” he added.

Regarding the leakage of security information, Minister Gautam said such issues can be dealt legally. “Even the information guarded by security of pentagon could be leaked.”

He said that even the visa procession fee of 25 US dollars for a person has not been finalised. He added that he was saddened by baseless accusations.

PAC members including CPN-UML’s lawmaker Bikash Lamsal, NC’s Dhanaraj Gurung and Ram Hari Khatiwada, and UCPN (Maoist)’s Dor Prasad Upadhyay asked questions regarding the visa outsourcing bid.

However, the committee has not made any decision after enquiring Gautam. PAC Chairman Janardan Sharma informed that the next meeting of the committee would hold discussion after inviting a team of experts.