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Nepal govt to scrap annual state allowance for the king, royal family

Nepal govt to scrap annual state allowance for the king, royal family
AP
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First Published: Wed, Jul 11 2007. 11 37 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Jul 11 2007. 11 37 AM IST
Katmandu: Nepal’s royal family will not be getting an annual allowance this year, officials and news reports said on 11 July, amid government efforts to phase out the monarch’s role in the Himalayan nation.
The government last year allocated King Gyanendra and his family about Rs32.7 million ($ 500,000) in an annual allowance.
But this year, the government decided to scrap the allowance, the popular Kantipur newspaper reported.
Officials at the finance ministry confirmed the report but refused to elaborate.
The government is scheduled to present its annual budget on 12 July, when details about the royal family’s allowance were set to be released.
The measure would not affect the 700 people working in the palace, who would continue to be paid by the government, the officials said.
Gyanendra has been stripped of all his powers and his command over the army since pro-democracy protests forced him to give up his authoritarian rule in April 2006.
A special assembly, to be elected later this year to rewrite the constitution, will decide whether Nepal is to remain a monarchy.
Gyanendra has become deeply unpopular since he seized absolute power in February 2005 and sacked the government.
He became king in 2001 after his elder brother, Birendra, and eight royal family members were slain in a palace massacre.
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First Published: Wed, Jul 11 2007. 11 37 AM IST
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