June 15: Bharat Bhattarai of Miklajung Rural Municipality-2, Taplejung is in the process of acquiring higher education from Australia. He has spent hundreds of thousands of rupees since the last four years to fulfill all the criteria required for acquiring degree from Australia. All the money he spent so far will go down the drain if he is unable to show a bank guarantee of Rs 4.1 million within the next 15 days.
However, the Land Use Regulation published on the Nepal Gazette on June 7 has played the spoilsport.
Bhattarai, who reached the Land Revenue Office, Taplejung on Tuesday to mortgage his ancestral land used for farming for a bank guarantee returned home with his hopes dashed.
“It is unfair to deny keeping land as collateral for bank guarantee when I had already initiated the process a month ago,” said a dejected Bhattarai.
“All of my efforts and the money I spent so far will get wasted if I am unable to show a bank guarantee of Rs 4.1 million within the next 15 days,” he added.
He is of the view that the Land Revenue Office can hold the transaction of land if someone presents agricultural land as residential land and seeks more loan from bank. However, he genuinely wanted to present the agricultural land as collateral for bank guarantee but said that the Land Revenue Office denied him such permission.
Bhattarai says that he completed IELTS test, a pre-requisite for studying in Australia, in 2019 but could not proceed ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic while he was making necessary preparation to acquire visa for Australia.
Now, he has just 15 days to present bank guarantee in order to get a visa. However, he is unable to obtain a bank guarantee as the local unit has not classified agricultural and non-agricultural land yet.
Hari Bhandari of Chitwan is also preparing to visit Australia for the July intake by showing a bank guarantee of Rs 4.1 million. But he too faces the same problem. Although he spent the whole day at the Land Revenue Office, Chitwan, he couldn’t get necessary documents for the bank guarantee.
These are just a few representative cases. At present, the thousands of Nepali students seeking visa for the July intake are facing the same problem. Most of the middle-class Nepali students dream of studying abroad by keeping land as collateral for bank guarantee.
However, the Land Use Regulation has barred any kind of land-related works until the classification of land into different categories. A large number of aspiring students are currently visiting Land Revenue Offices across the country seeking necessary documents for the bank guarantee. However, all of them have face the same predicament.
Chief of the Land Revenue Office, Panchthar Baburam Pokharel says that some students had visited the office seeking their approval for the bank guarantee. He, however, said that it was not possible to give them recommendation letters in the context that the lands have not been classified yet.
“We feel sorry to see them carrying files and weeping. But our hands are tied by the law. We cannot do anything until the concerned ministry issues another circular in this regard.