Nepal PM says MRP printing being done in India for political reasons

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Kathmandu, Apr 5 (ANI): Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Monday said the government has awarded the contract to print Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) to India for political and diplomatic reasons.

The Kantipur quoted Nepal as saying that vital information would not be leaked as argued by lawmakers while printing the MRPs in the Indian security press.

He also mentioned that the government had failed to move ahead with a decision of the Parliamentary Public Account Committee (PAC) tender process due to time constraints.

The PAC had quizzed Nepal and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala over the government's decision to award the contract to India in violation of the directives of the PAC.

Earlier, the PAC had directed the Foreign Ministry to call for a fresh tender bid to print MRPs and hand over the contract on the competition basis.

Disregarding the PAC directive, on March 19, the cabinet gave its approval to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to grant the contract to print MRPs to an Indian company.

The government had authorised the Foreign Ministry to hand over the MRPs contract to Indian state-owned Security Printing and Minting Corporations, citing the fast approaching International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) deadline and the cancellation of tender process. (ANI)

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