Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beware of lewd Net‚ mobile phone texts!

KATHMANDU: Unknown internet and mobile phone users approaching you in chatrooms or by SMS with sexual advances? If yes, then think twice, they may be fraudsters trying to rob you.

This trend came to light after one unsuspecting Ananta Prasad Mehata of Kupondole fell victim to a woman a couple of weeks ago.

Nilima Bastola (19) from Itahari-4, Sunsari, would circulate illicit messages through internet and SMS and offer marriage and sex to unknown recipients.

Mehata realised the fraud after Bastola and Mehata decided to meet at Naya Bazaar and go on a date.

Eventually, she, backed by one of her associates, robbed him after taking him to her rented room.

“We met at Naya Bazaar and she took me to her rented room,” Mehata recounted.

“Once we entered the room, she asked me to produce everything I had and leave the place or she would call the police on rape attempt. I also found her to have hired a man to issue death threats to unsuspecting individuals.”

Bastola and her associate, Yogendra Khanal (29) of Kirtipur, made off with Mehata’s mobile phone set worth Rs 35,000.

Inspector Shiv Bahadur Singh, in-charge of Metropolitan Police Sector, Lainchaur, said the fraudsters were arrested on Thursday acting on a complaint lodged by the victim.

“We approached the fraudsters feigning to be clients and arrested them,” he informed adding that they were operating a clandestine racket by luring young men to their room. Bastola and Khanal have been charged with fraud.

The police said they are investigating how many people had fallen victim.

Rs 100 a month for 24-hr power supply

SIKLES (KASKI), April 23: While the rest of the country faces 14 hours of daily power cuts, residents of Parche VDC, Kaski enjoy 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply. And that too for just Rs 100 a month!

As the price of electricity here is set at Rs 1 per watt, the total electricity bill of most residents does not exceed Rs 100. The entire VDC is electrified round the clock, thanks to the 100 kilowatt micro hydro project built on the local Gajakhola.

"Many people don´t understand what load-shedding means as there is no supply disruption here," said Chandra Gurung, who played a vital role in building the micro hydro project with the assistance of British donors. "Villagers have been able to light their houses at a very low price and run rice mills and furniture factories," he added.

The micro hydro that was built 17 years ago with the investment of Rs 9 million and donation of labor from the locals currently electrifies 565 households. It started producing electricity from March 15, 1995, according to Kum Bahadur Gurung, manager of Sikles Electricity Management Sum-committee.

The consumer households do not have meter boxes installed in them. Monthly bill is based on appliances uses by a household. For instance, a house that uses lighting bulb of 100 watt capacity pays Rs 100 a month. "We have installed a glass fuse in every house. If anyone attempts to light a bulb of higher capacity, supply gets automatically severed," Gurung said.

The micro hydro raises Rs 100,000 in revenue every month. Of this, Rs 60,000 is spent on maintenance and salary of four project staffers. The project earns a net profit of Rs 40,000 a month.

Until two years ago, the price per watt was just 50 paisa. The price was raised to Rs 1 per watt after the cost of running the project exceeded the revenue.

Four rice mills and a furniture factory are run using the electricity generated by the project. The mills and factory operate between 8am to 3pm when electricity demand at consumer households is low.

According to Gurung, the project will soon have to be upgraded to 200 kilowatts to meet the increasing demand. "We need an investment of twenty million rupees for upgrading the project," Gurung said.

Immigration connived in red passport scam

KATHMANDU, April 23: An immigration official named Bhuminanda Bhandari is found to have connived at the high-profile red passport racket.

Officials said that he helped sneak those carrying the tampered red passports of lawmakers in and out of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

According to investigation sources, Bhandari was on duty at TIA on both the 16th and 18th of January to facilitate the departure and post-deportation exit of Pritivi Chantyal and an unidentified woman who carried the tampered red passports of lawmakers BP Yadav and Gayatri Sah.

Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Tuesday arrested Yadav and Sah on charges of tampering with and misusing their red passports. Both are now being investigated by Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu (MPRK) under an initial four-day remand granted by Kathmandu District Court.

Officials said that Etihad Airways, whose security arrangements were crucial in identifying the fake red passport holders in Abu Dhabi, had handed Chantyal and the unidentified woman over to the Department of Immigration (DOI) unit at TIA on January 18. Bhandari was reportedly paid by the racket headed by one Santosh Uprety.

Bhandari, who was assisted by some other TIA staffers -- also to be brought under the scanner soon -- had played a central role in hiding the deportation documents provided by Etihad Airways and helping the two deportees disappear.

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), which has been conducting a parallel probe into the scandal, has already interrogated Bhandari in this connection.

“We are in legal consultations to decide whether to take action against Bhandari or leave him to the CIAA,” said officials.

Sah and Yadav differ in statements

MPRK investigation sources said that Sah and Yadav, detained at Metropolitan Police Sector Anamnagar, have continuously denied the allegations brought against them.

Yadav is adamant in his total denial while Sah says she just gave her passport to Uprety but did not know what happened afterwards, sources said.

Sah even said that she and Yadav had together given their passports to Uprety.

“However, they were speechless when asked about the multiple ways their passports were tampered with and their intention in giving their passports to somebody else,” officials said.

Racket expands

Officials are widening the picture of the red passport racket which Uprety operated in association with individuals active in different sectors. A lawyer known for taking up serious criminal cases and a former colonel in the Nepal Army are also found to be in the racketeering scene together with Uprety.

“The former colonel and Uprety are also partners in realty business,” said officials.

Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) on Friday arrested a close aide to Uprety and handed him over to MPRK for prosecution.

Meanwhile, Shiva Pujan Raya, another lawmaker likely to be booked, has not yet responded to the CIB´s correspondence to present himself with his red passport. “It has already been a month and we will now write to the parliamentary secretariat with strong words to produce him,” said officials.

Five new bridges in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU, April 23: Construction of the five new bridges in Kathmandu is set to begin in the ongoing fiscal year after National Planning Commission´s nod. Including the five, the government plans to construct 91 new bridges across the country this year.

The Department of Roads (DoR) says the government has allocated Rs 330 million for the construction of the five bridges.

Due to some misunderstanding, the NPC had delayed permission to start construction of the bridges.

"We well publish tender notices next week," chief of the Bridge Section at DoR, Madhav Karki, said. He added that the construction of all the 91 bridges will start this fiscal year.

The DoR says a new bridge will built over the Bagmati River at Bouddha to link Boudha and Tamraganga roads. Similarly, a new bridge will be constructed over Bagmati River at Sundharighat, Kirtipur. Another bridge will be constructed at Salinahi to connnect Bagmati Bishnumati link road extension. Likewise, a bridge will be built along Sankhu Fatkeshor Road and another over the Bagmati River to connect B P chowk with B P Sangralaya.

"The construction of new bridges in Kathmandu will help us to reduce the current traffic problem," Karki said.

DoR expects to complete the construction of all the bridges within three years.

But the allocated budget is not enough to complete the project. It is just enough to start construction, according to Karki.

Karki revealed that the DoR sought assistance from the World Bank for building the bridges. "We are in the final stage of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 100 million US dollars," Karki said adding, "The money will be used to construct new bridges, apart from maintenance and feasibility study for more bridges."

He said the World Bank will bear 60 percent of the total costs and remaining 40 percent will be borne by the government. "We are also going to hire a consultant soon to find out the problems in existing bridges," he added.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NRB issues bond worth Rs 5 bn


KATHMANDU: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has issued Foreign Employment Bonds worth Rs 5 billion on Sunday.

The foreign employment bonds that would mature in June 2016 will be sold only to the Nepali citizens working in South Korea, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, through chosen agents. The aim of this instrument of internal borrowing is to bring money earned by migrant workers that is sitting idly in the cupboards to the Nepali financial channels and help the liquidity situation of these institutions as well. Along with government being able to raise public debt, workers have a chance to earn a higher interest rate.

NRB has given license to seven remitters to sell the bonds in five destination countries South Korea, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. The institutions include Himalayan Bank Limited, International Money Express (IME), Sewa Money Transfer, Prabhu Finance Company, Incentive Money Transfer, Shramik Remit Company and Prabhu Money Transfer.

FNCCI gets new leadership with Vaidya as prez

KATHMANDU: The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has elected its new executive committee for the next three-year term.

The new team led by President Suraj Vaidya has Pradeep Jung Pandey (Commodities), Bhawani Rana (Districts/Municipalities) and Pashupati Murarka (Associate) as vice presidents.

Vaidya received 59.14 per cent of total votes against his rival Ajad Shrestha. They contested the election leading two separate panels.

Rana and Murarka are from the Vaidya panel, while Pandey is from Shrestha panel.

As many as 102 candidates had filed candidacy for various posts in the 61-member executive committee and 13 of them have been elected unanimously.

Altogether 561 representatives from across the country, cast their votes in the election yesterday. The counting continued the whole night.

Altogether, Vaidya panel dominated the executive committee of the umbrella organisation of Nepali private sector that is going to nominate Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar as the senior vice president.

There are 92 district-municipality level chambers in 75 districts, 76 commodity-sectoral associations, some 439 leading public and private sector undertakings under associate members and 10 Bi-national chambers under the FNCCI.

