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Government covertly plans to sell embassy properties of London and Bonn

KATHMANDU:
The government is making a covert plan to sell the properties including the building along with the land of Nepalese embassies at London in the UK and Bonn in Germany. The government has even formed a survey team to assess and advise the government on estimated worth of the embassies’ properties, the legal complications and the remedies for the complications within a month.
According to the government source, a cabinet meeting before the Dashain festival has formed such committee comprising three Nepali Ambassadors and government officials from various ministries. Nepal’s Ambassador to UK Suresh Chandra Chalise has been designated as the coordinator of the committee and the Nepal’s Ambassadors to France and Germany are the two other members for the committee.
The properties of Nepal embassy building and land at Kensington Palace Garden compound, the prime location in London, worth nearly billions of rupees at the current market. Government preparation to sell off the ancient properties, during the absence of Parliament and the constitutional body that oversee graft cases lying vacant, has raised the eyebrows of many people.
The debate either to sell the building or maintaining and renovating of the embassy building had reached to the table of the parliamentary committee earlier also. The Parliamentary Committee on International Affairs and Human Rights has directed the Ministry of Finance to allocate the budget necessary for the Embassy renovation and maintenance.
According to a source at the Foreign Ministry,  the embassy building entrenched at 26 thousands square foot in London, filled with ancient art and sculptures, have a market price nearly  300 to 500 million pounds sterling if sold through a competitive bidding process.

The embassy building at London was bought in leased for 100 years in 1980 and the government is paying 100 Pounds per month currently as per the agreement. The government is responsible for renovation and maintenance of the building regularly as per the agreement which costs millions of pounds for the government.

The government had released Rs 10 million to partially repair the building last year. Similarly, Bonn building could fetch millions of Euros if sold at current market price. Though the government has planned to sell the properties of Embassy at UK, it is selling off the property of Bonn to in order to dodge the controversies and allegation of corruption. The government has been reasoning that the capital city has been moved to Berlin from Bonn and it needs to sell the properties of Bonn that is rendered almost useless. The embassy building in the Bonn is in dilapidated condition now.
Though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had recommended the government to amend the laws before beginning the selling process of the embassy properties, the government has again initiated the process to sell it without heeding the Ministry’s recommendation.
Nepalese residing in London has opposed the idea of selling the ancient building with antique properties. Shambhu Dhital, a Nepali youth in London, commented, “Our government can’t afford new building in the prime location like it is now, so, it should give up the idea of selling such an ancient building that holds significant value for us.”

Published Date: Monday, November 19th, 2012 | 03:24 AM

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