Saturday, July 30, 2011

Small Premiums, Long-term Benefits: Why Poor Women Need Microinsurance

15 years have passed since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing decided on a global platform for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment. For poor women in developing countries, microinsurance coverage is an important safety net, providing a powerful tool to protect their households and productive assets. ILO Online reports from Kenya where microinsurance represents a new frontier of economic and social development.
Article | March 5, 2010

Monica Kirunguru’s husband was an outgoing man, and a prominent member of his small community. The couple lived together on a farm near Mount Kenya, where they worked hard to support their seven children and five grandchildren.

In August 2009, Monica’s husband was admitted to the hospital. One month later, he died.

Coping with the emotional shock that accompanies the death of a life partner can be staggeringly difficult. Coping with the financial shock at the same time, however, can make the situation seem impossible. Typically, a Kenyan woman in Monica’s circumstances would have two options to cover the hospital and funeral expenses: take out a high-interest emergency loan, or approach friends and family for money.

Monica was lucky. When her husband was admitted to the hospital, she was informed that he had bought health and life insurance two months earlier. The policy paid out USD $330 to cover hospital bills, a weekly stipend of $25 for the family’s living expenses during hospitalization (Monica used this money to continue paying the children’s school fees), and $400 toward the funeral, which was attended by over 1,000 people. She is now learning how to run the farm on her own, grateful not to be in debt.

Monica’s story is certainly the exception among poor women struck by crises. The role of microinsurance is to help low-income people manage risk and reduce their vulnerability to shocks, yet it is estimated that only three percent of the low-income people in the world’s 100 poorest countries benefit from a microinsurance product, leaving approximately two billion people unprotected. Of those two billion, more than half are women.
Making the Most of Women’s Resources

Women comprise 70 per cent of the world’s poor. They earn less than men, have less control of property, and face higher levels of physical vulnerability and violence. They are often caregivers, homemakers, and, increasingly, household resource managers and income earners. Considering this combination of vulnerability and responsibility for the welfare of their families, women have a unique and pressing need to manage risk.

Traditional risk management strategies that women use to cope with crises involve long-term sacrifices that perpetuate the cycle of poverty. For example, using business profits to deal with emergencies instead of using them for long-term investments is one of the largest barriers to growth for female entrepreneurs. Similarly, selling productive assets such as livestock or equipment sacrifices any future income from those assets. Another crisis management strategy, pulling children out of school, not only stunts children’s social and intellectual growth but also severely curtails their long-term earning potential.
Sustainable and Sensitive: Designing Products for Women

Microinsurance offers a promising alternative for poor women to manage risk and use their assets more productively. As resource managers and caregivers, women are a natural target market for insurance companies. The challenge, however, is creating microinsurance programs that meet the needs of poor women, minimize operating costs, and keep premiums affordable – all at the same time.

Poor women have specific needs that make it difficult to design profitable insurance products. For example, many health microinsurance programs exclude pregnancy, citing the high costs caused by adverse selection. However, some schemes have successfully used innovative models to reduce costs and improve accessibility. In West Africa, a French NGO called Centre International de Développement et de Recherche (CIDR) developed a health insurance product with maternity cover. The product is sold at the village level, with all inhabitants paying an annual fee to cover all pregnant women in the village. Since participation is mandatory, adverse selection and administrative costs are minimized, allowing for an extremely affordable premium: only $0.40 per year. In Guinea, after one year, the maternity benefits covered 1,000 women.

In India, another program is meeting women’s unique needs in a sensitive, sustainable way. SEWA Bank offers its clients – all self-employed poor women – a choice of three microinsurance schemes covering death, health and assets. Like pregnancy, coverage for the entire family is another aspect of microinsurance that is important to women but is often unaffordable. Available at various price points to ensure accessibility, SEWA’s schemes provide options to cover husbands and children for a low incremental fee. All the children in a family are covered by one premium, to avoid families having to choose which of their children to insure. Another innovative feature is that the insurance is integrated with SEWA’s savings accounts. Clients can use their accrued interest to pay premiums, improving accessibility and reducing administrative costs. Starting with 7,000 clients in 1992, Vimo SEWA now covers nearly 200,000 women, men and children.
The Future of Microinsurance for Women

Microinsurance represents a new frontier of development, and there is much work to be done toward creating a gender-sensitive microinsurance industry. It is crucial to understand how women combine microinsurance with existing risk management strategies, how their attitudes toward risk differ from those of men, and how microinsurance affects their rates of investment into businesses, savings behaviors, and household consumption. Donors, researchers, and practitioners each have an important role to play in furthering the development of microinsurance.

As for Monica, she reports that, since her husband’s death, her friends and family have been asking her about the insurance and how she managed to avoid incurring debts or asking the community for money. Monica is spreading the good word – she now tells everyone she meets that they should buy the insurance. And, she says, she will definitely renew the policy when it lapses.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is concerned with the conditions under which women and men access decent work opportunities; that is, work in conditions of freedom and security, equity and dignity. Microinsurance – through new partnerships linking public and private institutions, as well as governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations – is seen by the Organization as a powerful tool that has the potential of extending protection and security to people usually excluded from prevailing formal arrangements, thereby enhancing the access of the working poor to financial services.

The ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility was established in 2008 to support the extension of insurance to millions of low-income people in the developing world, with the overall aim of reducing their vulnerability to risk. It has recently published a comprehensive study that shows how poor women can benefit from microinsurance.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

एयरलाइन्सको पुनर्बीमाबापत वार्षिक ८० करोड विदेशिन्छ

साउन ९, काठमाडौं । नेपालमा सञ्चालित १४ ओटा निजी एयरलाइन्स कम्पनीबाट पुनर्बीमाबापत वार्षिक करीब रू. ८० करोड विदेशिने गरेको छ । नेपालका बीमा कम्पनीमार्फत विभिन्न एयरलाइन्सले जहाजको जोखिम वहन गर्न विदेशी कम्पनीमा गर्ने पुनर्बीमाका लागि सो रकम विदेशिने गरेको बीमा कम्पनीहरूले बताएका छन् । एयरलाइन्सहरूले आफ्ना एयरक्राफ्टको मूल्यअनुसार यस्तो बीमा गर्छन् । 'नेपालमा पुनर्बीमा कम्पनी नभएकाले एयरलाइन्सले तिरेको बीमाशुल्कको ९९ प्रतिशतभन्दा बढी रकम बाहिर जान्छ,' एभरेष्ट इन्स्योरेन्सकी सहायक महाप्रबन्धक रमा दाहाल (पोखरेल)ले भनिन् । उनका अनुसार नेपालका बीमा कम्पनीले आफ्नो क्षमताअनुसार जोखिम वहन गर्न नसक्ने रकमको शून्य दशमलव ५ देखि शून्य दशमलव ९ प्रतिशत मात्र राखेर बाँकी सबै रकम पुनर्बीमा कम्पनीलाई पठाउनुपर्छ । बीमा दाबी भएको अवस्थामा पुनर्बीमा गरिएका विदेशी कम्पनीबाट भुक्तानी हुने गर्छ ।

नेपालका निजी वायुसेवा कम्पनीहरूले आव ०६७/६८ मा रू. ९ अर्ब ४४ करोड ५३ लाख २० हजारको बीमा गरेका थिए । त्यसबापत ती विमान कम्पनीले रू. ६६ करोड ११ लाख ७२ हजार ४ सय प्रिमियम तिरेको नेपाल वायुसेवा सञ्चालक सङ्घले बताएको छ । सो रकमको ९९ प्रतिशत विदेशी बीमा कम्पनीले पुनर्बीमा गरेबापत लाने गरेका छन् । यसका अतिरिक्त नेपाल वायुसेवा निगम र नेपाली सेनाको हेलिकोप्टरको पुनर्बीमाबापतको रकम पनि जोड्ने हो भने त्यस्तो रकम वार्षिक करीब रू. ८० करोड पुग्छ । निजी वायुसेवा कम्पनीले अघिल्लो आव ०६६/६७ मा रू. १० अर्ब ९१ करोड ४१ लाख २० हजारको बीमा गरेका थिए । आव ०६६/६७ भन्दा आव ०६७/६८ मा बीमाको रकम घट्नुको कारण दुर्घटना परेर जहाज घट्नु र ह्रासकट्टी भएको सिम्रिक एयरलाइन्सका महाप्रबन्धक योगराज कँडेलले बताए ।

