Kathmandu: A state-owned security printing
press from India has demanded USD 48,000 compensation from the
government for the loss suffered due to the unilateral
cancellation of a deal to supply smart passports for Nepal,
following pressure from Nepalese political parties.
Security Printing and Minting Corporation India Ltd.
has sent a letter to Nepal`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
seeking USD 48,000 compensation for the loss caused due to the
cancellation of the order to supply Machine Readable Passports
(MRP) at the last minute, according to Foreign Ministry
The Indian company had claimed that it had began
procuring paper, ink and other necessary logistic supplies
from international market as per the deal.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood and Foreign
Secretary Madan Kumar Bhattarai had signed a letter of
exchange on March 25 to supply some 3 million smart passports.
The government later cancelled the order under Maoists
pressure and called for a fresh tender. French company
Oberther won the tender as it had submitted the lowest bid.
Even as India and Nepal have open borders, New Delhi
has been concerned that international terrorist networks,
particularly those supported by the Pakistani spy agency ISI,
were using the porous border to push arms, narcotics and
As such, India has sought to incorporate special
security features in Nepali passports so as to make it
difficult to tamper.
However, Nepal`s coalition government cancelled the
contract after pressure from its own allies as well as the
main opposition Maoist party.