Incidents of extortion in Nepal affecting Indian Businesses

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) Various incidents of extortion and intimidation in the ongoing political transition in Nepal have affected business enterprises, including some Indian businesses and joint ventures, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee said this in a written reply.

He said these issues have been taken up with the Government of Nepal, including at the highest levels. Following the Constituent Assembly elections, the new Government of Nepal has expressed its willingness to take further the measures for the promotion of an investor friendly, enabling business environemnt to encourage Indian public and private sector investments in Nepal.

Responding to another question, the Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said the Government proposes to introduce biometric passports called e-passport to avoid fraudulent misuse and tampering.

Mr Mukherjee said the scheme has already been launched on June 25, 2008. Based on the experience gained through the pilot phase of issuance of e-passports in the diplomatic and official category, it will be taken up further by the end of 2009.

UNI BKS AKJ SB DS1602

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