The new team


Suraj Vaidya -- 59.14 per cent votes

Vice presidents

Bhawani Rana (Districts/municipalities chamber) – 123 votes

Pradeep Jung Pandey (Commodities) – 48 votes

Pashupati Murarka (Associate) – 226 votes

Members Districts/Municipalities

DB Basnet (Dolakha)—146 votes

Deepak Lamsal (Syangja) – 129 votes

Damodar Acharya (Nepalgunj) – 122 votes

Gunanidhi Tiwari (Nawalparasi) – 120 votes

Bishnu Bahadur Khatri (Sindhupalchok) – 115 votes

Pramod Shrestha (Myagdi) – 111 votes

Lok Bikram Thapa (Kanchanpur) – 110 votes

Meen Bahadur Shrestha (Sindhuli) – 106 votes

Om Prakash Bansal (Krishnanagar) – 100 votes

Krishna Prasad Sharma (Sidhdharthanagar) – 100 votes

Shankar Shrestha (Butawal) – 99 votes

Kalyan Krishna Tamrakar (Lalitpur) – 97 votes

Bijay Kumar Sarabagee (Birgunj) – 97 votes

Prakash Bahadur Saud (Dadeldhura) – 96 votes

Members (Zones)

Keshab Raj Pandey (Mechi)—Unopposed

Mahesh Kumar Jaju (Koshi)— 6 votes

Thirtha Kumar Shrestha (Sagarmatha) – 4 votes

Nirmal Kumar Chaudhari (Janakpur) – Unopposed

Krishna Prasad Tamrakar (Bagmati) – Unopposed

Madan Lal Joshi (Narayani) – Unopposed

Chop Nayaran Shrestha (Gandaki) – Unopposed

Bhushan Rajlawat (Lumbini) – Unopposed

Hom Narayan Shrestha (Dhawalagiri) – Unopposed

Dhrubaraj Shrestha (Rapti) – Unopposed

Kumud Kumar Dugad (Bheri ) – unopposed

Lanka Man Roka (Karnali) – unopposed

Gopal Hamal (Seti) – unopposed

Bhaskarraj Rajkarnikar (Mahakali) – unopposed

Members (Commodities)

Ashok Sharma –- 46 votes

Nirmal Raj Paudel – 44 votes

Sakunta Lal Hirachan – 43 votes

Birat Thapa – 42 votes

Sanjay Giri – 42 votes

Dinesh Shrestha – 40 votes

Rajan Sharma – 40 votes

Shankar Prasad Pandey – 37 votes

Kamala Shrestha – 36 votes

Nanda Kishor Shrestha – 36 votes

Biplab Man Singh – 36 votes

Uday Raj Pandey – 35 votes

Members (Associate)

Shekhar Golcha – 343 votes

Saurav Jyoti – 339 votes

Ashok Kumar Todi – 303 votes

Gyanendra Lal Pradhan – 293 votes

Ramchandra Sangai – 286 votes

Om Bahadur Rajbhandari – 276 votes

Jagadish Prasad Rathi – 268 votes

Dhruba Kumar Shrestha – 266 votes

BK Shrestha – 259 votes

Shahil Agrawal – 250 votes

Manish Kumar Agrawal – 246 votes

Bijay Singh Baidhya – 243 votes

Anup Bahadur Malla – 242 votes

Prakash Giri—234 votes

Jen Shrestha – 225 votes

Anjan Shrestha -- 219 votes

Member (Binational)

Chandra Prasad Dhakal – unopposed

Vaidhya new FNCCI Prez

KATHMANDU, April 13: Suraj Vaidya has been elected the new president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). Vaidya beat his contender Ajad Shrestha securing 59 percent of the votes cast.

After being elected to the topmost post of the apex business body, Vaidya appealed to Shrestha and his panel to join hands in strengthening the business community and addressing private sector´s concerns thereby contributing to industrial and economic advancement.

“We face immense problems and challenges. Hence, the differences seen during the election campaign should not be continued,” said Vaidya.

Vaidya succeeds Kush Kumar Joshi and will lead the FNCCI for the next three years. Two of the FNCCI vice-presidents have been elected from the Vaidya panel, while another vice-president is from the Shrestha panel.

FNCCI also got a female vice president for the first time in its history. Bhawani Rana from the Vaidya panel has been elected vice president from district/municipal chambers. She defeated Nirak KC from the Shrestha panel.

Likewise, Pradeep Jung Pandey from Shrestha panel was elected vice president from commodity associations, defeating Kiran Saakha from the Shrestha panel. Pashupati Murarka representing Vaidya panel has been elected vice president from associate members. He defeated Pradeep Man Vaidhya from the Shrestha panel by 61 votes.

Joshi said the first executive meeting of FNCCI will nominate a senior vice president. The meeting has been scheduled for April 15. Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar and Krishna Prasad Tamrakar are in fray for the post.

The 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the country´s apex business body on Tuesday elected 47 executive members, including senior office-bearers, through election. Thirteen executive members were elected unopposed.

According to the FNCCI election committee, a total of 569 representatives were eligible to cast their votes for the elections of the president, three vice presidents, 16 associate members, 14 district/municipal members, 12 commodity members and 14 zonal members. However, three associate members abstained from voting.

Executive members from Sagarmatha and Koshi zones were elected through elections. However, executive members from the remaining 12 zones and a member from bi-national chambers were elected unanimously.

Kush Kumar Joshi, outgoing FNCCI president, handing over the official pin to the newly elected president asked the latter to shoulder the responsibility without any sense of victory and defeat. “I will always be ready to help the newly formed executive committee,” he Joshi.

A total of 102 candidates had fielded their candidacies for the 60-member executive team, including the president. As per the FNCCI statue, district and zonal chambers have 50 percent weight in their votes, while commodity groups and associates have 20 and 30 percent, respectively.

Nepal's remarkable rise in FIFA rankings


KATHMANDU, April 14: Nepal moved up 22 spots in the FIFA rankings to 150 Wednesday following the national team´s good form and success in recent international matches.

Nepal had defeated Bhutan in two international friendlies last month and also registered a 1-0 win over Afghanistan in the AFC Challenge Cup group D qualifiers last Thursday for the remarkable rise in rank released by football´s world governing body.

Nepal and Afghanistan are the only countries besides Israel, Belgium and Albania to leapfrog twenty places in the newly released rankings, taking into account the international matches played over a period of about a month.

Afghanistan also made a remarkable progress climbing 21 places to 174 while Israel and Belgium, currently ranked 33 and 37 respectively, were the best movers with each country climbing 25 spots. Albania, ranked 50, moved 23 places, one more than Nepal.

Nepal´s ranking was 172 last year and within the same range in the first three months of 2011. The highest ranking Nepal ever had was from December 1993 to February 1994 when the national team was placed at 124. The lowest ranking was in February 2008 when Nepal slumped to 188.

Earlier in December 1993 Nepal had climbed 33 spots, the best move ever achieved, while the worst was in April 2007 moving down 16 places. With the release of new rankings, Nepal are ranked 28 out of the 46 member-nations in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Japan that stand 13th in the world are at the top of the AFC rankings.

Nepal´s ranking in the South Asian region is third out of 8 nations, including the newly inducted Afghanistan. The Maldives, ranked 143 in the world, lead the South Asian region followed by India, who dropped one spot below to 146.

Meanwhile, world champions Spain maintain the lead at the top of the table followed by the Netherlands. Five time champions Brazil moved two places up to the third while Germany and Argentina both dropped one place to stay at fourth and fifth spots respectively.

England remained at the sixth place, Italy climbed two spots to ninth while Portugal are one place ahead of the Italians. Another European heavyweight France slipped one spot to 19.

Suraj Vaidya elected FNCCI president

Suraj Vaidya has been elected the president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) by its 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM), Wednesday.

Counting of votes for the president and other posts of the new executive committee of the Federation concluded early morning Wednesday. Elections had taken place Tuesday. Vaidya defeated Ajad Shrestha by a margin of 24 votes, securing 307 votes.

Vaidya represents Vaidya's Organisation of Industries and Trading House (VOITH) in FNCCI and was the senior vice president in the previous executive committee led by Kush Kumar Joshi.

Bhawani Rana, Pradipjung Pandey and Pashupati Murarka have been elected vice presidents. Rana and Murarka are from Vaidya panel, while Pandey is from Shrestha panel.

Vaidya and Rana had contested the election leading two separate panels. Altogether 561 voters from across the country cast their votes during the election of the FNCCI leadership.

This is the first time in the five-decade long history of FNCCI that two separate panels are contested in the FNCCI leadership election.

102 candidates had filed candidacy for various posts in the 61-member executive committee. 13 of them had been elected unanimously. Most of the elected candidates for various posts are from Vaidya panel.

Petrol pumps out of petrol, diesel as NOC cuts import by 45 pc

Most of the petrol pumps in the capital are without petrol and diesel as Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) slashed the imports of petroleum products by 45 percent citing lack of budget.

The state oil monopoly was forced to cut down the imports of petroleum products as it failed to pay the dues and payments to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), according to NOC.

The government has also agreed to provide the loan assistance of Rs. 1.50 billion to the corporation on its plea to ease the regular imports of petroleum products as NOC loss reached Rs. 1.76 billion as per the new price list sent by the Indian oil supplier on April 1.

But due to the delay in the loan assistance from the government, the corporation was left with no option but to decrease the regular imports of petroleum product by 45 percent in April, according to NOC.

As per the latest price list, NOC has been incurring the loss of Rs. 20.96 per litre in diesel, Rs. 11.25 per litre in kerosene, and Rs. 288.79 per cylinder in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas. However, corporation is in profit in Air Turbine Fuel (ATF).

The state owned oil monopoly, has been incurring extra losses in the gap of every 15 days following the price list sent by the IOC.

As per the earlier price list sent by the IOC on March 15, NOC had incurred the loss of Rs. 1.55 billion per month.

PM Khanal appoints Prakash Jwala as his chief advisor

Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has appointed Prakash Jwala as his chief advisor, Wednesday.

Khanal informed ministers at a cabinet meeting Wednesday that he has appointed Jwala as his chief advisor.

Jwala is a politburo member of UML. He was speculated as a likely minister from UML before Khanal expanded his cabinet on Monday.

Jwala had expressed dissatisfaction with PM Khanal after the appointment of ministers when his name did not appear in the name of ministers.

Govt approves secy Khanal's resignation; four joint secys promoted

The government has approved finance secretary Rameshwore Khanal's resignation.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held Wednesday evening approved Khanal's resignation.