गत १ वर्षमा अग्नि, फिष्टेल र तारा एयरका एक/एक ओटा विमान दुर्घटनामा परेका थिए भने सिम्रिक एयरले एउटा हेलिकोप्टर विक्री गरेको थियो । एयरक्राफ्ट पुरानो हुँदै जाँदा मूल्याङ्कन घट्ने भए पनि पुनर्बीमा शुल्क भने बढ्ने वायुसेवा कम्पनीले बताएका छन् । वायुसेवा कम्पनीहरूले मूल्यको करीब ७ प्रतिशत बीमाबापत बीमा कम्पनीहरूलाई बुझाउँदै आएका छन् । कुनै वायुसेवा कम्पनीको जहाज दुर्घटनामा परी बीमा रकम दाबी गरिएको अवस्थामा जोखिम बढेको भन्दै अन्य वायुसेवा कम्पनीको बीमा शुल्क पनि पुनर्बीमा कम्पनीहरूले बढाउने गरेको कँडेलले जानकारी दिए ।

एकपटक बीमा रकम दाबी गर्ने कम्पनीले फेरि बिमा गर्दा झन् बढी रकम तिर्नु परेको पनि वायुसेवा कम्पनीको भनाइ छ । गत वर्ष दुर्घटनामा परेको अग्नि एयरले त्यसपछि करीब शतप्रतिशत बढी बीमाशुल्क तिर्नुपरेको सो एयरका बजार निर्देशक प्रमोद पाण्डेले बताए । 'बीमा
कम्पनीले पनि आफ्नो व्यापार गरिरहेका हुन्, त्यसैले, वायुसेवा कम्पनीले जति बढी रकम दाबी गर्छन् वार्षिक रूपमा तिनुपर्ने बीमा शुल्कसमेत सोही अनुपातमा बढ्दै जान्छ', यती एयरका ग्रूप कार्यकारी निर्देशक विजय श्रेष्ठले भने ।

७ महीनाअघि भएको तारा एयरको विमान दुर्घटनापछि उक्त एयरले पनि करीब शतप्रतिशत नै बढी बीमा शुल्क भुक्तानी गर्दै आएको सो एयरले बताएको छ । श्री एयरलाइन्सका कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष वनवारीलाल मित्तलका अनुसार पुनर्बीमा कम्पनीले हरेक वर्ष लिने विवरणमा ५ वर्षभित्र विमान दुर्घटना भएको देखिएमा बीमा शुल्कबापतको रकम बढी लिन्छन् । मित्तलले नेपालमा पुनर्बीमा कम्पनी नभएकाले उनीहरूले तोकेको शुल्क तिर्न नेपाली वायुसेवा कम्पनी बाध्य भएको बताए ।

कम्पनीको नाम (प्रालि) बीमा रकम (डलरमा)
बुद्ध एयर ४,००,००,०००
तारा एयर १,५६,००,०००
यती एयरलाइन्स १,४०,००,०००
श्री एयर १,२५,००,०००
अग्नि एयर १,२५,००,०००
फिष्टेल एयर ८०,६०,०००
गुण एयर ५५,२५,०००
एयर काष्ठमण्डप ४९,००,०००
सिम्रिक एयर ४५००,०००
एयर डाइनेष्टी ४६,००,०००
सीता एयर ३२००,०००
गोमा एयर २५,००,०००
माउण्टेन हेलिकोप्टर १८,००,०००
मकालु एयर १५,००,०००
जम्मा १३,११,८५,०००

Monday, July 25, 2011

लघुबीमा असोज १ बाट

साउन ७, काठमाडौं । सरकारले चालू आर्थिक वर्षको बजेटमा घोषणा गरेको लघुबीमा योजना कार्यान्वयनको गृहकार्य शुरू गरेको छ । बीमा समितिले यसका लागि निर्जीवन तथा जीवन बीमा कम्पनीका प्रतिनिधिसहितको सात सदस्यीय उपसमिति गठन गरी कारबाही अघि बढाएको छ ।

'बजेट आउनु केही दिनअघि नै समितिका सदस्य विनोद अर्यालको संयोजकत्वमा उपसमिति गठन गरी लघुबीमाको गृहकार्य थालिएको हो,' बीमा समितिका प्रवक्ता तथा उपसमितिका सदस्यसचिव शेखरकुमार अर्यालले भने, 'उपसमितिले २ महीनाभित्र गृहकार्य पूरा गरी असोज १ गतेबाट यसलाई कार्यान्वयनमा लैजाने लक्ष्य छ ।' ढिलोमा पनि पुस १ बाट भने यो लागू भइसक्ने उनले बताए । लघुबीमा यथाशीघ्र कार्यान्वयनका लागि समितिले बीमा कम्पनीहरूका लागि बाध्यकारी प्रावधान ल्याउन सक्ने पनि उनले औंल्याए ।

लघुबीमा कार्यान्वयनमा ल्याउन परामर्शका लागि उपसमितिले निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीहरूसँग असारको अन्तिम साता र जीवन बीमा कम्पनीहरूसँग साउन १ गते छलफल गरेको थियो । त्यसपछि लघुबीमाले समेट्ने सम्भावित १० क्षेत्र निर्धारण गरी दुवै वर्गका सबै बीमा कम्पनीलाई बीमा समितिले पत्राचार गरिसकेको छ । 'निर्जीवनलाई असार अन्तिममा र जीवनलाई साउन ३ गते पत्र पठाइएको छ,' प्रवक्ता अर्यालले भने, 'पत्रमा हामीले निर्धारण गरेका १० क्षेत्रबाहेक अन्य पनि उपयुक्त भए सुझाउनसमेत भनिएको छ ।' उल्लिखितमध्ये कस्तो बीमा, कुन क्षेत्रमा, कसरी सञ्चालन गर्न उपयुक्त हुन्छ भन्ने विवरण सात दिनभित्र पठाउन उपसमितिले कम्पनीहरूलाई पठाएको पत्रमा उल्लेख छ ।

लघुबीमाको मुख्य उद्देश्य सामाजिक सुरक्षाको मुख्य औजारका रूपमा यसलाई विकास गरी गरीबी निवारण गर्नु रहेको बताइएको छ । बीमा समितिका अनुसार, यसअन्तर्गत दुई/चार हजारको सानो रकमको बीमा गर्ने गरी छुट्टै 'प्रडक्ट'सहितको बीमा योजना ल्याइनेछ ।

लघुबीमा यस वर्षको बजेटमा परेको नयाँ कार्यक्रम हो । हालसम्म बजेटले व्यवस्था गरेअनुरूप 'लघुबीमा' तत्काल कार्यान्वयन हुने दोस्रो कार्यक्रम हो । यस्तो पहिलो कार्यक्रम 'तेस्रोपक्ष बीमा' रहेको प्रवक्ता अर्यालको भनाइ छ । बजेटमा लघुबीमा योजना पहाडी क्षेत्रमा सञ्चालन गर्ने भनिए पनि यसलाई देशैभरि लागू गर्ने बीमा समितिले बताएको छ । अर्यालको भनाइमा, ग्रामीण तथा पहाडी भेगमा मात्र नभएर शहरी क्षेत्रका विपन्न तथा न्यून आय भएका वर्गलाई पनि लघुबीमामा समेट्ने अवधारणामा उपसमितिले गृहकार्य अघि बढाएको छ ।

अन्तरराष्ट्रिय जगत्मा लघुबीमाको अभ्यासबारे विज्ञहरूसँग विस्तृत परामर्श गरी उपसमितिले यसको संयन्त्र तथा ढाँचा निर्धारण गर्ने भएको छ । भारतीय अभ्यासबारे भने उपसमितिले विज्ञहरूसँग छलफल गरिसकेको बताएको छ । अन्तरराष्ट्रिय स्तरमा करीब पाँचओटा ढाँचामा लघुबीमा अभ्यासमा रहेको छ ।

