Kathmandu, February 10
To make it easier for Nepalis travelling abroad and also foreigners who visit the country the government is planning to issue international driving licence. The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has started homework to issue international driving permit (IDP) by amending the Federal Transport Act.
Gokarna Prasad Upadhyaya, spokesperson for DoTM, informed that they have already started work to amend the act. “A team of experts has been working aggressively to prepare a draft of the new Federal Transport Act and is planning to finalise it by March.”
He further said the department is planning to issue the international driving licence as there have been requests for such a document since long from many Nepalis who are living outside the country and the issue has also been raised by a Parliament committee.
According to data of the Department of Foreign Employment, more than five million Nepalis are living outside the country, but probably only 10 per cent of them have acquired a driving licence of the country they are residing in.
“We plan to issue the international driving licence so that Nepalis do not have to spend a huge amount of money to acquire a driving licence in foreign countries,”
Upadhyaya said, adding that Nepalis living in foreign countries are spending an average of $1,500 per person to acquire a driving licence.
Earlier, the Development and Technology Committee under the Federal Parliament had discussed on the issue and suggested the government to draft a law for issuance of international driving permit. The committee meeting had formed a 13-member team for further discussions on the issue, but the report is yet to be made public.
According to Upadhyaya, the government will adopt internationally accepted procedures of issuing such a driving licence. As per the initial plan, the international driving licence will be valid for up to three months and will help those who go abroad for short trips and also foreigners who visit Nepal.
He further said that the DoTM is currently studying the international practices of issuing such driving permits.
“We have found that at present 165 countries have been issuing international driving permits. After the act is endorsed, it will directly benefit many Nepalis who go abroad for work or study purposes and also foreigners who visit Nepal.”
After the formulation of the new act, the government will prepare a new guideline and work procedure for the implementation of the international driving permit.
A version of this article appears in print on February 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.