Khanal had resigned from his post on March 29, owing to differences with Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari.

The resignation of the seasoned bureaucrat came as a major embarrassment for the Maoist-UML government as it faced criticism from different quarters, not to mention the main opposition Nepali Congress.

Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal had to clarify in the parliament over the resignation episode after the NC obstructed the proceedings, alleging the government of putting undue pressure on the bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, today's cabinet meeting also decided to promote four joint secretaries to the post of secretary.

The joint secretaries getting promotion are: Hari Prasad Nepal, Shridhar Gautam, Som Lal Subedi and Jaya Mukunda Khanal.

Similarly, cabinet appointed Hari Govinda Luintel as the chairman of the Gorkhapatra Corporation.

The cabinet also condemned the attack on newly appointed energy minister Gokarna Bista by an unidentified gang on Monday.

Four UML ministers, six state ministers sworn in; state minister Gyawali skips oath ceremony

Four newly appointed ministers and six state ministers from the CPN (UML) were sworn in on Wednesday.

Local Development minister Urmila Aryal, Forest and Soil Conservation minister Bhanu Bhakta Jaishi, Irrigation minister Raghubir Mahaseth and General Administration minister Yuba Raj Karki were sworn in by Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal in the presence of President Ram Baran Yadav at the President's Office, Shital Niwas.

Energy minister Gokarna Bista, who was attacked by an unidentified gang Monday night could not attend the oath ceremony. He is undergoing treatment at Manmohan Memorial Hospital at Sorhakhutte.

After the swearing of the ministers, six minister of state - Ramji Sharma (Energy), Shatrughna Mahato (Local Development), Dal Bahadur Sunar (Irrigation), Dambar Sambahamphe (General Administration), Bhagawati Chaudhary (Forest and Soil Conservation) and Dr Lharkyal Lama (Finance) - were sworn in by the Prime Minister in Singha Durbar.

Radha Gyawali who was nominated as the Minister of State for Education skipped the swearing-in ceremony.

Although Gyawali herself is yet to make a formal statement about her absence, UML sources said she was unhappy with the portfolio she was given and that she also expected to be appointed as a full minister.

Prime Minister Khanal had inducted twelve ministers from the UML on Monday.

New Year 2068 begins; Prez, PM issue greetings

New Year 2068 has begun Thursday. People across the country and Nepalis living abroad are celebrating the 1st day of year 2068 BS by exchanging good wishes with each other and organising various functions.

Likewise, various organisations in and outside the country are also organising programmes to mark the beginning of the New Year 2068.

President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal, UCPN (M) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress (NC) president Sushil Koirala and other political leaders have issued new greetings to the people.

In his New Year message, President Yadav has wished happiness, prosperity and good health to all Nepalis living in and outside the country. The President has said, the New Year is very important in concluding the ongoing peace process and promulgating a new constitution and urged all to contribute positively towards the peace process.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Business community stages protest against Chachan's murder

The business community staged protest at Bir Hospital premises, Kathmandu, demanding assurance from the Prime Minister to launch hunt for murders of businessman Anjani Kumar Chachan 'Pappu', an Indian national.

The protesting businesspeople refused to receive the dead body of Chachan who was shot dead by unidentified assistants at Ganabahal, Katmandu, Sunday evening.

Prominent businessmen including industrialist lawmaker Rajendra Khetan were present in the protest.

Inspector Kumar Pandit of Information Centre of the police headquarters said investigation into the murder is underway, but no suspects have been arrested yet.

An unidentified person or gang fired two rounds of bullets at Chachan, 51, at around 7.30pm.

Chachan was immediately taken to Bir Hospital for treatment. He died while undergoing treatment. Chachan had received a bullet in his abdomen and another in his arms.

Chachan, an Indian national, used to run a leather bag shop in Kathmandu for some years.

JC sacks two 'incompetent' judges; warns four others

In a bold move, the Judicial Council on Monday sacked two appellate court judges for not carrying out their duties competently. Four other judges have been warned for lack over unethical conduct.

A meeting of the Council decided to sack Pokhara Appellate Court Om Prasad Subedi and Hetauda Appellate Tej Bahadur Karki for not being competent in delivering justice. The JC members were unanimous in their decision to sack the two tainted judges.

Chief Justice Ram Prasad Shrsetha, who chairs the JC, is known to have proposed the action against Subedi and Karki.

Two separate probes conducted by the Supreme Court had found Subedi and Karki guilty on separate charges.

Karki was under the scanner for giving bail to the members of a criminal gang including Rohit Paliwan Agrawal, Bhimsen Pandit and Sanjaya Shrestha who are accused of abducting the director of Bharatpur Cancer Hospital, Dr Bhaktaman Shrestha.

Similarly, Subedi is accused of remaining absent in the court frequently thereby willfully avoiding his duty.

Meanwhile, four district court judges have been warned for misconduct. They are: Binod Prasad Sharma (Sarlahi), Achyat Bista (Arghakhanchi), Pashupati Acharya (Parsa) and Sita Prasad Pokharel (Jajarkot).

PM Khanal appoints five ministers, seven state ministers; oath taking on Wednesday

After several days of speculation Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has finally expanded his eight-member cabinet by inducting five UML leaders as cabinet ministers and seven others as state ministers, Monday.

PM Khanal has appointed Urmila Aryal as the Minister for Local Development, Raghubir Mahaseth as Minister for Irrigation, Gokarna Bista as Minister for Energy, Bhanubhakta Jaisi as Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation and Yuvraj Karki as Minister for General Administration.

Likewise, he has appointed Dambar Sambahamphe as Minister of State for General Administration, Bhagwati Chaudhari as Minister of State for Forest and Soil Conservation, Larkyal Lama as Mininster of State for Finance, Ramji Sharma as Minister of State for Energy, Dambar Sunar as Minister of State for Irrigation, Satrughan Mahato as Minister of State for Local Development and Radha Gyawali as Minister of State for Education.

The Prime Minister’s Office has sent the list of ministers and state ministers with their portfolio allocation to the Office of the President. The swearing in function will be organised only on Wednesday as Tuesday is a public holiday due to Ram Nawami.

Reports about PM expanding the cabinet with only ministers from UML were doing rounds in the media since last few days.

PM Khanal expanded the cabinet with only UML ministers after he could not reach consensus with coalition partner UCPN (M) and other parties on portfolio distribution. There has been an agreement between UCPN (M) and UML to allocate eight cabinet ministries to UML and eleven cabinet ministries to UCPN (M).

Three ministers from UML and four ministers from UCPN (M) have already been appointed.

May Lord Pashupatinath save the economy

Even as political melodrama overwhelms us every day we have failed to take note of the dire state of the economy. If neglected for too long, the economy will slowly but surely overwhelm the politics and politicians. A quick look at the latest economic report (based on figures for the first seven months of the current fiscal year) released by the central bank will show that the economy is in serious distress. Consider these facts.

* Our export earnings during the first seven months of the current fiscal year were just enough to finance our petroleum imports!
* We now import almost six times as much as we export.

Our foreign trade was never in good shape but it has now become so skewed and import-loaded that it is no longer sustainable. Our trade deficit (import minus export) during the review period was Rs 180.68 billion. Dismal economic figures do not fully explain, if they don’t belie, the real weakness of our economy. Let’s, therefore, take a look at what we are exporting and importing.

Our key major export items are readymade garments, woollen carpets, pashmina products, pulses, cardamom, jute sacks and twine. None of these export items are impressive (the glory days of readymade garments and woollen carpets are a thing of the past) and the export volume of none of these exceeds Rs 3 billion.

What are we importing? We are importing petroleum products, gold, automobiles and automobile parts, medicines and all kind of goods that we do not produce or cannot produce efficiently.

But that’s not the story really worthy of our attention. There is something else more interesting, perhaps even distressing. We now import about 90-100 billion rupees worth of food items annually! Last year, we imported more than Rs 15 billion worth of meat and meat products. A county that is so agricultural and rural in its orientation and has an ecological belt suitable for the production of fruits and vegetables, now imports everything from food grains to goats and buffalos and fish to fruits and vegetables in every season.
It is understandable that we do not have the technological know-how or any competitive edge in advanced manufacturing, but given the right policies there is no reason why we cannot excel in animal husbandry or do better farming.

If we have such skewed foreign trade, how are we managing to finance our imports? The answer is mainly through our remittance earnings, foreign grants, pension receipts and earnings from tourism.

So far we have managed to maintain healthy foreign exchange reserves worth Rs 257 billion, which is enough to finance our merchandise import for the next 8.4 months. But there is a caveat: gross foreign exchange reserves declined by 4. 1 percent in the review period and it had declined by over 12 percent during the corresponding period last year. What does that mean? It means our foreign exchange earnings have started to fall short of our foreign exchange spending, and if the trend is not reversed, the foreign exchange reserves will dry up sooner or later.

And the biggest challenge on the foreign exchange horizon now is the vulnerability of remittance inflow. Our fate is intricately linked to the fate of a few despots in the Gulf and the Middle East. Any instability in just two countries—Saudi Arabia and Quatar, where about 800,000 Nepalis work— will wreck havoc with our economy. Should revolutions overtake these countries or should these economies become unstable for any other reason, it will trigger an economic and social tsunami in Nepal.

While we confront these external uncertainties, our internal economic problems are no less serious. In fact, the short-term risk from our internal problems is much greater than the external threat.

The most serious challenge now comes from the banking sector. Nepali banks are currently battling the twin problems of liquidity crunch and loan recovery.

The banks are so cash-strapped that they are already offering 12 percent interest for call deposits (which clients can withdraw at notice) and still the deposits are not coming in. During the review period, Nepal’s 30 commercial banks were able to mobilize deposits worth Rs 7. 64 billion but their loans and advances increased by over 49 billion rupees.