यसमध्ये, बीमा कम्पनीहरूले लघुवित्त संस्थाहरूसँगको साझेदारीमा योजना कार्यान्वयनमा ल्याएको एक हो । त्यस्तै, बीमा कम्पनी न्यून आय भएका वर्ग तथा क्षेत्रमा प्रत्यक्ष सहभागी हुनेलगायतका संयन्त्र पनि अभ्यासमा छन् । उपसमितिको अध्ययनबाट यीमध्ये लघुवित्त संस्थासँगको साझेदारीमा लघुबीमा कार्यक्रम सञ्चालन गर्न उपयुक्त देखिएको प्रवक्ता अर्यालले बताए । हाल सञ्चालित व्यावसायिक बीमा कम्पनीहरू तथा अन्य संस्थाले औपचारिक/अनौपचारिक रूपमा लघुबीमासँग सम्बन्धित सेवा उपलब्ध
गराउँदै आएका छन् । यसलाई औपचारिक बाटोमा ल्याउन पनि उपसमितिले गृहकार्य गर्ने बताइएको छ । 'लघुबीमा व्यवस्था उपसमिति'मा बीमा समितिका निर्देशक
अनिलराज भट्टराईका साथै निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीबाट तीन र जीवन बीमा कम्पनीबाट एक प्रतिनिधि सदस्य छन् ।

निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीका तर्फबाट शिखर इन्स्योरेन्सका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत दीपप्रकाश पाण्डे, नेशनल इन्स्योरेन्सका डा. जे घोष र सिध्दार्थ इन्स्योरेन्सका एसके तमोट तथा जीवनतर्फबाट नेशनल लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्सका भरत बस्नेत उपसमितिका सदस्य छन् ।

लघुबीमाले समेट्ने सम्भावित १० क्षेत्र
१. जीवन बीमा (सावधिक/म्यादी)
२. दुर्घटना बीमा
३. स्वास्थ्योपचार (पारिवारिक/व्यक्तिगत/सामूहिक)
४. बाली बीमा (नगदे बाली)
५. पशु बीमा
दुग्ध उत्पादन, मासुजन्य उत्पादन, सवारी/ढुवानी (हात्ती/घोडा/खच्चड) आदि
६. साना आयोजना
पधेँरो, धारा, इनार, लघु जलविद्युत्, सौर्य ऊर्जा, पानीघट्ट आदि
७. साना व्यवसाय
किराना, चिया पसल, फर्निचर/ग्रील उद्योग आदि
८. भवन (साना घर, झुपडी, टहरो आदि)
९. शिक्षा
१०. स्व्ाचालितबाहेक अन्य सवारी वा ढुवानीका साधन
(रिक्सा, गाडा आदि)
स्रोत : बीमा समिति

Thursday, July 21, 2011

बजेटमा बीमाका अपेक्षा अधुरै

चन्द्रसिंह साउद
विविध चुनौतीहरूको सामना गर्दै नेपाली बीमा व्यवसाय विकासको शिखर चुम्नेतर्फ लम्किरहेको छ । विगतमा यो व्यवसायको विकास जति हुनुपर्थ्यो, त्यो हुन नसके पनि पछिल्ला वर्षहरूमा राम्रो प्रगति भएको बीमा कारोबारको आँकडाबाट भन्न सकिन्छ । बीमा व्यवसायमा १६-१७ अर्ब रूपैयाँबराबरको पूँजी परिचालन भएको छ । यसले कुल गार्हस्थ्य उत्पादनमा गैरकृषि तर्फ२ प्रतिशतको हाराहारीमा योगदान पुर्याएको छ । प्रत्यक्ष र अप्रत्यक्ष गरी करीब ७५ हजारलाई रोजगारी प्रदान गर्न सफल भएको छ । ६७ जिल्लामा बीमा क्षेत्रको उपस्थिति छ । पछिल्ला दिनहरूमा मुलुकका आर्थिक सूचकाङ्कहरू सङ्कुचनोन्मुख भइरहेको अवस्थामा पनि आफ्नो बजार विस्तार गर्नसक्नु चानचुने कुरा होइन । आर्थिक वर्ष२०६७/६८ मा जीवन र निर्जीवन गरी जम्मा करीब रू. १५ अर्ब जति बीमा प्रिमियम सङ्कलन हुने आनुमान गरिएको छ ।

बीमा कम्पनीहरूले देशमा छरिएर रहेको ससानो पूँजीलाई एकीकृत गरी मोटो रकम सरकारले भनेका ठाउँमा लगानी गरिरहेका छन् । यसबाट उनीहरूले प्रत्यक्षरूपमा अर्थतन्त्रलाई टेवा पुर्याइरहेका छन् । यिनीहरूले अनौपचारिक क्षेत्रको पैसालाई बीमाका माध्यमबाट औपचारिक च्यानलमा ल्याइरहेका छन् । यो राष्ट्रकै लागि सुखद कुरा हो । तर, यस वर्षको बजेटमा बीमासम्बन्धी परेका समस्या र बीमाक्षेत्रको विकासका बारेमा बजेट मौन रहेको देखिन्छ । केवल अनिवार्य निक्षेप बीमाको रकम बढाएर ५ लाख पुर्याउने र लघुबीमाको विकास गर्नेबाहेक अन्य केही पनि भएको देखिएन । जबकि नेपाल बीमक सङ्घले 'बजेटमा सम्बोधन गरिनुपर्ने विषय' भनेर निम्न कुराहरू जानकारी गराएको थियो :

नेपाल सरकारले आव २०६४/६५ को बजेट वक्तव्यमार्फत राजस्व नीति तथा कार्यक्रममा सामान्य बीमा व्यवसाय गर्ने व्यक्तिहरूले बीमा ऐन तथा नियमावलीबमोजिम राख्नुपर्ने जगेडा कोषमा राखेको रकम खर्चकट्टी पाउने व्यवस्था थियो । साथै, यसअघि त्यस्तो रकम खर्च नदिएको कारणले थप हुन गएको कर मिनाहा हुने व्यवस्था मिलाएको थियो । साथै, आर्थिक विधेयक २०६४ को दफा २७ मा सामान्य बीमा व्यवसाय गर्ने व्यक्तिले आव २०६३/६४ सम्मको कुनै आय वर्षमा बीमा नियमावली, २०४९ को व्यवस्थाबमोजिम जगेडा कोषमा राखेको रकममा संशोधित कर निर्धारण गर्दा लागेको कर शुल्क तथा ब्याज मिनाहाका लागि २०६५ साल असार मसान्तभित्र आन्तरिक राजस्व विभागले सोको प्रक्रिया पूरा गरी निवेदन दिएमा त्यस्तो कर शुल्क तथा ब्याज मिनाहा दिइने व्यवस्था गरेको थियो । सोही व्यवस्थाअनुसार बीमा कम्पनीहरूले असमाप्त जोखिमबापतको जगेडा र सुचित अनुमानित दाबी दायित्वबापतको रकममा कायम गरिएको कर शुल्क ब्याज तथा जरीवानासमेत मिनाहा पाउन निवेदन दिएका थिए । आर्थिक विधेयक २०६४ को दफा २७ बमोजिम कम्पनीहरूले आव २०५८/५९ देखि २०६२/६३ सम्मको संशोधित कर निर्धारण गर्दा लागेको कर शुल्क तथा ब्याज मिनाहा पाइसकेका थिए । उक्त विधेयकमा आव २०६३/६४ का लागि केही कुरा अस्पष्ट भएकाले बीमक कम्पनीहरूलाई समस्या परेको थियो । आव २०६८/६९ को बजेट तर्जुमा गर्दा बीमा कम्पनीहरूको हकमा आव २०६३/६४ को संशोधित कर निर्धारण गर्दा लागेको कर शुल्क तथा ब्याज अघिल्ला आवसरह मिनाहाका लागि व्यवस्था गराउन लगाउनुपर्छ भन्ने माग गरेका थिए । साथै, उक्त आवको प्रशासकीय पुनरवलोकन र राजस्व न्यायाधीकरणका लागि दाखिला गर्नुपरेको रकम फिर्ताका लागि नियमन व्यवस्था हुनुपर्छ भन्ने कुरा पनि थियो, जुन बजेटमा आएन ।

