Nepali Gov't to curtail king's power, privileges: minister

The new Nepali government is planning to issue a proclamation that will curtail King Gyanendra's power and privileges, the finance minister said, but he declined to confirm reports that the monarch might have to pay taxes for the first time.

According to a report from English newspaper, The Himalayan, on Sunday, a declaration of Parliament asserting the sovereignty of the people and Parliament, which will have the same effect as a law, is being prepared by the government and discussed among the Seven Party Alliance of the ruling alliance, Finance Minister Ram Saran Mahat told reporters.

"The document will certainly curtail the king's power and privileges, but what the specifics will be, we are discussing," Mahat said, adding "it is definitely on the cards but it will be thoroughly discussed."

On Saturday, an official with knowledge of discussions on the new proclamation said the details being discussed included asking the king to pay taxes and reduce his palace budget, which, according to media reports, grew from 120 million to 600 million Nepali rupees (1.7 million to 8.5 million U.S. dollars) while he was running the government from February 1, 2004.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity citing parliamentary propriety.

Mahat declined to confirm the details of the proclamation, but said it will reflect the aspirations of the people.

Source: Xinhua



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