The liquidity problem has now become so severe that the banks have virtually stopped lending. Despite the central bank’s regular injection of liquidity into the market the shortage refuses to subside.

The question here is, where has all the money gone? No one knows for sure. There is a lot of talk about possible capital flight and the massive withdrawal of cash using Nepali ATM cards in India seems to point in that direction. But how much of this is related to the Indian currency crunch in Nepal and how much can be attributed to capital flight is hard to distinguish. If investors and the wealthy in Nepal are wary of the future of the Nepali economy, and are transferring their money to safe havens, that calls for another emergency.

The banking sector, however, seems more nervous for another reason: its failure to recover loans due to the slump in the realty sector. Bankers privately concede that by coming mid-July, when the banks assess their final quarter results, at least some financial institutions will crash and many others will be in serious trouble. Due to slump in land prices and real estate business, loan-default is said to have reached an alarming rate. Many banks are restructuring loans just to avoid additional provisioning for defaulted loans but that’s just a way of aggravating and deferring the current problem.

As these urgent and serious problems in Nepal’s so-called modern, private sector confronts us squarely, the Nepali state’s chronic lack of absorptive capacity—its poor capacity to spend productively— sounds forgivable.

But from the point of view of public spending on development activities, this is no less serious a problem. Our health posts are without trained medical staff, schools are without teachers and there is so much need for investment in roads, in power and in social sectors as vital as drinking water. Yet the government just sits on a cash surplus of over 16 billion rupees!

Who will tackle these monumental headaches? It’s not a good idea to invoke Lord Pashupatinath to solve our economic woes but that seems to be the only option as the lesser creatures— politicians— are too obsessed and preoccupied with their politics.

Pandey likely envoy to Saudi Arabia

KATHMANDU, April 12: The government has started necessary homework to appoint Udaya Raj Pandey as Nepal´s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Pandey was a secretary at the personal secretariat of CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal before he was elected prime minister on February 3.

Sources close to Prime Minister Khanal claimed Pandey´s name has been unanimously endorsed within the UML.

“There is no objection from the party regarding his appointment. The government appoint him formally later,” the sources said.

Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government had sent Hamid Ansari as Nepal´s ambassador to Saudi Arabia under CPN-UML quota. The post has been lying vacant since February 1 after Ansari was called back amid allegation that he embezzled the insurance claim money of more than three Nepali nationals who had died in Saudi Arabia.

UML insiders had said Pandey and Milan Raj Tuladhar were the strongest contenders for the post. Since Tuladhar has already started working as foreign relation advisor to the prime minister, Pandey´s has been unanimously endorsed for the position of envoy by the party.

Sources said the government is likely take decision on the appointment ´soon´ as officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the embassy in Saudi Arabia have been demanding the new envoy be appointed at the earliest to handle problems faced by Nepali migrant workers there. Saudi Arabia is home to some 500,000 Nepali migrant workers.

The prime minister´s aides said it would be easy for the prime minister, who also looks after Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to make the appointment.

Paras Ghimire, who is serving as an acting ambassador following Ansari´s return, is desperately waiting to fly back to Kathmandu as he has recently been promoted to the post of joint secretary.

The decision of the government to appoint Pandey as Saudi Arabia´s envoy may, however, force Joint Secretary at the MoFA Hari Kumar Shrestha to go home after his retirement in mid-June. Normally, joint secretary at MoFA get the assignment of ambassador under the quota of ´career diplomat´ before they retire.

Unidentified gang attacks newly appointed minister Bista

An unidentified gang has attacked UML leader Gokarna Bista at his residence in Samakhusi last night.

Two motorcycle-borne assailants attacked Bista with Khukuri in his house premises at around 8.30 pm, Monday, police said.

Bista was appointed as energy minister by Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal on Monday. He is yet to take oath and assume office.

The assailants fled after the attack. They could not be identified as the area was dark due to load shedding.

Bista is undergoing treatment at Man Mohan Memorial Hospital, Thamel. He has sustained injuries on his head and arms.

The motive behind the attack and the identity of the attackers could not be ascertained immediately.

Bank mergers: a bad idea


Recently, during his presentation of mid-term review on monetary policy, Nepal Rastra Bank governor Yubraj Khatiwada suggested to the bankers that they should engage in mergers and acquisitions. He posited that the increase in credit interest, that has been observed, was the result of increase in interest rates on deposits. Therefore, funds for further growth have been difficult to obtain due to the resulting higher costs of obtaining such funds. A merger of banks, the governor believes, will help reduce the costs of operating a financial institution. This according to me is a dangerous suggestion.

Like many other economists, the governor believes that a merger or acquisition will result in an institution that is bigger than its individual parts. This bigger institution will experience lower costs due to economies of scope and scale, increase in market power, diversification, and reduced operational expenses. Thus, the perception is that this consolidation will accrue higher gains than the simple sum of gains from two separate institutions.

The perceived gains arise out of the belief that the newer and larger organization is considered to be efficient in allocating resources—human and capital—to maximize the output gains. The same personnel and infrastructure can deliver different services and products. Thus, redundant operating costs will be minimized. The belief is also that the larger bank, with more resources now at disposal, can even offer more products and services than before. In essence, the larger entity could take the best tools and methods from the pre-merger entities to maximize efficiency and capabilities.

However, these perceived gains do not occur, at least not to the extent that is perceived. Research on mergers and consolidations has shown that there is no conclusive evidence of such gains existing in reality. Hence, the governor’s suggestion to the bankers was based on little factual evidence. While the suggestion might have been genuine and made in earnest, the repercussions could be devastating. In this case, the idea of bank mergers creates risk of underperformance and loss in overall valuation of the banking industry. Therefore, the governor needs to be careful while dispensing his wisdom.

There are many methods for cost-cutting, and numerous austerity measures can be implemented if the banks are in trouble. Mergers should be the last option, and not the first, that should come into the minds of Nepali bankers and the central bank’s governor, when there is trouble.

A prominent effect of bank mergers observed around the world has been the reduced availability of loans to the customer base in the aftermath of the merger. This reduced availability mainly results due to the decline in competitiveness that arises due to the mergers. When a market becomes less competitive, it becomes difficult for people and businesses to obtain loans at reasonable interest rates. The unreasonable interest rates for loans, in turn, results in lower investment in real estate, and devaluation of real estate property prices. If mergers are going to cause similar cascading aftereffects in real estate, which is our fastest growing economic sector, bank mergers are an ill advice for today’s Nepali banks.

Studies have shown, time and again, that diversification, efficiency, enhanced production and service have largely been found missing as results of a merger. Also, whatever the varied intentions provided for mergers, the underlying incentives have always been cost reduction. And, cost reduction is not an issue that is severe enough to grant merger and acquisition rights from the central bank. Our central bank has to be cautious in this regard.

Cost reduction can be done in a variety of ways. Mergers should be advised as the last option, and should only be allowed if one of the merging banks is facing a dire consequence, such as bankruptcy, if not merged. It helps to be cautious because mergers often result in anti-trust issues. Well-meaning intentions before the merger go haywire after the merger. Companies have been observed to be engaged in activities ranging from anti-competitiveness to corruption after the merger.

Also, mergers do not work, most of the time, in achieving the stated objectives. They do not increase efficiency, do not promote diversification, and do not reduce costs in the extent that are touted before the merger. In fact, just the opposite has been the case. Although the results from post-mergers vary from one country to the other, empirical studies have shown that only 14 to 17 percent of mergers result in lower costs. However, the question could then be asked: Could the costs have been lowered by other means before deciding that the merger was the best option? There are many methods for cost-cutting, and numerous austerity measures can be implemented if the banks are in trouble. Mergers should be the last option, and not the first, that should come into the minds of Nepali bankers and the central bank’s governor, when there is trouble.

The main argument that economists and policymakers put forward to support mergers has been the idea of supposed creation of scale economies. In simple terms, it means there are advantages in cost reduction when a company becomes larger. However, there is strong evidence of uncertainty over the very existence of economies of scale. And, in cases where economies of scale have been observed, there is significant uncertainty over how wide the range of the scale is. In addition, in cases where scale economies have been observed, the banks that merged have always been two smaller banks.

However, the gains are very small and likely attributable to technological progress rather than economies of scale. The gain is not observed in instances when two large banks are merged to create an even larger bank. Therefore, in Nepal, if the central bank grants permission for banks to merge, it has to ensure that the banks that are merging are not large. Such precautions have to be taken because those kinds of mergers are seen to have reduced market competition among banks and create unfair market power, anti-trust issues, and corruption.

Another argument policymakers use to support mergers is the creation of scope economies because of subsequent diversifications of the portfolio. It means a large bank is able to utilize more resources to render diverse and wide range of products and services. However, customers that have accounts in the merged banks experience deteriorating customer service, increasing fees, new and unfair account features and structures applied without prior notification. These are not desirable results from a merger.

In addition, in order to prevent closed accounts, banks have practiced activities such as lowering the fees and rates in the short-term. When the competition fades off and the merged banks gain significant market power due to their large size, they have hiked their fees and charges. Economists at the Federal Bank of New York have observed that, even when there was no competition with rivals, the merged banks always lowered the interest rate paid to customers on savings. That is a practice meant to increase shareholders’ profits by harming the customers. It is not a desirable outcome for the market.

The most important question in our case could be whether the Nepali banking industry needs mergers at all. The banking industry in Nepal is still growing, and does not seem to be in much trouble. If the central bank feels that there are too many banks in Nepal, it should stop issuing new permits. Issuing too many permits, and then asking the banks to merge, is a bad way of doing business. It also makes the central bank look like it is run by a group of amateurs. And, that is the last thing you want people to think about the central bank. This type of amateurish activity deteriorates the confidence that the consumers and businesses have in our central bank, and can have devastating economic consequences.