बीमा कम्पनीको जगेडा तथा कोषबापत रहेको रकम बैङ्क तथा वित्तीय संस्थामा लगानी गरिन्छ । त्यस्तो हुँदा सो रकम एकमुष्ठ नभई छरिएर लगानी हुन्छ । त्यसैले धेरै सङ्ख्यामा मुद्दती लगानी कल खाता तथा बचत खाता हुने र सोबाट प्राप्त हुने ब्याज पनि धेरै टुक्रामा आउने गर्दछ । यसरी आएको ब्याजमा बैङ्क तथा वित्तीय संस्थाहरूले आयकर ऐनबमोजिम १५ प्रतिशत अग्रिम कर कटाई भुक्तानी गर्ने भएकाले बीमा कम्पनीलाई सो अग्रिम कर कट्टाको प्रमाणपत्र लिन गाह्रो हुने गर्दछ । यसरी धेरै गाह्रो गरी लिएको अग्रिम कर कट्टाको प्रमाणअनुसारको रकम पनि पुस, चैत र असारमा अनुमानित कर बुझाउँदा समायोजन गरी कर दाखिला गर्ने गरिन्छ । बीमा कम्पनीले बैङ्क तथा वित्तीय संस्थाबाट प्राप्त गर्ने ब्याज रकममा अग्रिम कर कट्टा नगरियोस् भन्ने सम्पूर्ण बीमा कम्पनीको सुझाव थियो, जुन कार्यान्वयन भएन ।

बीमा कम्पनीहरूको आय विवरण हरेक आर्थिक वर्षको पुस मसान्तसम्ममा कर कार्यालयमा बुझाइन्छ । तर, त्यसको अन्तिम करपरीक्षण २ वा ३ वर्षपछि मात्र गरिन्छ । ढिला नगरी कर बुझउनासाथ कर परीक्षण गरिदिने व्यावस्था गरिदिनुपर्छ । यसो भएमा सधैं पुरानो कर परीक्षण गर्न बाँकी छ भन्ने झन्झट कर कार्यालय तथा कम्पनीलाई हुँदैन । त्यसैले समयमै कर निर्धारणको व्यवस्था हुनुपर्ने माग गरिएको थियो, तर त्यसको पनि सम्बोधन भएन ।

जीवनबीमामा ७ प्रतिशत प्रिमियम वा वास्तविक प्रिमियममध्ये जुन कम हुन्छ, त्यसमा र आश्रति वा नाबालक छोराछोरीको बीमा प्रिमियममा पनि माथि उल्लिखित सीमाभित्र नै कर नलाग्ने व्यवस्था हुनुपर्ने माग गरिएको थियो । त्यसो पनि भएन । बीमित व्यक्तिको मृत्यु भएको बेलामा जीवनबीमा दाबीको रकममा कर लाग्ने व्यवस्था हटाउनुपर्ने माग गरिएको थियो । बीमा अभिकर्ता कमिशनमा र मूल्याङ्कनकर्ताको शुल्कमा लाग्ने करको अन्तिम सीमा १५ प्रतिशतसम्म हुनुपर्ने माग गरिएको थियो । यी माग पनि पूरा हुन सकेनन् ।

आकस्मिक बीमा कोषलाई पुनर्बीमा कम्पनीका रूपमा विकास गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने माग गरिएको थियो । यसमा सम्बोधन गरिएको छ । आशा छ यो कार्यान्वयनमा आउनेछ । तर, क्याटोष्टोफिक नोक्सानीका लागि पुलको व्यवस्था हुनुपर्ने माग गरिएको थियो । त्यो भने पूरा भएन ।

नेपालमा समस्यामा रहेको मोटरबीमा व्यवसाय र स्वास्थ्यबीमाको विकास तथा विस्तार गर्न तथा पारदर्शी बनाउन मोटरको मर्मतसम्भार गर्ने ग्यारेज साथै औषधि पसलहरूलाई पनि करको दायरामा ल्याउनुपर्ने माग गरिएको थियो । सामाजिक बीमा सेवाहरू सरकारी तहबाट शुरुआत हुनुपर्छ भन्ने माग गरिएको थियो । उदारहणका लागि- लघुबीमा र स्वास्थ्यबीमा । यसमा पहल गरिने कुरा बजेट वक्तव्यमा आएको छ तर कार्यान्वयन हुन्छ/हुँदैन । कामदार कर्मचारीको बीमा श्रम ऐनमा अनिवार्य भए तापनि व्यवहारमा कतिपयको बीमा हुने गरेको छैन । त्यसैले यसलाई अनिवार्य गरिनुपर्छ ।

नेपाल सरकारले पर्यटन वर्ष२०११ सफल बनाउन नेपाल प्रवेश गर्ने सबै पर्यटकको अनिवार्य बीमाको व्यवस्था गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने बीमा कम्पनीहरूको माग थियो । नेपाल उच्च भूकम्पकीय जोखिम भएको मुलुक हो । त्यसमा पनि काठमाडौं उपत्यका झन् संवेदनशील छ । त्यसैले कम्तीमा पनि उपत्यकाका सम्पूर्ण आवसीय भवनहरूको अनिवार्य भूकम्प बीमा गर्ने व्यवस्था गरिनुपर्थ्यो । त्यो माग पनि पूरा भएन ।

सरकारले अनिवार्य गरेका बीमा सेवा सबै कम्पनीले कार्यान्वयन गरेका छैनन् । यस कारणले सर्वसाधारण मर्कामा पर्ने गरेका छन् । यसको कार्यान्वयनमा जोड दिनुपर्छ । तर, बजेटले त्यसमा ध्यान दिन सकेन । बीमा व्यवसायमा पनि अन्य उद्योग व्यवसायसरह नै आयकर ३० प्रतिशतबाट घटाई २५ प्रतिशत कायम गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने माग पनि बजेटले सम्बोधन गरेन ।

नेपालको कुल जनसङ्ख्याको ५-६ प्रतिशतमा मात्र बीमा सेवाको पहुँच पुगेको छ । बाँकी ९४-९५ प्रतिशतमा पनि बीमासेवा विस्तार गर्न सकिने प्रशस्त सम्भावना छन् । त्यसैले बीमा कम्पनीहरू र सरकारले यस क्षेत्रको विकास र विस्तारमा ध्यान दिनुपर्छ । यो व्यवसायको सुधारका कदमहरू चाल्नु आवश्यक छ । किनभने बीमा व्यवसाय पनि अर्थतन्त्रको प्रमुख हिस्सा हो । त्यसैले आगामी दिनहरूमा बीमा व्यवसायको समस्यालाई यथोचित रूपमा सम्बोधन गर्नु आवश्यक छ । बीमामा व्यावसायिक वातावरण गराउनेबारे आवश्यक नीतिनियम तर्जुमा गर्नमा उचित ध्यान दिनु आवश्यक छ ।
लेखक नेपाल इन्स्योरेन्स कम्पनी लिमिटेडका कामु नायब महाप्रबन्धक हुन् ।

Admin 2011-07-21

Contractor ready to start work


CHARIKOT: Sinohydro, the Chinese contractor company is set to start the civil structure work at Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Project within a month and a half.

According to project site in-charge Bishnu Thapa, after reaching agreement with the project a few days ago, Sinohydro is set to begin tunnel construction immediately and civil structure construction within one-and-a-half month.

Project authorities were pressing the company as it had delayed work for nearly two months even after the foundation stone was laid. The company has already delayed work by almost ten months citing various problems including customs clearance of imported materials from China, rigorous process for importing explosives from India and road obstruction caused by frequent landslides. As per the past agreement, the company was to initiate work on the tunnel by November last year, road upgradation by February and civil structure work by April.

However, Thapa said the company can still complete the project within the scheduled timeframe. Earlier, the company had to spend nine months just for just customs clearance at Tatopani for machinery and other materials imported from China. Though the project had agreed to charge only one per cent customs charge for construction material imported by the contractor company, the Finance Ministry had insisted on charging customs tax as per the market price of imported materials.

Likewise, Sinohydro is yet to import explosives from Indian even after spending five months for receiving approval from Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and then licence from the Indian government in Delhi.

Govt employees' protest continues


KATHMANDU: Government employees unsatisfied with the recently-announced pay hike continued their protest against the hike today as well.

