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Govt decides not to fund the ‘private visit'

world Updated: Mar 10, 2010 13:43 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Nepal’s Vice President Parmanand Jha, who retook oath last month after a five and half month gap, is all set to undertake a pilgrimage to India—his first foreign trip after assuming office.

Sources close to Jha stated that he will be reaching the Kumbh Mela venue in Haridwar on Friday and take a dip in the Ganga. He is also slated to inaugurate an international peace conference there.

But on Wednesday, the Nepal government decided not to fund the trip as it was a ‘private visit’ and not an official one. The government will however bear the expenses of Jha’s security guards and aides.

“Since it is a private visit, the Vice-President will have to bear the expenses of the trip,” informed Tourism Minister Sharad Singh Bhandari after a cabinet meeting held at Singha Darbar.

Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav had undertaken a goodwill trip to India last month and had visited Haridwar to take part in the Kumbh Mela celebrations and meet several eminent Hinu saints.

Jha, who is Nepal’s first Vice President, was re-administered oath of office in February after his post remained defunct for nearly six months due his refusal to take oath in Nepali as directed by Supreme Court.