We all saw, in the last few years, that big American and European banks, those created mainly as results of various mergers, all came crashing down while little banks survived. If there’s one lesson we can all learn from recent world-wide financial crisis, it is this: The bigger our banks are, the harder they come crashing down when there is any trouble. The bottom line is this: No more permits to open new banks and no more mergers. If they cannot stand the competition, let them fail and exit the market. That is what capitalism teaches us. That is what should be practiced.

Writer is an Economist at the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS). He can be reached at

Bill bans smoking at public places

KATHMANDU, April 12: Gone are the days when you could freely smoke or chew tobacco in public places. A new bill on tobacco products endorsed by the legislature-parliament on Monday severely restricts tobacco consumption in public places.

The new law to be enacted shortly was endorsed as part of Nepal´s obligation to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and bans tobacco consumption in schools, colleges, hospitals, government offices, temples and public vehicles.

"Nepal is a party to the WHO convention. So we had the obligation to translate certain WHO provisions into national law," said Secretary at the Ministry of Law and Justice Madhav Poudel.

In an attempt to discourage smoking among youngsters, the law terms the selling of tobacco products to minors an offence.

The law also bans the sale of cigarettes in separate sticks to make the cigarette purchase a bit difficult.

"Now the people will have to buy cigarettes only in packets. It will certainly reduce tobacco sales," said UML chief whip Bhim Acharya adding that people would certainly have difficulties in the beginning, but they must get used to the new regulations.

The new law also stipulates that the tobacco companies fill 75 percent space of the packaging of the tobacco products with the facts about health hazards from tobacco consumption, and totally bans advertisements promoting tobacco use in any form.

"The best part of the new law is that it attempts to minimize the health risks non-smokers undergo because of smoking by others in public places," Acharya said.

According to WHO estimates, more than 10 million people will die due to the consumption of tobacco-products by the year 2030 and therefore, necessity for formulation of law against it across the world has been felt.

"The parliament has endorsed the bill. Now it is up to the government to enforce the law. We hope the new law will be helpful in reducing the harms to the people caused by tobacco use," said Nepali Congress (NC) chief whip, Laxman Ghimire.

Activists had long been demanding an effective law against the use of tobacco products in public places. In Nepal, prevalence of smoking and tobacco use is 56.5 percent in men and 19.5 percent in women, which is higher in comparison to other countries. Tobacco use here is found to be higher among the poor and illiterate sections of the population.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thamel soon to become Wi-Fi zone

Thamel, one of the main tourism hubs in Kathmandu, is soon going to boast itself as the first Wi-Fi internet zone in Nepal.

Thamel Tourism Development Council (TTDC) has tied up with Mercantile Communications Pvt. Ltd. to turn Thamel into a Wi-Fi internet zone with an aim to provide high-speed Wi-Fi internet service to tourists and entrepreneurs.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by Mercantile CEO Sanjib Raj Bhandari and TTDC president Tejendra Nath Shrestha on Friday.

As per the agreement, Mercantile will make technical and financial investment for the development of Wi-Fi facility.

This agreement will help develop the famous tourism hub into Wi-Fi destination, providing easy and quality internet service to tourists and entrepreneurs, TTDC president Shrestha told Nepalnews. He described the agreement as a timely move which comes at a time when the country is marking an ambitious tourism year.

Though many hotels and restaurants in Thamel are providing free Wi-Fi internet to their customers, quality is lacking as compared to the upcoming Wi-Fi system powered by Mercantile, he added.

"TTDC has tied up with Mercantile as it is a well-equipped and reliable ISP that provides quality service," Shrestha added.

Prachanda Man Shakya, corporate executive of Mercantile Communications, said this project is not fully on commercial model and that it is more of a branding process of publicising Mercantile as one of the best quality service provider among the visitors during Nepal Tourism Year 2011.

He also said that this would also be a contribution to NTY-2011 from the private sector for the development of tourism through quality service.

According to Shakya, the project will be in operation within a couple of months, offering high quality internet service at favourable price of around $1 per hour.

President Yadav asks PM Khanal to take NC, Madhesi parties into confidence for national consensus

President Ram Baran Yadav has asked Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal to take all political parties including Nepali Congress (NC) and madesh-based parties into confidence for national consensus to make a constitution acceptable to all, Saturday.

In response, PM Khanal told the President that he was trying to forge consensus among all political parties in the country for government formation, constitution writing as well as the peace process.

Khanal had gone to the President's residence in Shitwal Niwas this morning for a regular meeting. PM Khanal apprised the President about the recent political developments and the government plans to bring early budget for next fiscal year in May.

President Yadav and PM Khanal also discussed the possible political crisis post May 28, if a new constitution is not promulgated by then.

2nd Int'l airport possible in 4 years at $600 million

KATHMANDU, April 9: Nepal could bring much-talked about second international airport at Nijgadh in Bara district into operation in four years if the government arranged investment of $ 600 million (Rs 42 billion).

The picture became clear after Landmark Worldwide (LMW), a Korean company appointed to conduct a detailed feasibility study (DFS) finalized its report. The company is submitting the report to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Aviation (MoTCA) on Sunday.

The proposed airport site lies 150 kilometers from Kathmandu by road.

According to the report, the first phase of the airport can be completed by May 2015 with an investment of $600 million, provided the project gets implemented without any hiccups. It will be able to handle 15 million passengers annually along with A380 planes.

The Korean company has suggested to the government to go for second phase of construction only after properly analyzing the air traffic. If the traffic volume grew substantially within short span, the report says the airport could be expanded and completed by 2025, in the second phase.

By the end of the project, the airport will have two independent parallel runways and the total investment will touch around $1 billion.

"It´s difficult to forecast the construction of the airport 10 years ahead. Hence, we have left it for the government to decide whether to go for the second phase of construction analyzing the factors like passengers flow," said Country Representative of LMW, Binay B Rawal.

According to the report, the second international project will stretch in an area of 80 square kilometers out of which the 40 sq km will be airport. In the remaining area, the government plans to build well-equipped airport city.

LMW officials disclosed they had finished DFR by the end of January, when its deadline to submit the report expired. However, they had pushed the date of submission after the company had disagreement with the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) over the issue of construction.

Referring to the agreement MoTCA signed with the company, LMW officials said the ministry was supposed to hold discussion on crucial technical and investment issues prior to submitting the report.

"However, we still decided to hand over the report without due consultations as ministry officials did not respond to our repeated calls," said Rawal.

The agreement between MoTCA and LMW states that the government shall prioritize LMW for implementation of the project subject to section 9 of Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) Act.

Rawal said LMW had actually conducted DFR because the government then had assured it of giving high priority to it in a bid to develop the project. "We are still hopeful that the government will not backtrack on the commitment it made to the company that was seriously working to invest and develop the second international airport since 2007," he added.

After receiving the report, officials said the ministry will forward it to the BOOT Committee for review. "Once through, the committee will prioritize the project and forward it to the cabinet for further action," said Ranjan Krishna Aryal, joint secretary at the MoTCA.

Regmi next chief justice

KATHMANDU, April 8: A Constitutional Council (CC) meeting scheduled for Monday is all set to name seniormost Justice of the Supreme Court Khil Raj Regmi as successor to incumbent Chief Justice Ram Prasad Shrestha, who is retiring on May 5.

A knowledgeable Baluwatar source informed Republica that the CC meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Monday and a verbal agreement has been reached among CC members to name Regmi as the next chief justice, the fourth highest post in the country.

Regmi, who has been serving in the judiciary for the last 40 years, has a clean image and a reputation for handing down bold verdicts, in particular, one to strengthen the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).

Originally from Pokharathok- 6, Palpa district, Regmi was born on May 31, 1949. He will assume the top judicial post following confirmation by the Parliamentary Hearings Special Committee on May 6. Regmi joined the Supreme Court in 2003 as a temporary justice.

"A CC meeting to be held at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (PMO) on Monday, will recommend Regmi´s name as per the tradition of appointing the seniormost SC justice to the post," the source informed Republica.

Regmi, who has not courted any controversy to date, will serve as CJ for about 2 years and 10 months starting from May.

Regmi came into the limelight when his bench released political detainees during the king´s direct rule in 2005. The precedent led to the release of hundreds of political leaders and cadres arrested by the royal government in 2005 and 2006.

Regmi recently shared with Chief Justice Shrestha the bench that convicted former minister Chiranjibi Wagle on corruption charges. Also recently, he shared a bench that issued a bold order to strength the CIAA.

A writ petition was filed at the SC against CIAA Secretary Bhagwati Kafle claiming that a decision to delegate powers to him including the power to file cases was inappropriate. Regmi´s bench upheld the decision saying the CIAA secretary can file cases in exercise of the powers of a CIAA commissioner as per provisions of the interim constitution. Following that order, the CIAA has geared up investigations into the Sudan scam and other matters. Regmi´s bench paved the way for the CIAA to file cases based on the findings of the Lamsal Commission.

Another landmark verdict in which Regmi was involved was the directive issued to the government to file cases against those found guilty in disappearing people. Regmi´s bench also ordered the government to provide compensation to victim families and form a commission to establish the whereabouts of disappeared persons.

Regmi was likewise involved in passing a ruling directing government authorities to protect women and children from various forms of violence.

Dozens of regulations related to the judicial service were amended under the recommendations of committees heded by Regmi. It was a Regmi-led committee that introduced the mediation system in Nepal. Only recently, a Regmi-led committee forwarded important suggestions for amending the Judicial Administration Act. Parliament has already passed the Act thereby providing a broad jurisdiction to appellate courts.

Maximum fine for CIAA secy: Court

KATHMANDU, April 8: The Special Court on Friday ordered its officials to fine maximum amount from Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Secretary Bhagwati Kafle if he fails to furnish within a week original files related to 12 civil servants fined by the court on charges of misconduct.

Special Court judges Gauri Bahadur Karki and Om Prakash Mishra issued order to this effect after Kafle didn´t comply with five previous court orders.

