Nepal Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala has said her ministry prefers awarding a contract for printing machine readable passports to an Indian company, even as the parliament's accounts committee expressed reservations over ordering the contract in a bilateral deal.
Nepal is facing an April 1 deadline for making a transition to the machine readable passport format as required by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the cabinet has directed the government to get the job done at a competitive price.
Koirala said she has favoured India for printing the four million Machine Readable Passport to meet April 1 deadline.
However, Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament and chief secretary of the cabinet are against the idea of providing the contract of printing the MRP to India through a bilateral deal, she informed.
"I will take the proposal to the cabinet to print the passport in India and it will be approved," she told newsmen today before leaving for her two week long tour to European countries to attend the Human Rights Conference in Geneva.
She has said a minister would soon visit India for negotiations.
"During the recent visit to Nepal by Foreign Minister S M Krishna, I have talked to him regarding printing of the MRP, she said adding India had shown positive response to the offer," Koirala said.