As the protest entered the fourth day, police rounded up 156 agitated employees from the Finance Ministry premises and about the same number of employees from the southern gate of Singha Durbar. However, the employee organisations behind the protest said police held as many as 400 employees. According to police, all the arrested were freed later.

The staffers have been demanding a salary hike of Rs 5,000 and dearness allowance hike of Rs 3,000 for each employee, regardless of their rank.

They have sought allowance for the employee working in remote areas, housing allowance and health insurance, apart from free education for their children. The protesters decided to boycott the government-enforced dress code, claiming discrimination in dress allowance. “We have decided not to adhere to the code as drivers and office assistants are getting only Rs 5,000,” said Krishna Bhandari, chairman of the Karmachari Milan Kendra. According to Bhandari, the pay hike is unacceptable as a low-ranking employee gets the actual increment of around two thousand rupees, while a high-ranking staffer gets a hike amounting to Rs 7,000.

Journos barred

KATHMANDU: Police personnel deployed at the southern gate of Singha Durbar denied entry to the journalists, assigned to cover the protest, up to 1:30 pm, citing orders from high above. Demanding that they be allowed to get in, the mediapersons staged a sit-in.

Raging Koshi waters threaten havoc


ITAHARI: The highest water flow for this year was recorded in the Koshi River today.

According to Koshi Barrage Water Control division, the water flow was 202,000 cusec per second at 3:15 pm today in the river, the highest for the year.

Shambhu Basnet, SI at Koshi Barrage Police Post said, 28 of the 56 gates were opened after the highest water flow was recorded today. “The water flow has been increasing rapidly as the hilly part of the region has been receiving continuous downpour,” he said.

The water flow was 150,000 cusecs in the river till today morning, but it increased all of a sudden in the afternoon, SI Basnet said.

The water flow was 167,000 cusecs when the flood broke the dam at Pacchhim Kushawaha three years ago. Today’s water flow is 35,000 cusecs more than at that time.

The red light has been switched on at the barrage since 2:00 pm today after the water level increased all of a sudden. The light had been switched off some days ago. Barrage staff turned on the red light after the water flow crossed 150,000 cusecs .

An Indian official said technicians are ready at the spurs in Prakashpur, Rajabas and other places to prevent possible damage.

The local administration informed that it has increased patrolling on the river side keeping in view the danger that the dam couldbreak. Only one-way traffic is allowed on the bridge and vehicles are not allowed to stop on it.

Bank guarantee for bail money comes late, Thakuri sent to jail

KATHMANDU, July 20: The Special Court (SC) on Tuesday sent former Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal´s suspended Security Advisor Ramesh Chand Thakuri, one of the police officers accused in the multi-million rupee Sudan scam, to Dillibazar jail after he failed to deposit bail amount of Rs 70 million as sought by the court.

Thakuri´s relatives tried to deposit the bail amount through a bank guarantee but the court refused to accept the bank guarantee citing inadequate time. It was already 7:15 pm when the court came up with its order.

Following preliminary hearings in the case, the Special Court bench chaired by Gauri Bahadur Karki and member Om Prakash Mishra decided to seek bail from Thakuri. The bench slapped a bail amount in line with the amount of money and gravity of the offence allegedly involving Thakuri.

"Preliminary evidence substantiates that Thakuri endorsed a document to purchase and supply armored personnel carriers (APCs) and other logistics which was initially designed and subsequently floated by his former colleagues," reads the order, adding that available documents show that Thakuri released $700,000 under sixth and seventh instalment to supplier despite suggestions not to do so by DIG Rajendra Singh Bhandari, the then chief of Nepal´s Sudan mission.

The bench noted that Thakuri was informed beforehand by Bhandari about obsolete and sub-standard APCs and also the insecurity Nepali peacekeepers are facing due to lack of APCs and other goods. "Thakuri released payment to contractor despite knowing that APCs were non-functional and Nepali peacekeepers´ insecure situation thereby bypassing the suggestions given by Bhandari," states the order.

The Special Court also stated that Thakuri was informed beforehand after media broke the news about irregularities in the procurement and supply of sub-standard APCs.

"Thakuri has been initially found to have not inquired the contractor about the non-functional APCs and other goods," reads the order, "The court will come up with a final verdict regarding Thakuri´s involvement in the scam. But for now, based on the immediate facts and figures, the bench decides to slap bail against him."

CIAA had filed a case against 34 police officers including Thakuri and two contractors, accusing them of embezzling about Rs 290 million while planning, procuring and paying for APCs and other logistics supplied to Nepali peacekeepers in Darfur, Sudan.

"You also heard the hearings made by my lawyers," Thakuri responded to journalists, adding, "Now you assess yourselves."

Before beginning the hearing in the case, the court had recorded Thakuri´s statement in connection with the scam. Thakuri appeared before the Special Court to defend charges filed against him after the court issued a summons notice.

The statement recording process lasted till 4 pm and than hearing began in the case. It was already 4:30 pm when government lawyers finished their pleadings against Thakuri. Private lawyers demanded to defer the hearing for Wednesday but the bench continued it.

Expressing dissatisfaction over insufficient time fixed by the bench, Senior Advocate Shambhu Thapa refused to plead on behalf of Thakuri. Though six lawyers filed applications, only two lawyers -- Senior Advocate Sunil Panta and advocate Bhimarjun Acharya pleaded on behalf of Thakuri.

Baidya-Bhattarai in new drive to downsize Dahal

KATHMANDU, July 21: Further tightening the screws on Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Maoist Vice-chairmen duo Mohan Baidya and Baburam Bhattarai have initiated a new campaign to save the party from “decadence” and “democratize” it through collective leadership.

At a meeting of the Baidya-Bhattarai alliance at Dhobighat, Lalitpur, all top party office bearers except Secretary Post Bahadur Bogati and Chairman Dahal himself signed a commitment paper to force Dahal to share the centralized leadership with other leaders of the party.

With the signing of the document by Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha, the power balance in the party has been turned upside down, with a clear majority in the Central Committee (CC) now in favor of the alliance.

Interestingly, Nara Bahadur Karmacharya, one of the founders of the Community Party of Nepal in 1949, also signed the document, saying he was “sad” at the way the party was being run but “excited” by the campaign for its “purification”.

After the three vice-chairmen signed the paper, it was passed on to General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, and then to Karmacharya. After that Sashi Serchan, who led the party unity campaign, and Nawaraj Subedi, representing his faction, signed the paper.

Party leaders say the new development will create ripples inside and outside the party, sending out the message that the party must be transformed and break from the current “stagnation”.

“This campaign is not against anyone; it is just meant to improve the ways of the chairman. The campaign has been launched and we won´t stop without accomplishing our mission,” said Sashi Serchan.

The commitment paper states that the party must undergo transformation to save its "sanctity” and keep party unity intact amidst growing factionalism. Concluding that the main reason behind the party´s “decadence” is “bureaucratic centralism in the party run by the chairman”, the top office bearers have demanded that the party adopt collective leadership in deed and practice “democratic centralism.”

The party has also stated that the internal contradictions and “two-line struggle” should be managed in a wholesome manner. The alliance also talks about “rational” power sharing in the party with Bhattarai as the leader in parliament, Thapa as military in-charge and Baidya as chief of the party´s organizational department.

Another point the paper talks about is the violation of the party´s decision to adopt inclusiveness and proportionality while making appointments to various bodies and in the government.

“The chairman had been running the party with deception. With the signatures of 90 CC members in favor of the alliance, there is no other option for the chairman than to improve himself and his ways,” said Haribhakta Kandel from the Baidya faction.

Immediately after signing the commitment paper, the alliance leaders are scheduled to present the document at the meeting of top party office bearers. “If the chairman accepts the document, the commitment will belong to the whole party. Otherwise, it would just be our campaign to downsize him and purify the party,” said a senior party leader.

Wife paid for the jal-break: Report

SURKHET, July 21: An investigation report on Surkhet jail-break incident in which two inmates had escaped last week through a hole made for the purpose in the jail´s boundary wall has blamed the wife of Bijay Bikram Shah, one of the two prisoners who escaped from the jail, to have paid Rs 50,000 to an outsider to break the compound wall so that her husband can escape from the jail.