Twelve officials of the Remote Areas Development Committee who had visited New Delhi, India, one and a half year ago had claimed 27,000 for pocket expense. The CIAA, however, concluded that receiving pocket expense was a bad conduct and that the amount should be recovered from them.

In their defense, the officials had argued that receiving pocket expense was not against the law and filed an application at the Special Court for a review saying CIAA´s decision to recover the amount from them was inappropriate.

Immediately after the registration of the review application, the registrar of the court ordered the commission to furnish the original files related to the 12 officials.

According to a court official Bhim Bahadur Niraula, the Special Court had dispatched three letters to the commission and two separate letters in the name of Secretary Kafle asking them to furnish original files related to the government employees.

The court´s first order went unheard. The court than issued two more orders in the name of CIAA but again they were largely ignored. The Special Court than issued two separate orders in the name of CIAA Secretary Kafle asking him to present the files but even that yielded no results.

"The office of CIAA is only 3km from the Special Court. It seems that the CIAA secretary deliberately doesn´t want to furnish the files. The bench hereby orders court officials to file a case against Kafle fining maximum possible amount if he doesn´t furnish the original files within seven days," reads the court order.

This is probably the first instance of the Special Court issuing a stern verdict against a CIAA secretary along with a maximum fine. Secretary Kafle was not available for comment.

PAC asks govt to take action against VAT defaulters, Unity racketeers

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the legislature parliament on Friday directed the government to initiate action against 480 business firms that have been booked for presenting fake bills of Value Added Tax (VAT), causing revenue loss worth over Rs 4 billion.

Following a discussion, the PAC asked the government to publicise the names of the VAT defaulters as soon as possible and furnish the 'progress report' to the committee within 15 days.

At the meeting, most of the PAC members emphasised that the government take quick action against the business firms involved in fake VAT bill racket.

ources at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) say the actual loss caused by these tax evaders could exceed Rs 10 billion.

The PAC also directed the finance and home ministries to immediately initiate action against the promoters of Unity Network over their financial irregularities and inform the committee on the progress within four days.

Meanwhile, the committee also instructed the government to ensure proper management of resources at the local level and give priority to the recommendations made by the district councils while preparing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Speaking at the meeting, education minister Gangalal Tuladhar, who also looks after the local development portfolio, said that works at the local level had not gained pace because of lack of skilled manpower and failure of the concerned authorities to release the allocated budget in time.

He also told the committee that the government would appoint secretaries in 600 VDCs within the next two months.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Govt revising facilities for former bigwigs

KATHMANDU, April 7: The home ministry has started revising its guidelines for providing vehicles and personal security officers (PSOs) to former ministers and other high ranking government officials, to help check the drain on state coffers.

The move comes after the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week directed the ministry to immediately retrieve vehicles and PSOs being provided to former ministers and government officials after preparing ´transparent, coherent and economically viable´ guidelines on such facilities.

Talking to Republica, home ministry spokesperson Jaya Mukunda Khanal said they will start retrieving such vehicles and PSOs after finalizing the new guidelines. “We received the directives from the parliamentary committee on April 1. The home secretary has just arrived back home. It will take a little more time for us to start retrieving the vehicles and PSOs,” he said over the phone.

Amid reports that state facilities such as vehicles and PSOs were being grossly misused by former ministers and high ranking officials on the basis of their political clout, a PAC meeting held March 30 had directed the home ministry to retrieve within a week vehicles and PSOs that were being provided illegally.

Senior home ministry officials said they plan to curb the practice of providing vehicles and PSOs to one-time ministers or government officials on a life-long basis. “We are mulling vehicle facilities for persons entitle to honor from the state for a limited period of time,” he said, adding: “We will make arrangements for PSOs depending on the security threat one faces.”

Currently, the home ministry provides a former prime minister with two vehicles (one for security personnel), a driver, two personal security officers (PSO) from Nepal Police and 13 Armed Police Force (APF) personnel, as well as 200 liters of petrol a month. Likewise, former deputy prime ministers and home ministers are provided two PSOs from Nepal Police, seven APF personnel, one driver, two vehicles and 200 liters of petrol a month.

In addition, a large number of political leaders, businessmen and former bureaucrats, among others, have been receiving such facilities from the state largely on the basis of their political clout. The PAC meeting has directed the home ministry to ensure that all ministers return the vehicles in their use after they retire from their posts and also to refer the names of persons who have misused government facilities to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).

Govt ordered to probe rape attempt on female police officer at PM residence

The Women, Children and Social Welfare Committee of legislature parliament has directed the government to seriously investigate into an alleged rape attempt by a senior police officer on a junior woman police officer while both were on duty at the Prime Minister's official residence at Baluwatar.

A meeting of the parliamentary committee on Wednesday issued such a directive.

On February 20, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Anesh Singh Thakuri of National Investigation Department (NID) allegedly attempted to rape the unidentified female security officer of the same department while both of them were duputed PM's official residence.

Inspector General of Nepal Police Ramesh Chand Thakuri, who was summoned at the committee meeting today, assured high priority to the investigation of the case, but said no complaint has been lodged regarding the incident.

NID's chief Ashok Dev Bhatta, who was also summoned by the parliamentary committee in connection with the case, said a departmental investigation is underway into the case and that Thakuri will be punished if found guilty.

Little possibility of timely constitution: Baidya

Senior vice chairman of UCPN (Maoist) Mohan Baidya on Wednesday said there is little possibility that the new constitution will be drafted by the stipulated time - May 28, 2011.

Baidya , who leads the hardline faction of the party, is of the belief that there is less chance of timely promulgation of the constitution because of the recent activism shown by the regressive forces, status-quoist and foreign forces to thwart any progress on that front. He didn't elaborate further.

Launching a book entitled, 'Ithihas Ko Majdhar Ma Ubhiyera' written by journalist Sushil Gautam at a programme in the capital today, he trashed rumours that the Maoist party doesn't want to see a new constitution drafted for the country.

Nepali citizen shot dead in US

A Nepali citizen staying in Los Angeles of United States since past two years has been shot dead by a group of gunmen, Tuesday.

Roshan Bhandari, 23, who hails from Jhapa district in eastern Nepal was shot in front of 7/11 store, where he was working since past few months.

Bhandari was shot at his chest soon after he got inside a car to go to a court for hearing.

He was the eye-witness of a case of robbery at the same store three months ago.

He was going to the court as the witness of the incident for the final hearing of the case.

Police have suspected Bhandari could have been by the same criminal gang which was involved in the robbery three months ago.

Govt to present full budget on May 3

The government has decided to present the full budget on May 3. A meeting of the Council of Ministers took the decision to this effect Wednesday evening.

This will break the long tradition of presenting annual budget at the end of the fiscal year in mid-July (last of the Nepali month of Asadh).

Speaking to reporters in Biratnagar earlier today, Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari said that the government would unveil a full budget to end the difficulties created by the current budget. He also said the budget would focus on boosting production and productivity.

Meanwhile, today's cabinet meeting also decided to accept credit from the Indian government and the World Bank (WB) and the grants provided by the European Union (EU).

India has pledged a line of credit of Rs 17 billion for different projects. The 20-year loan provision is being agreed for 1.75 percent interest rate.

The credit from WB will be spent on installing transmission lines for the electricity generated by the Kabeli hydropower project, which is under construction in Panchthar district.

Likewise, the Rs 2 billion EU grant will be spent on reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed during the Maoist insurgency.

75 pc bikes sans insurance cover

KATHMANDU, April 7: Though the government has made insurance of vehicles mandatory, some 75 percent of the total motorbikes registered with the government do not have insurance coverage - a case that reflects blatant defiance of the rule.

According to the Department of Transport Management (DoTM), around 744,000 bikes are registered with the government. But owners of only 190,695 of them have bought insurance coverage, shows insurance data compiled by the Insurance Board (IB), the insurance sector regulator.

“More than 554,000 bikes are still without insurance coverage. This is alarming,” said Shreeman Karki, deputy director of the IB.

The insurance regulatory authority doubts that most of the motorcycle owners could be producing fake insurance documents to get their ownership documents renewed. Such suspicion surfaced mainly as DoTM records show majority of owners have renewed their ownership documents and for that they have produced insurance documents, as provisioned in the law.

“Going by the records of DoTM´s, it seems that all motorcycles have due insurance cover. But statistics provided by the insurance companies suggests that only 25 percent of existing motorcycle owners have actually bought the insurance policy,” said another IB official.

Sources said contradictory reports lead to only two conclusions: either DoTM is renewing motorcycles without insurance document or fake insurance document is widely in use.

The IB as a government agency believes it is impractical for DoTM staff to renew such a large number of motorcycles without necessary document, and believes wide use of fake insurance documents was most probable reality.

The situation has baffled the insurance regulator and also posed serious challenges to it. Production of fake insurance document is a serious crime and calls for actions against forgery.

Authorities concerned are worried as the owner will simply have no insurance cover to meet the liability, particularly third party liability -- the very cover for which the government had made insurance of vehicles mandatory, in case of accidents.

“We are still to check records of four-wheelers. We suspect the situation might be the same,” said the source.

Given the situation, IB has pushed for more coordinated actions between the board and DoTM. It has also recommended the DoTM to cross-check with concerned insurance companies to ascertain whether the document produced is genuine.

Mandatory insurance of vehicle that came into effect in 2009/10, meanwhile, increased premium earning of 17 general insurance companies to Rs 433.10 million from insurance of bikes alone. If all the bikes owners had complied with the law, they would have enjoyed premium of over Rs 1.25 billion, says IB.

Nonetheless, as companies received claims worth Rs 128.63 million, they altogether enjoyed a profit of Rs 304.47 million from insurance of bikes alone.

