Kathmandu, October 14
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has urged the non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) to play the role of goodwill ambassadors in the countries where they are residing.
Inaugurating the eighth international general assembly and global conference of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) here today, President Bhandari applauded the contribution of NRNs through capital, skills, innovations and philanthropic activities for socio-economic development of the country.
Stating that the country requires huge investments for transformation in sectors like agriculture, hydroelectricity, tourism, education, health and infrastructure, among others, the president further said that the investment from the diaspora community could be catalytic in attracting foreign investment.
Also addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara hailed the initiation taken by the NRNs to rebuild the model settlement in the Laprak village of Gorkha district.
NRNA has been taking the lead to rebuild 612 houses for the quake-affected households in Laprak.
He also urged the diaspora community to make investment in the country. “The government issues identity cards to the NRNs, which provide raft of incentives to them while purchasing real estate, shares, among others,” said Mahara.
He also informed that the government is in the process of framing a policy to utilise the skills, knowledge and the capital from the diaspora community. “A team led by, the vice chairman of the National Planning Commission is framing the policy,” said Mahara.
Also speaking during the inaugural session, Jiba Lamicchane, chief patron of the NRNA, said that the NRN movement, which started some 14 years ago, is moving towards its objective. Around 70,000 Nepalis in 78 countries across the world are associated with the organisation.
He also highlighted some of the achievements of the NRN movement. “This is our first global conference after the promulgation of the new constitution, which has given due recognition to the non-resident Nepalis,” said Lamicchane. The constitution has provision to provide citizenship to the NRNs, without political rights.
He further said that the country has a lot of expectations from the diaspora community, but they also have their limitations. “Nevertheless, NRNs have been making investments in various sectors and are
also involved in philanthropic activities to be connected with their home country.”
Upendra Mahato, founding president of the NRNA, opined that as the network of the NRNA is expanding, it has provided an opportunity for the Nepalis living in any part of the world to be connected with Nepal and also to make meaningful contribution for the country’s development.
Similarly, Shesh Ghale, president of the NRNA, said that along with expanding the network and member base of the Nepali diaspora community in the organisation, the NRNA has put forth some specific plans to move forward in the coming days.
The global conference and the general assembly that kicked off today will run till Tuesday. The general assembly scheduled for Sunday and Monday will also elect the new leadership and executive committee for 2017 to 2019.
A version of this article appears in print on October 15, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.