The Department of Printing under the Ministry of Information and Communication has been operating printing press of the government in order to meet general and security printing needs of several government agencies.Though it has a long history in itself on printing, it has been operating with some conventional type of machinaries, poorly established physical infrastructures and equipments. With the increasing emergence of private sectors in printing, the role of DOP has been confined merely to meeting the partial printing needs of government sector.
The existing Department of Printing is the product of accumulated printing experiences gained from the time of first publication of Gorakhapatra on 1958 BS (1901) to the publication of Nepal Gazette in the year 2008 and to the formation of Department of Printing in the year 2049 following the formulation of National Information Policy in the same year. The printing press under the DOP has been fulfilling various printing needs of the government agencies and public organizations. It has been providing printing services to several government organizations since its establishment. It strives to fulfill both general and security printing needs of the GON.
The information policy of the GON has conceptualized the essence of establishing security printing press in Nepal through strengthening the existing printing press under the DOP. Similarly, the tenth plan has articulated the printing strategy as “developing a security printing press that is capable of printing out all types of security printing materials other than the paper currency by building conducive environment for security printing from and within the country”. Likewise, the operating policies of the tenth plan have clearly spelled out for making necessary arrangements in printing out security printing materials within the country by developing the printing press of DOP as an autonomous and corporate entity which is capable of providing standard printing services.
The existing policies have clearly given necessary mandate to the government for developing a security printing press in Nepal. The policy strategy of the government has a long term vision to develop a security press that is capable of printing out not only security printing materials such as Passports, Mobile Rechard Card, Cash Cards, Bank Cheque Books, Traveler’s Cheque, Postal Stamps etc, but also the paper currency (Bank Notes) from and within the country. If these policies are implemented properly, the country should be able to initiate the process of printing out Bank Notes within few years.
However, the government has not given as much priority as required for building a favorable environment for the establishment of such press within the country. Very few progresses have been achieved so far on the path of establishing a security press under the government sector. Apart from the completion of a first phase building construction, none other praiseworthy efforts have been undertaken so far to speed up the security press establishment process. With such sluggish pace, it seems unlike that the policy goals could be realized within the stipulated time period. Hence, a well coordinated effort is urgently required to strengthen the organizational and technological capacity of Department of Printing so that the policy goals could be achieved within the specified time period.