Published on 2011-04-07 03:00:25

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Budget division was not consulted: Khanal

Apart from getting tired of greed and selfishness among people in power, the recent series of exercises to formulate a supplementary budget bypassing the established machinery at the Ministry of Finance hurt me the most, ultimately forcing me to resign, said Finance Secretary Rameshore Khanal in an interview.

Why did you resign abruptly?

I was not in a mood to continue in my job due to various internal problems that I had been facing for long. The resignation was not a sudden decision. I was tired of dealing with greedy and selfish individuals who used to visit me to fulfill their personal interests rather than with programs beneficial to the larger population. As I had been fighting such selfish attempts ever since I was posted to the Finance Ministry eight years ago, I thought it was better to break away than bow down.

What were your differences with Finance Minister Adhikari?

Let me make it clear that I had no serious issue with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari as reported in the media. Yes, I had differences with him regarding some principals concerning expenditure as I was in favor of expenditures that help capital assets rather than distributive expenditures. More than that, I came to know that a supplementary budget was being prepared at the official residence of Deputy PM and Finance Minister Adhikary and the private residences of influential individuals without even consulting the Budget Division of the ministry. I took up the issue with Adhikari. But, unfortunately he took my professional advice as non-cooperation in bringing the supplementary budget. I took it as a clear indication that the leadership had lost confidence in me and I decided to quit.

Was there any pressure from the Finance Minister to resign? What were the weaknesses of the supplementary budget?

That´s absolutely not true. He had not exerted any pressure to the extent of my having to tender my resignation. As I said, the deputy prime minister and finance minister was in favor of a distributive budget aimed at pleasing the recipients. I had a different opinion and I argued that such a budget won´t be feasible for a country like Nepal. I said that such a budget cannot ensure capital formation, which I think Nepal needs most to achieve sustainable development and create employment. But not only did he discard my suggestions, he termed them as obstacles in bringing out a budget they wanted.

Did you have any differences with Minister Adhikary over the Unity scam and taking action against fake VAT bill racketeers?

No one had exerted any sort of pressure to take a decision supporting the revival of the infamous Unity scheme. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Adhikari never put any pressure on me that could be taken as an attempt or intention to support Unity International. Similarly, the Inland Revenue Department has been investigating the fake VAT bill scandal as per existing legal provisions. I have to be frank that there was no pressure on me to manipulate ongoing investigations. In fact, Adhikari has already spoken publicly of the commitment to take tough action against the wrongdoers.

If you were not trusted at the Ministry of Finance, you could have chosen to go to other ministries, instead of tendering your resignation. Why didn´t you do that?

I have already served in the bureaucracy for about 31 years. I was also aware that wherever I went, I would have to face the same crowd of greedy and selfish people. I have also become convinced that the bureaucracy was not the only means of severing the people and the country. So, I didn´t think of other alternatives to quitting.

What sort of impression do you think will people have towards government service following your resignation?

I think I have been able to be an example that there are some people in the bureaucracy who cannot be forced to bow to the interests of greedy people. I believe it has also resulted in possible synergy with existing bureaucrats to fight with full strength against those who aim to fulfill self-interests at the cost of the nation as a whole. I am confident that those who want to serve the people and the nation by defeating the culprits will be attracted towards the civil service even after my resignation.

What are you future plans?

I will spend the rest of my life as an ordinary Nepali citizen. I have no big dreams and programs. But I aim to be engaged in activities to serve society and people. It will be a great success in my life if I could bring smiles to the faces of 100 people in future.

Over 50pc bottled water contaminated

KATHMANDU, April 3: A report prepared by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) shows that more than 50 percent of bottled water available in the market is contaminated with coliform bacteria.

Presence of even a single colony forming unit of coliform in every 100 ml of water is unacceptable going by quality standards. But bottled water selling in the market contains hundreds of times more coliform.

“Many of the analyzed processed water showed the presence of more than 300 colony forming units of bacteria in 100 ml samples,” the report of NAST revealed.
Consumption of water contaminated with coliform causes health complications like morbidity, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea.

The alarming report of the NAST shows that the so called purified water available in the market is not safe for consumption.

The autonomous apex body that promotes science and technology in the country revealed 52% of water samples collected from the markets have been found contaminated with coliform bacteria.

NAST conducted the bacteriological investigation on quality of processed drinking water sold in Kathmandu in 2009 and in 20010 in four different phases.

Processed drinking water samples were collected periodically and 30 bottles of different available brands in the markets were purchased in every period. Samples of 12 different commercial brands of 124 processed water samples were analyzed in a year. NAST says random sampling was adopted to collect the samples. All the processed drinking water samples were immediately transported to the environmental and climate study for bacteriological analysis.

Atmos, Alone, Aqua Care, Aqua Hundred, Aqua Smile, Aqua clinic, Bailley, Royal Land, Multipure, Saphapani, and Thirst ta Yechula brands were included in the study. Of the 120 samples, 62 samples were found to have fecal contamination which is also the indicator of coliform bacteria.

The report of NAST says the increasing trend of contamination indicates an impending public health problem.

In the report, NAST has recommended continuation of coliform monitoring in the processed water for the future studies. “Efficient quality control and monitoring mechanism should be adopted by authorities promptly,” NAST suggests.

Four Nepalis killed‚ two still missing

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal and UN Secretary General have both termed Friday’s attack on the UN Assistance Mission in Mazar-e-Sharif a “heinous crime against humanity”.

At least four Nepali ex-army guards were confirmed dead, when armed protesters stormed the UN regional office. Officials, however, said the number of Nepalis killed is likely to rise with two of the eight Nepali guards still missing.

Speaking to the PM today over phone, the UN Secretary General said, “It was a barbarous attack and I extend my sincere condolence to the families of Nepali victims.” Despite the attack, the UN Chief expected Nepal to continue its participation in UN missions there, said the PM’s press adviser Surya Thapa. The PM assured Ban in this regard.

Expressing concern about Nepal’s snail-paced peace and statute drafting processes, Ban expressed his wish to visit Nepal soon, according to Thapa. The PM asked Ban to think about providing some relief to the slain people. Nepali embassy in Pakistan has identified the the deceased as: Min Bahadur Thapa, Chhabilal Purja Pun, Narayan Bahadur Thapa and Dil Prasad Gurung. A source at the UN mission informed that the slain Nepalis were not UN staff, but were sub-contracted by a private security company called IDG.

“A total of eight Nepali ex-armymen were guarding the UN office. As of now, we have report of four deceased. Two have been found safe and two others are still missing,” Deputy Chief of Mission of the Nepali embassy told The Himalayan Times over phone from Islamabad.

All of them were gone here on a contract for US$ 1000 per month through Universal Connection Pvt Ltd, Lalitpur in agreement with IDG Security Company, a British owned and managed multinational contractor. Statistics of Migration Resources Centre shows at least 42 ex-armymen were supplied by the company to conflict-stricken Afghanistan.

Foreign Secretary Dr Madan Kumar Bhattarai said Nepali missions in the United Nations in New Work, in Washington and Islamabad have been directed to report to the government in detail about the incident.

Meanwhile, the United States has condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” and extended sincere condolences to the families and friends of the Nepalis who lost their lives.

Nepal had opened Afghanistan as its foreign employment destination in 1999. Since then 4,627 have gone there, most of them as security guards in various international missions and firms.

History-defying India lift cricket World Cup


MUMBAI: Gautam Gambhir made 97 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 91 off 79 balls as India won the World Cup for the first time since 1983 with a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Sri Lanka, who won the toss and elected to bat in the day-night final, rode on Mahela Jayawardene's 103 not out off 88 balls to pile up 274-6 in their 50 overs.

India, cheered by a sell-out crowd of 33,000 at the Wankhede stadium, surpassed the challenging target with 10 balls to spare as Dhoni pounded Nuwan Kulasekara for the winning six.

India had slumped to 31-2 by the sixth over when sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga dismissed Virender Sehwag (0) second ball and had star batsman Sachin Tendulkar (18) caught behind in his fourth over.

"I took a quite few decisions tonight and if we hadn't won I would have been asked quite a few questions," said Dhoni, who batted at number five and had selected fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth instead of Ravichandran Ashwin.

"Why no Ashwin? Why Sreesanth? Why no Yuvraj (at five)? Why did I bat ahead? That pushed me and motivated to do well."

Gambhir, who was dropped on 30 and escaped a run-out chance on 49, turned the match around by adding 83 for the third wicket with Virat Kohli and 109 for the fourth with Dhoni.

Yuvraj Singh, who was named the man of the tournament, partnered his skipper till the end with 21 not out after Gambhir was bowled by Thisara Perera in the 42nd over when 52 more were still needed.

Dhoni's men emulated Kapil Dev's compatriots who won the 1983 World Cup by beating the West Indies in the final at Lord's in London.

The victory, watched by Indian President Pratibha Patil and Sri Lanka's head of state Mahinda Rajapakse, was the first occassion a team had won the tournament on home soil.

It was only the third time in 10 World Cup finals that a side batting second had chased down the victory target.

The finale gave Tendulkar, the world's most successful Test and one-day batsman, his first World Cup title in six appearances since 1992.

"I couldn't have asked for more," said Tendulkar, who again missed out on scoring a landmark 100th international century.

"Winning the World Cup is the ultimate. It is the proudest moment of my life. It shows it is never too late. I thank my teammates who were fabulous. I could not really hold back my tears."

Young teammate Virat Kohli said the victory was a fitting tribute to Tendulkar.

"Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It was time we carried him."

The defeat ended Sri Lankan star bowler Muttiah Muralitharan's dream of being part of a second World Cup-winning team, having won the title under Arjuna Ranatunga in 1996 in Lahore.

A half-fit Muralitharan, who turns 39 next month, went wicketless in eight overs to end his career with a record 800 Test and 534 one-day wickets.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, who made 48 when his team batted, admitted India had been the better side.

"When you look at this Indian team anything less than 350 doesn't look enough," he said.