Probe committee headed by Assistant Chief District Officer Hari Pyakurel in its report says Manisha, the wife of Bijay Bikram Shah, paid the money to an outsider by mortgaging her gold rings at a local jewellery shop.

She was asked to provide the money to him by Shah when they met a few days ago. Manisha has been arrested by police.

The outsider had visited Surkhet prison in the guise of a carpenter five days before the jail-break. He is believed to have inspected the place to find the right spot for the hole during that visit, states the report.

He had carried a bamboo ladder for Shah to cross over a new security wall. Shah, who was remanded on abduction charges, had escaped the jail along with Punna Bahadur Shahi, a rape convict, on July 12.

Meanwhile, on the basis of the findings of the report, Surkhet jail administration has filed cases against 11 persons, including police, watchman and Shah´s relatives, at the District Court of Surkhet.

The committee has also recommended that departmental action be taking against the jailer and 15 other policemen who were on duty at the time of the jail-break.

Ministers spent Rs 5.1m on 'meaningless' trips

KATHMANDU, July 21: Cabinet ministers of the present coalition government have spent Rs 5.1 million in four months from state coffers for domestic trips made mostly with personal and political objectives.

Records at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) show that the cabinet ministers spent Rs 5.1 million over the period starting in April, mostly for ´meaningless´ purposes.

The records show what types of trips our ministers are making and claiming reimbursement for from state coffers. Ministerial domestic trips include those undertaken for inauguration of temples, workshops and trainings, attending programs organized by party wings and district chapters, inauguration of newly constructed buildings, inspection of district offices and attending festivals.

"Most of the ministers have breached the code of conduct concerning trips issued by the PMO," a source told Republica, adding, "Ministers visit various districts for political reasons but claim reimbursement from state coffers, in gross violation of the code of conduct."

According to figures available, Irrigation Minister Raghubir Mahaseth has outdone all the other ministers in making reckless trips and subsequently claiming reimbursement. Mahaseth visited various districts four times in April, five times in May, four times again in June and five times in July.

"We cannot reject bills submitted by ministers in spite of knowing that they went to the districts for reasons of party politics and not on government work," the source said, "They sometime make an inspection of some projects just to be able to mention a reason for the trip whiling claiming reimbursement."

After Mahaseth, Peace and Reconstruction Minister Bishowanath Sah, Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Bhanubhakta Joshi, Land Reform and Management Minister Ramcharan Chaudhari, Land Reform and Management State Minister Hakikullaha Khan and Forest and Soil Conservation State Minister Bhagawati Chaudhari lead the pack in making such trips out of political and personal objectives.

Peace Minister Sah, Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Joshi, Land Reform and Management State Minister Khan and Forest and Soil Conservation State Minister Chaudhari made more domestic trips in April than all the other ministers.

Irrigation Minister Mahaseth, Forest Minister Joshi, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikary, Physical Planning and Works Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, Local Development Minister Urmila Aryal, Land Reform and Management State Minister Khan and Energy State Minister Ramji Sharma are in the list of those making the maximum number of trips in May for petty programs and claiming huge expenses.

Similarly, Forest Minister Joshi, Irrigation Minister Mahaseth and Forest State Minister Chaudhari made the maximum numbers of domestic trips in June.

According to records, Irrigation Minister Mahaseth, Forest Minister Joshi and Physical Planning and Works Minister Rayamajhi made the most trips in July.

At the special initiative of Chief Secretary Madhav Ghimire and Secretary Leelamani Paudyal when the latter was at the PMO, the PMO had circulated a directive to all ministers, asking them to furnish evidence of their domestic trips to claim reimbursement of expenses. As per that directive, ministers are required to show evidence including information on where, when and why they made trips within the country.

The PMO had also warned ministers that expenses won´t be reimbursed if visits are found to have been made with personal or political objectives.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Teenage abortions on the rise

KATHMANDU, July 18: The number of teenagers undergoing abortions after the government legalized it had been on the rise, according to the government and Sunaulo Pariwar Nepal (SPN), a non-governmental organization (NGO) which conducts more than 80 percent of abortions.

According to a data provided by the management section of the Department of Health Services 51,415 abortions were carried out in 2007-08, and 83,978 in 2008-09. Of the total 88,938 abortions in 2009/10, 23 percent of those seeking abortions were teenagers.

SPN, which provides a wide range of services on sexual and reproductive health, said more than 18,000 teenagers carried out abortions from its Marie Stopes clinics last year. There are fifty-five Marie Stopes clinics in 42 districts operated by SPN.

“Twenty-three percent abortions were carried out on youngsters aged 15 to 19,” said Pravin Shakya, a representative of SPN.

He also revealed that 30 to 50 percent of women who underwent abortions from SPN´s urban clinics were below 24 years. Thirty-seven percent of them were aged 20 to 24.

Doctors said that the figures were extremely worrying particularly because abortion could have adverse affects on the youngsters.

According to Shakya, 52 percent women among the total clients did not have proper knowledge on abortion.

However, a mini survey conducted in capital on 2010 reveals 22 percent of women who terminated their fetus from the SPN´s Marie Stopes centers have completed their bachelor degree.

Likewise 42 percent have completed + 2 and 30 percent were SLC graduates.

Similarly, 20 percent women had terminated their fetus before giving birth to their first child.

Similarly, 18 percent women said they have a child and do not need second. Thirty-three percent women who underwent abortions had two children. Fifteen percent had three children.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ADB, Swiss Re Sign Agreement to Boost Trade in Asia

Date 6 Jul 2011
Subjects Industry and trade

SINGAPORE – As part of an innovative agreement to boost exports and imports in developing Asia, re/insurance giant Swiss Re will insure $250 million of trade finance conducted via the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Trade Finance Program.

The move marks the first time that the Swiss Re Group, through its commercial insurance unit Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, has provided insurance via a trade program run by a multilateral development bank and also the first time ADB’s Trade Finance Program has offset risk with a private insurance company.

Asia’s economy is growing rapidly, but that is largely due to the exporting prowess of a handful of countries led by the People’s Republic of China, along with a few others such as the Republic of Korea and Singapore. Many other Asian nations, by contrast, find it difficult to export or import key goods because they struggle to get the trade finance they need from international and local banks.

To fill that gap, the ADB’s Trade Finance Program provides guarantees and loans to banks to enable them to provide trade finance, particularly in so-called frontier economies. In 2010, the program supported 783 trade transactions worth $2.8 billion, with banks in Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal the five most active users. Demand in the first quarter of 2011 grew at just over 50% year-over-year across Asia.

The agreement with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions will allow ADB to provide even more trade finance support to the countries that need it most. Transactions under the Trade Finance Program tend to be short term – usually less than 180 days – so financing can be rolled over. As such, the additional $250 million in capacity through the arrangement with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions could result in around $500 million in additional trade finance support per year for developing Asia.

“ADB's program has been remarkably successful in bridging market gaps currently constraining the financing of trade within some of our member countries. By partnering with the Bank Trade and Infrastructure Finance unit of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, we ensure that ADB remains responsive to the needs of developing Asia. More trade means jobs, higher incomes and lower poverty," said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

A pioneering study released late last year by the Triple-A rated ADB and the International Chamber of Commerce provided data showing the low-risk nature of trade finance. The survey of nine banks active in trade finance showed defaults of only 0.02% of 5.2 million transactions worth $2.5 trillion conducted in the past five years. ADB’s Trade Finance Program has never suffered a default.

"We are delighted about this first transaction with ADB," said Ivo Menzinger, Managing Director of Global Partnerships for Swiss Re. "ADB is a key partner for us in bringing financing solutions to support economic development in Asia across a broad spectrum of risks. With the expertise of our trade credit specialists at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, we can provide an alternative source of capital to banks, governments and international financial institutions beyond traditional risk mitigation strategies. This deal demonstrates our commitment to provide innovative solutions and capital support in emerging markets through partners such as the ADB."

