KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam on Wednesday agreed to withdraw the Facilities and Security of Very Important Persons and Former VIPs Bill after Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang urged him to do so.
Sudarshan Kuinkel, assistant spokesperson, Parliament Secretariat, said Nembang told the Bills Section of the Parliament Secretariat to keep the bill in limbo. Speaker’s move comes amid growing criticism of the government’s decision to provide facilities to former VIPs.
If the bill is passed as it is, the state will have to spend crores on facilities for former VIPs
The bill puts presidents, vice-presidents, prime ministers, chief justices, speakers of the House of Representatives, chairpersons of Rastriya Sabha and CA chairpersons who served after 1990 but later retired under the former VIP category.
The bill defines the President, vice-president, prime minister, chief justice, speaker, deputy prime ministers, ministers, leader of the main opposition party, state ministers, justices of Supreme Court, assistant ministers, chief of constitutional bodies, chief secretary and chief judge of Appellate Court as VIPs who would be entitled to state security as provided by the government.
It states that the government can upgrade or downgrade security cover for VIPs as per the requirement.
Apart from this, the government can also categorise those who have contributed to national development and consolidation of democracy as VIPs and provide them with state facilities. The bill also intends to provide security to the families of VIPs and former VIPs in case they face security threat.
It stipulates that the government will provide free housing facility to former presidents, provide staff for the former office bearers’ private secretariats, vehicles, fuel expenses, vehicle repair expenses and hospitality allowance. It also intends to provide medical expenses to former VIPs.
It also intends to provide, for three years, vehicles, fuel and drivers to former home ministers who served the country after 1990.
The bill intends to provide 200 litres of fuel to former presidents, 175 litres to former vice-presidents and 150 litres to former prime ministers. It states that former chief justices, former speakers and former chair of Rastriya Sabha will get 100 litres of fuel per month.
The bill states that the persons entitled to benefits under this law will not be able to get these facilities if they hold any public post, if they are removed from the office through impeachment process or if they are convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.
Home Ministry had registered the bill on May 8.
Earlier the government had registered a similar bill in the Parliament Secretariat on November 21, 2014, but withdrew it later to make amendments to the bill. If the bill is passed in its current form, the state will have to spend crores of rupees on the facilities for former VIPs.