A Citizenship Bill has been cleared by the State Affairs Committee of Nepal's Parliament, paving the way for thousands of people to get citizenship certificate.
Once endorsed by the House of Representatives, the Bill will be instrumental in resolving the long-standing issue of granting citizenship certificates to over five million people who have been deprived of their rights, mostly in the Terai region of southern Nepal.
The new bill states that any person born before mid-April 1990 and living in the country since then is eligible to acquire Nepalese citizenship.
Such persons will have to produce either a land ownership certificates or house ownership certificates or their registration number in voters' lists to obtain citizenship.
The Parliament committee also decided to issue directives to the government to formulate necessary regulations so that none of the eligible citizens are deprived of citizenship.
"The committee's decision was instrumental in translating political parties' commitment to provide citizenship to all Nepalese people," Speaker Subash Nembang said.
"The citizenship issue will be completely settled before the Constituent Assembly polls," said Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitoula.
The government and Maoists had on November 8 agreed to resolve the citizenship issue by considering April 1990 as the cut-off year.