Nepal | August 12, 2020

Halt process of establishing security press: PAC

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, February 20

The Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament today directed the government to completely halt the process of setting up the planned security press.

A few hours after the release of an audiotape that revealed Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota, who has since resigned, negotiating kickbacks with a Swiss equipment supplier in the government’s security printing press procurement deal, the House panel wrote a letter to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology asking it not to proceed with the security press procurement and establishment process until further notice.

After the audiotape was released, members of the House panel had asked PAC Chairman Bharat Kumar Sah to investigate the process of procuring the security printing press.

The government had initiated the process of establishing a security printing press in the country to print secured documents, certificates and stickers, including passports, excise-duty stickers and driving licences on its own. On November 23, the Cabinet had given approval to MoCIT to procure necessary materials for the printing press either from the German firm Bundesdruckerei or the IN Groupe of France.

However, PAC had started a probe into the establishment process of the security printing press in the first week of January based on complaints regarding possible anomalies in the process and the government’s suspicious move to procure printing press equipment without announcing a global tender.

Bypassing the scientific process of global tender, the government had opted to set up the security printing press under government-to-government modality and had sought proposals from interested firms of Germany, France and Switzerland through their respective embassies in Nepal.

Meanwhile, the PAC released a ‘discussion paper’ it has prepared on this issue questioning the rationale behind establishing a security printing press under G2G modality by avoiding the global tender process. The committee has also charged the government with attempting to award the printing press project without analysing its proper cost.

The House panel has also questioned the rationale behind bypassing the interest shown by Swiss firm KBA NotaSis and Polish firm PWPW SA to set up a security printing press in Nepal. In July, the Polish firm through the Embassy of Poland in India, had expressed its interest to set up security printing press in Nepal while the Swiss firm had expressed its interest to set up security printing press under build-operate-transfer model.

READ ALSO:


A version of this article appears in print on February 21, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

ALONG THE GANGES: More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of India’s holiest river, on the fringes of what is now a vast industrial city. Today, little of the ancient construction remains, except for mounds of rubble that tannery workers pick through for bricks to b Read More...

Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a US Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control. Read More...

Digitised interventions for social inclusion: Adapting to the unwelcomed crisis

Last year, two world-class wheelchair basketball coaches visited Nepal to conduct an intensive sports training aimed at raising the level of sports in the country. The training brought together more than 40 female and male wheelchair basketball players in Kathmandu - athletes and citizens living wit Read More...

World Food Programme to send 50,000 T of wheat flour to Lebanon: UN

DUBAI: A report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released on Tuesday said the World Food Programme would be sending 50,000 tonnes of wheat flour to Beirut to stabilise Lebanon's wheat supply. A Reuters report on Friday revealed Lebanon's government held no Read More...

Balkhu jeep, leaving kathmandu

Public transportation sector most affected by lockdown: Transport Entrepreneurs

KATHMANDU: The plan to allow resumption of long-distance public transportation from August 17 across the country has again been cancelled. The Cabinet meeting held on Monday decided to resume flight operations from September 1 citing worsening situation due to surge in the number of COVID-19 case Read More...

Dortmund's Sancho to stay until 2023: club

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho left with his team for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland on Monday with the German club saying the talented player would stay after a contract extension to 2023. Sancho has been the target of several top clubs with ongoing speculation of a Read More...

Kathmandu University, KU

Kathmandu University closed for 15 days from today

KATHMANDU: The Dhulikhel-based Kathmandu University (KU) has decided to shut down for the next 15 days starting today, owing to the growing risk of coronavirus infection. Issuing a notice on Monday, University registrar Prof Dr Subodh Sharma said all services (except most essential services Read More...