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members -- 48 from the region. In 2010, ADB approvals, including co-financing, totaled $17.51 billion. In addition, ADB's ongoing Trade Finance Program supported $2.8 billion in trade.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers innovative, high-quality insurance capacity for single and multi-line programmes worldwide. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions offers its capacity on a stand-alone basis or as part of structured and tailor-made solutions. In addition, it provides customised risk transfer solutions to large, multinational corporations across the globe to assist in mitigating their risk exposure. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions serves more than 50,000 customers across a network of 38 offices worldwide and is backed by the financial strength of the Swiss Re Group, a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer. For more information about Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, please visit

For more information, please contact:


Ramoncito dela Cruz
Senior External Relations Officer
Tel: +63 917 891 7644

Swiss Re:

Barbara Yeung
Vice President, Communications
Direct: +852 2582 5635

Seven CA firms face ICAN wrath

KATHMANDU, July 11: Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) - the umbrella organization of chartered accountants (CAs) -- has taken action against seven chartered accountant firms on the charge of flouting auditing standards while auditing financial statements of big saving and credit cooperatives (SCCs) in the capital.

The Department of Cooperatives (DoC) - the cooperatives regulator - about a year ago had registered complaints at the ICAN, seeking action against eight CA firms for preparing positive financial reports of 10 big SCCs that were later found violating cooperatives norms and standards.

“We have warned the concerned CA firms as per the recommendation of our disciplinary committee and directed them to stick to auditing standards now onwards,” a source at ICAN - a quasi-judicial body -- told Republica on Sunday.

DoC had filed complaint against the eight CA firms for going against the norms and spirit of the 48-point standard issued for auditing financial statements of cooperatives.

ICAN issued warning to Suresh Khakurel of Khakurel & Company, Mahesworendra Bahadur Shrestha of MB Shrestha & Company, Saroj Guragain of S Guragain & Company, Raj Kumar Rai of RK Rai & Company, Pyushananda of P Ananda & Company, Rajesh Prasad Giri of Rajesh & Company and Pramod Kumar Swarnakar of Dewakivijaya & Company. It, however, did not take any action against Durga Narayan Shrestha, a Class ´B´ auditor.

These accountancy firms had audited the accounts of Guna Saving and Credit Cooperatives, Oriental Saving and Credit Cooperatives, Nawa Kantipur Saving and Credit Cooperatives, Gorkha Saving and Credit Cooperatives, Kantipur Saving and Credit Cooperatives, Lali Gurans Saving and Credit Cooperatives, Sumeru Saving and Credit Cooperatives and Milan Multipurpose Saving and Credit Cooperatives.

Sources said the accountancy firms had prepared positive financial statements, including credit flow and credit system, of the aforesaid cooperatives, veiling their weaknesses.

A government study conducted last year had also found big cooperatives, including those audited by the aforesaid CA firms, violating the cooperative standards.

The study had found that SCCs were not maintaining transparency in financial transaction. It had also found that most of the SCCs were controlled by family members, which is against the Cooperatives Act. Those SCCs were also found conducting huge transactions like commercial banks and issuing loans only to their members.

Some of them were also found to have transferred the collateral against loans to the accounts of directors, going against the Act that requires them deposit collaterals in the lending institutions´ accounts.

Similarly, the study had also found that the SCCs were issuing loans without provisioning risk against loan, not following specific criteria for issuing loan and lacking proper portfolio management. They were also failing to conduct annual general meetings on time.

The DoC has prepared a Standard for Registration, Operation, Auditing, Monitoring and Regulation of Cooperatives 2011 to end growing anomalies in SCCs.

KUKL to supply water twice a week

KATHMANDU, July 13: A good rain so far this year has brought some relief to the inhabitants of the capital as Kathmandu Upateka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) has announced that it would supply water twice a week to consumers taps. KUKL, the sole distributor of drinking water in the capital, said that the new routine will come into effect from July 14.

People of the capital are getting water once a week till now. In some areas, KUKL releases water once every six days.

“The new schedule will last up to 6 months with water flowing out of the tap for two hours twice a week,” spokesperson of KUKL Suresh Prasad Acharya said. He said the new arrangement is a great relief to the people who are facing scarcity of water for a long time. But the people who consume water from KUKL´s Balaju treatment plant will get water only once four days.

“The consumer of the Mahankalchaur and Basbari treatment plants will get water once every three days,” he added.

KUKL said the water production has increased by 40 million liters per day. In the dry season, the production is just 90 million liters a day. KUKL said per day demand of the water in the capital is 320 million liters.

Bhattarai, Baidya chart out joint strategy

KATHMNADU, July 13: Tightening the screws on Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the two factions led by Vice-chairmen Mohan Baidya and Dr Baburam Bhattarai have stepped up a strategy to force Chairman Dahal into a power-sharing deal in the party.

On Tuesday, a day before the crucial Central Committee (CC) meeting the CC members from the Baidya-Bhattarai alliance held a meeting at Dhobighat, Lalitpur, and vowed to "democratize the party and end the chairman´s monopoly."

Following active lobbying throughout the day, Baidya and Bhattarai groups now claim that they are close to garnering a majority in the CC.

Baidya, Bhattarari and General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa were present during the meeting. According to sources, of the total 147 members in the CC, 65 signed a paper supporting the alliance whole-heartedly.

Leaders claimed that five other CC members have given their word to support the initiatives. "This shows we are close to garnering a majority in the CC," said a leader close to Baidya. Sources say the CC members led by Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha have also verbally agreed to back the alliance, but it is not yet sure which side they would ultimately take.

The meeting was largely reconciliatory where the top leaders conceded their mistakes and vowed to join hands to "democratize" the party.

"There have even been attempts inside the party to divide us by accusing that I am a reformist and Kiranji [Baidya] is against peace and constitution. Basically both of us are not against peace and revolt," a leader who participated in the meeting quoted Bhattarai as saying. According to the leader, Bhattarai stated that the whole party should try to "transform" Dahal from his current status. If the division of work is not carried out correctly, we won´t be able to reach the party´s goals," the leader quoted Bhattarai as saying.

Similarly Baidya stated that his group revolted against the "monopoly" of communist leader Mohan Bikram Singh and formed a new party, and added that the same tendency has been repeated now.

"While we communists are supposed to move ahead on the philosophic basis of materialism, the party is being run monolithically," a participant quoted Baidya as saying. He had argued that the attempt to hold the party in his grip by the chairman has deepened the crisis in the party.

Thapa was more aggressive than Baidya and Bhattarai. "The way the party is being run will take us nowhere. This must be stopped," a leader quoted Thapa as saying.

He argued that the party needs to repeat another Chunwang meeting, held in 2005 where the leaders conceded their mistakes openly and resolved most of the intra-party contradictions.

The leaders however argued that they don´t mean to remove Dahal from the post of chairman, but want to bring him into the democratic fold.

Another leader Shashi Sherchan, who joined the party from CPN (Unity Center-Masal) stated that the party is going along the path of the bourgeois. "We must transform the party and operate it through collective leadership," a leader quoted Sherchan as saying.

After the meeting, Bhattarai went to the residence of Vice-chairman Shrestha´s residence at Jhamsikhel and asked for his support for the alliance.

Dahal is scheduled to present a political document at the CC meeting, but the alliance has planned to block the decisions on the document arguing that the issue of power-sharing should be settled first.

Dahal rejects power-sharing

Dahal held separate meetings with Baidya, Bhattarai, Shrestha and Thapa. Besides, a group of leaders led by Amik Serchan and Sashi Sherchan also met with Dahal.

In his meeting with the party leaders, Dahal stated that he would not agree to power sharing at this juncture as doing so would send a negative message inside and outside the country.

Dahal expressed such views during his meeting with the group led by Amik Sherchan.

"I am ready to settle the issues of power sharing, but changing the parliamentary party leader and military chief would send a negative message outside," a leader quoted Dahal as saying.

Dahal stated that he would table an action plan for the peace process. "I will table a concrete plan on peace and constitution; the task of categorizing the combatants should be done immediately. I will do it even if there is no one to support me," a leader quoted Dahal.

However in another meeting with the group led by Vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha in the evening, Dahal stated that he needs another one and a half months to settle the issues. He stated that he needs time as he is busy coordinating the subcommittee of the CA´s Constitutional Committee, and needs to prepare a draft constitution by August 14 as per the five-point deal. He stated that the issue should be settled in two phases. "Now we can set the deadline for resolving the issues and then we can begin serious work on them," Central Committee member Prakash Pokharel quoted Dahal as saying.

