Nepal | July 05, 2020

Minister rebukes directive on IIFA Awards

Says hue and cry about the government’s plan to host the glitzy event unnecessary

Jagdishor Panday
Share Now:

Kathmandu, July 4

Government Spokesperson Gokul Prasad Baskota today expressed dissatisfaction over the instruction given by a parliamentary panel to the government to immediately halt all work related to hosting of the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Nepal.

The directive issued by the parliamentary International Relations Committee on Tuesday has prompted the Nepal Tourism Board to temporarily halt the process of organising the grand Bollywood awards show in the country.

The panel gave the instruction stating that the Nepal government’s financial liability mentioned in the draft agreement to be signed with IIFA Awards organiser, Wizcraft International Entertainment, was “inappropriately and unnaturally high considering the country’s economic status”.

The panel also said that the agreement which the government was intending to sign with Wizcraft would “hamper Nepal’s independence, freedom and identity, and adversely affect Nepal’s cultural liberty and national interest”. This statement has drawn criticism, with many questioning how an Indian awards show could threaten Nepal’s sovereignty.

“Parliamentary committees should give instructions after conducting thorough research,” Baskota, who is also the minister of communications and information technology, told mediapersons, expressing dissatisfaction over words used by the panel in its directive. “Mediapersons should ask the parliamentary committee members how organising the programme would harm the country.”

The minister, who is quick at taking jabs at those who differ with the government’s views, also mocked lawmakers in the parliamentary committee, referring to them as a group of “know-it-alls”. “They must have prepared a thesis on the topic and consulted all the experts before issuing the directive,” Baskota said in a satirical tone.

Nepal is planning to host the IIFA Awards in August. The event is scheduled to be held with the support of Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Nepal Tourism Board. The draft agreement states that the government will pay $4 million to the event organisers and bear other costs related to accommodation and logistics of around 4,000 guests and construction of necessary infrastructure.

“So far, we have only agreed in principle to host the event. We have not signed any agreement and we have not decided to pay event organisers,” Baskota said during the weekly media briefing.

He added, “It was agreed that the private sector would host the event and the government would look after security arrangements.”

The IIFA has been hosting the awards ceremony since 2000. And every year the event is held in countries other than India. So far, the event has been held in around 11 countries across the globe, including the US, the UK and the UAE, according to the minister.

“We had decided to host the event after holding a round of discussion, as it could promote Nepal as an international film shooting destination. We are looking at business opportunities,” said Baskota. “But there has been unnecessary hue and cry about our plan.”


A version of this article appears in print on July 05, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Greenwood shines as five-star Man United crush Bournemouth

MANCHESTER: Manchester United's three-pronged attack combined to devastating effect as they crushed Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday to move into the top four and stretch their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions. Mason Greenwood shone with two superb goals whil Read More...

Six killed, one missing in Bajhang landslide

Bajura, July 4 Six persons died in a landslide in Mallesi of Kedarsyun Rural Municipality, Bajhang, last night. One person is missing. A police team from Bisauna of Durgathali Rural Municipality and locals retrieved the bodies from the landslide debris today. According to Kedarsyun Rural Mu Read More...

NCP standoff continues

Kathmandu, July 4 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) postponed its Standing Committee meeting till Monday in an attempt to reconcile differences among party co-chairs Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. The rival faction of the NCP has Read More...

Bayern thrash Leverkusen 4-2 to win 20th German Cup title

BERLIN: Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich kept their hopes of a treble alive after a dominant 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen to lift the German Cup for a record-extending 20th time at the Olympiastadion on Saturday. Bayern sealed their 13th domestic double as Hansi Flick, who took ove Read More...

Fertiliser crunch hits farmers in Siraha district

SIRAHA, JULY 4 Farmers, who have started paddy plantation, are facing shortage of chemical fertiliser in Siraha. Agriculture cooperatives are supposed to sell fertiliser supplied by the Agriculture Materials Company Limited and Salt Trading Corporations. But, farmers are facing paucity of fert Read More...

Govt turns deaf ears to demands of youths staging hunger strike

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Two youths of ‘Enough Is Enough’ movement have been staging a fast-unto-death hunger strike for the past nine days, but the government has turned a deaf ears to their demands. Iih, 26, of Kathmandu and Pukar Bam, 30, of Kailali, who began their hunger strike from a Sattal Read More...

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) building

Engineer booked for accumulating illegal assets

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority yesterday filed a charge-sheet at the Special Court against Bharat Raj Acharya, an engineer at the Department of Roads. He has been charged with accumulating disproportionate assets worth around Rs 32.2 million. Ac Read More...

More public post holders submitting property details

Kathmandu, July 4 The number government officials and employees furnishing their property details has increased in the fiscal 2018-19 compared to the previous fiscal, said National Vigilance Centre. According to a report released by the anti-corruption watchdog under the Office of the Prime Mi Read More...