"They deserved this title, the way they played in front of a great crowd."

Confusion reigned at the toss, which had to be performed twice after match referee Jeff Crowe did not hear Sangakkara's call when Dhoni threw up the coin.

Jayawardene shored up Sri Lanka's innings before tailenders Nuwan Kulasekara (32 off 30 balls) and Thisara Perera (22 off nine) helped their team smash 63 runs in the last five overs of power-play.

India's left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan dried up the flow of runs at the start and his two wickets made him the tournament's leading bowler alongside Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi with 21 wickets each.

Zaheer opened with three successive maidens and then struck with the first ball of his fourth over when Sehwag dived to his right in the slips to remove Upul Tharanga for two.

Fast bowler Sreesanth lifted the pressure by conceding 15 runs in his fifth over that included a no-ball and a warning for running in the danger area in his follow-through.

Sreesanth, who was preferred ahead of spinner Ashwin after Ashish Nehra was ruled out with a fractured finger, was thrashed for 52 runs in his eight overs.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, going into the final as the tournament's leading scorer with 467 runs, made 33 when he was bowled by off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to make Sri Lanka 60-2 in the 17th over.

Jayawardene put on 62 for the third wicket with Sangakkara (48) and 57 for the fourth with Thilan Samaraweera (21).

MoF begins consultations on supplementary budget


KATHMANDU, April 3: The Ministry of Finance (MoF) initiated exercises to internalize the draft supplementary budget that a group of political economists submitted on Friday, as the government pushed for early announcement of the fresh budget -- third in a year -- despite oppositions´ disagreement.

The draft prepared by the ministry has numerous populist programs, something which will derail the present budget´s thrust towards nourishing the productive sectors.

The major programs mooted by the politically motivated economists include ones like identification and development of 100 model village development committees (VDCs) across the country, welcoming them to spend as much as Rs 5 million during the year.

Likewise, it proposes income generation programs, allocating as much as Rs 1 billion for distribution to different communities, encouraging them to jump into rickshaw pulling and other self-employment activities.

“Basically, the draft focuses on providing relief to the people from backbreaking commodity prices,” said Dilli Raj Khanal, one of the members of the drafting committee.

It has programs that focus on easy spending of the budget so that money piled up in the national treasury could be spent. “The recurrent budget has not been touched. We have mooted realigning of capital spending only,” Khanal told Republica.

Even though MoF officials did not agree with the spirit of the proposed draft, they said discussions have begun in the ministry for internalizing the recommended programs.

Former Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, meanwhile, blatantly rejected the government´s efforts to come up with distributive budget. “We do not agree with the very idea of supplementary budget at this point of time. We will not endorse it in the parliament,” he stated.

Instead of supplementary budget, Dr Mahat suggested to the government to start wider consultation with all political parties for forming early budget for the next fiscal year.

Even Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari had agreed with this stand earlier. However, he changed his stance after UCPN Maoist, the largest party in the coalition government, continued to push for supplementary budget.

बीमा सर्भेयरको पेसा मर्यादित र विश्वसनीय बनाउनु जरुरी

काठमाडौँ, चैत १९ गते । बीमा समितिका अध्यक्ष प्रा.डा. फत्तबहादुर केसीले बीमा व्यवसायको महìवपूर्ण अङ्क बीमा सर्भेयरहरूको पेसालाई मर्यादित र विश्वसनीय बनाएर लैजानुपर्ने आवश्यकता औँल्याउनुभयो । बीमा सर्भेयर सङ्घ नेपालको शनिबार यहा आयोजित छैटौँ साधारणसभा तथा सङ्घको तेस्रो 'स्मारिका -२०६७' विमोचन समारोहलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै उहाँले चुनौतीहरू बीचमा काम गर्नुपर्ने बीमा सर्भेयरको व्यवसायलाई विवाद मुक्त र सामाजिक उत्तरदायित्व बोध बनाएर लैजान सके समग्र बीमा व्यवसाय नै फष्टाउने विचार व्यक्त गर्नुभयो ।

बीमा भनेको साँच्चिकै दुःखको साथी हो भन्ने चेतना समाजमा अझै पनि खड्केकोतर्फ सङ्केत गर्दै उहाँले भन्नुभयो, बढ्दै गएको बीमा उद्योगको साथै बढ्दो बीमा दाबीको सङ्ख्याको परिवेशमा बीमा दाबी मूल्याङ्कनकर्ताको भूमिका पनि विशेष रहन्छ ।

आवश्यकता अनुसार सर्भेयरहरूका लागि आवश्यक तालिम तथा पुनर्ताजगीजस्ता कार्यक्रम बीमा समिति र सङ्घको सहकार्यबाट गराइँदै आएकोतर्फ ध्यानाकर्षण गर्दै उहाँले भन्नुभयो, कुनै पनि सर्भेयरले सेन्स नभएका मानिसलाई सर्भेका लागि पठाउँछ भने त्यस्तालाई कारबाही हुन्छ । सो अवसरमा सङ्घ तथा स्मारिका प्रकाशनमा सहयोग पुर्‍याउने व्यक्तित्वहरूलाई सम्मान गरिएको थियो ।

बीमा क्षेत्रको प्रमुख मध्यस्तकर्ताका रूपमा सर्भेयरहरू रहने भए पनि नेपाली बीमा क्षेत्रले व्यवहारमा सर्भेयरहरूको कामको सही मूल्याङ्कन गर्न नसकेको गुनासो सर्भेयरहरूले गर्दै आएका छन् । करिब ३५० को हाराहारीमा ले कामका इजाजत लिएको भए पनि व्यवहारमा भने एक सयभन्दा कम सर्भेयरहरू मात्र सक्रिय रहँदै आएको बताइएको छ ।

कार्यक्रममा सगरमाथा इन्सुरेन्स कम्पनीका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत कृष्णबहादुर बस्नेत, सङ्घका उपाध्यक्ष मोहनपुरुष ढकाल र अध्यक्ष सूर्यप्रसाद जोशीलगायतले बीमा व्यवसायमा र बीमा सर्भेयरहरूको भूमिकामाथि आˆना धारणा राख्नुभएको थियो ।

Ghodejatra being marked today


KATHMANDU: The ghodejatra festival is being marked today with a special program at the Army Pavilion in Tundikhel in the capital on Sunday.

Legend reveals that this festival was held to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who resided over the meadow, today known as Tundikhel. Tundi was a terror, so when he met with his death people rejoiced by dancing on his body with horses. So it's believed that the clamor of horses' hooves on Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon's sprit at bay.

Although the horses' parade is the major attraction of the festival, there are other events to enjoy as well. The visitors can enjoy various cultural programs, motorcycle displays and gymnastic performances during the Ghode Jatra festival.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is scheduled to grace a special program to be held at Tundikhel today.

Marking the day, the Government has also announced a public holiday in Kathmandu valley and all government offices today.

Ghodejatra being marked today


KATHMANDU: The ghodejatra festival is being marked today with a special program at the Army Pavilion in Tundikhel in the capital on Sunday.

Legend reveals that this festival was held to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who resided over the meadow, today known as Tundikhel. Tundi was a terror, so when he met with his death people rejoiced by dancing on his body with horses. So it's believed that the clamor of horses' hooves on Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon's sprit at bay.

Although the horses' parade is the major attraction of the festival, there are other events to enjoy as well. The visitors can enjoy various cultural programs, motorcycle displays and gymnastic performances during the Ghode Jatra festival.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is scheduled to grace a special program to be held at Tundikhel today.

Marking the day, the Government has also announced a public holiday in Kathmandu valley and all government offices today.

Ghodejatra being marked today


KATHMANDU: The ghodejatra festival is being marked today with a special program at the Army Pavilion in Tundikhel in the capital on Sunday.

Legend reveals that this festival was held to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who resided over the meadow, today known as Tundikhel. Tundi was a terror, so when he met with his death people rejoiced by dancing on his body with horses. So it's believed that the clamor of horses' hooves on Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon's sprit at bay.

Although the horses' parade is the major attraction of the festival, there are other events to enjoy as well. The visitors can enjoy various cultural programs, motorcycle displays and gymnastic performances during the Ghode Jatra festival.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav is scheduled to grace a special program to be held at Tundikhel today.

Marking the day, the Government has also announced a public holiday in Kathmandu valley and all government offices today.

India win cricket World Cup


MUMBAI: India sparked wild celebrations among their billion supporters after beating Sri Lanka by six wickets in the World Cup final at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium today.

After Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and opted to bat first, Mahela Jayawardene smashed 103 not out off just 88 balls and featured in half-century stands with Sangakkara (48), Thilan Samaraweera (21) and Nuwan Kulasekara (32) to take Sri Lanka to 274-6.

Yuvraj Singh (2-49) was once again the pick of Indian bowlers, while Zaheer Khan grabbed a couple of wickets. India’s chase got off to a wobbly start but the 109-run partnership between Gautam Gambhir (97) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91 not out) hauled them back on track.

For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga (2-42) shone with the ball, cheaply removing Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar but his bowling colleagues could not drive home the advantage.

This is the second World Cup title that India has won after a wait of 28 years.

President Yadav against promulgation of constitution by two-third majority

President Ram Baran Yadav has opined it is not a good idea to endorse the new constitution by a two-third majority without taking the opposition parties - Nepali Congress and the Madhes based parties - into confidence, Saturday.

Speaking to a group of journalists at his residence in Shital Niwas on Saturday, President Yadav said, a consensus among four power groups in the Constituent Assembly (CA) - UCPN (Maoist), UML, NC and the Madhes based parties – is must for stability and sustainable peace.

Although there is a provision to endorse the statute by two-third majority such statute will not ensure peace and sustainability, said President Yadav, only a statute with consent from the four power groups will be sustainable.

President Yadav urged the parties in the CA to come together and work towards peace and constitution.