Siganure drive against chairman


KATHMANDU: Two factions led by Vice-chairmen duo Mohan Baidhya and Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday held a 'secret' gathering at Siddhartha Cottage in Lalitpur and launched a signature campaign. Later, another meeting was held at Bhattarai's Sanepa-based residence and after that Bhattarai went to Jhamsikhel-based residence of Narayan Kaji Shrestha to convince him to support them. However, standing committee member Barshaman Pun claimed that the two factions were able to garner only 61 signatures, which in 147-strong Central Committee will not prove the majority. According to Pun, Shrestha, Amik Sherchan and Dinanath Sharma were against the signature campaign when the meetings were going on. However, CC member Maheshwor Dahal claimed that if Thapa stood by Baidhya-Bhattarai tie-up, they will have a clear majority in CC but added that they were not for changing the party leadership. They are for ensuring appropriate work division, which is currently concentrated in the chairman, said Maheshwor.

New bill to end NOC monopoly

KATHMANDU, July 6: Amid deepening fuel scarcity, the government has renewed its push to liberalize petroleum sector and finalized the Petroleum Products and LP Gas Bill that envisages ending over three decades old state monopoly in the sector.

The new bill broadly categorizes petroleum business into three groups -- refinery business, finished oil imports and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) import and marketing -- and welcomes private sector into the business.

Interestingly, it has specified a hefty paid-up capital requirement for the aspirant players though. Private players aspiring to import crude and operate refinery will need to invest paid-up capital of Rs 20 billion, the bill says.

Those eyeing to import and trade refined products will need paid-up capital of Rs 10 billion, while LPG importers and bottlers also will need to have paid-up capital of Rs 3 billion.

This means the government will need to raise the paid-up capital of Nepal Oil Corporation -- the state-owned monopolist -- to Rs 10 billion, if the bill is endorsed by parliament. Its paid-up capital presently stands at Rs 96.7 million. Existing gas bottlers to will need to adjust their capital requirement accordingly.

“The huge capital requirement has been provisioned just to make sure that only competent and quality players jump into the business. If private players teamed up with foreign investors with technical know-how, it will be even better,” said a member of the bill drafting committee.

Given the volume of oil business, which is estimated to cross over Rs 100 billion in the next five years, the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) reckons that Nepal can effectively sustain only two private players, apart from NOC.

“Loose paid-up capital requirement, on the other hand, could open gate for a large number of unscrupulous traders. This has hurt the industry as well as consumers dearly,” said the source.

The bill also envisages ending regulatory function of NOC and moots establishment of a seven-member Nepal Petroleum Authority (NPA) to monitor and regulate the sector.

“The government will appoint the chairman and four members, including two technical members, on the recommendations of a recommendation committee to be headed by the Chief Secretary,” reads the bill.

Joint-secretaries of the Ministry of Law and Justice and MoCS, meanwhile, will be ex-officio members, while executive director will function as its member-secretary.

The authority has been entrusted with the responsibility of defining specification of petroleum products and LPG; setting quality standard; monitoring the operations of companies; formulating and enforcing policy, plans and programs; devising pricing mechanism; ensuring competition; setting up norms and regulations for petroleum and LPG retailers, and protecting interest of general consumers.

While ensuring smooth supply of fuel too has been included in its responsibility, the bill also categorically bans strike and other activities that obstruct import and distribution of petroleum products and LPG in the country. In case of defiance, it provisions up to Rs 500,000 in fine and jail term of three years. It also specifies up to six months jail term for players supplying substandard fuel or creating artificial shortage in the market.

Apart from other stringent punishment for wrongdoers, the bill also empowers the authority to instantly scrap operating licenses of the companies that are found engaging in anti-competitive practices and flouting the bill´s provisions.

Despite all efforts, the draft committee, however, has failed to incorporate a clear provision on deregulation of prices in the new bill. Instead, it says the government will form a commission to review the domestic prices of petroleum products and LPG at appropriate times.

“And the commission can set prices considering the demand of consumers,” reads the bill, indicating that the government is still reluctant to open the prices.

As state-regulated prices, which has been inflicting huge loss to NOC, has remained one big obstacle to petroleum sector liberalization, officials doubt the bill will actually help the sector attract private sector investment with such a loose pricing provision.

I'm ready to lead govt: Deuba

KATHMANDU, July 11: Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said formation of a consensus government under Congress leadership is the need of the hour.

Addressing a tree plantation programme organised by Hamro Mitra Yuva Samuha at Anandakuti in Swoyambhu on Monday, Deuba said NC’s leadership was essential to ensure peace and constitution.

Stressing that the Prime Minister should resign to pave the way for a national consensus government, Debua said he was ready to lead a national consensus government.

In another context, he said parties were working to bring in the first draft of the new constitution within the extended period of the Constituent Assembly.

Saying that economic, social and political transformation won’t be possible without political consensus, he urged the parties to be serious in this regard.

Govt to bring Rs 384.90b budget

KATHMANDU, July 13: The government will unveil an ambitious budget of about Rs 384.90 billion for fiscal year 2011/12 that will see a sharp rise in the recurrent expenditure fuelled mainly by a hefty 24.81 percent pay-rise of civil servants.

The proposed salary-hike that has escalated the recurrent expenditure to Rs 210 billion, a 10 percent rise over this year´s allocation, is being announced after deferring it for two years.

Likewise, the government is earmarking Rs 148 billion for capital budget, meaning the government will allocating Rs 19 billion more for financing development works than it was available in the current year. It has also set aside Rs 26 billion for repayment of loans that are maturing in the new fiscal year.

For financing the expenditure, the government is aiming to mobilize revenue worth Rs 247 billion, which is 14 percent more than the target set for the current year. However, given the fact that the Ministry of Finance is estimating actual collections to be around Rs 206 billion, which is short of target by Rs 10 billion, the revenue target set for the new fiscal year is well above 20 percent, said a source.

It is also aiming to mobilize around Rs 75 billion in foreign grants -- higher than this year´s target of Rs 65.34 billion. Officials say the target is ambitious as Nepal has failed to realize grants as targeted this year. Despite all these ambitious targets, the budget deficit, after foreign grant, for 2011/12 will jump to Rs 63 billion.

To bridge this gap, the government is eyeing to mobilize over Rs 28 billion in foreign loans while it plans to collect Rs 35 billion in domestic borrowings.

Property Disclosure

The new budget will seek all Nepali citizens to disclose their property voluntarily. But since the government is not confident that people would comply with the provision easily, the new budget will also announce an enactment of a new Property and Disclosure Law so that such disclosures can be made mandatory in the future.

"The long-term goal of the policy is clear; to maintain records of healthy money so that illicit earning and black money could be traced and anti-money laundering law could be enforced effectively," said the source.

The program fundamentally aims at strictly enforcing property tax and also put in place a mechanism that will tap ´high net worth individuals´, people with considerable investment potentials.

Export Promotion

The government will continue with the program of cash incentives that it promised to the third country exporters. It is also extending the facility to exports to India in a bid to boost country´s ailing exports, which have exacerbated trade deficit. "However, the facility will be extended for export transactions through letter of credit only," said the source.

"Exporters dealing through demand draft or telegraphic transfers will not get the incentive," stressed another source.

The government has promised 2 to 4 percent cash refund to the exporters bringing in exports earning in convertible currency.

Salary to go up by 25pc

It´s time to rejoice for government employees as the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has decided to raise their salary in a range of 20 to 25 percent, as recommended by a committee led by the Chief Secretary.

As is obvious, the lower level staff will enjoy a raise of 25 percent while senior officials will get the raise of around 20 percent. The government will adjust the existing dearness allowance of Rs 1,200 into the increased salary.

"With the change, total salary bill for government staff will go up by 24.81 percent, creating an additional salary bill burden of Rs 17 billion," said an MOF official.

Currently, the government spends Rs 70 billion in salary of civil servants, army, police, teachers and public health workers. In the new fiscal year, it will spend Rs 87.36 billion under the heading.

The technical team working out the raise had tried to limit the raise at around 15 percent, citing resource constraints and long-term liability. But its members eventually gave way after Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari chided them for their resistance and asked them to do as he says.

The ministry was under severe pressure to adjust salaries mainly because it had deferred the adjustments for the last two years. During this period, the country witnessed back-to-back double digit inflation, resulting in a sharp rise in the cost of living.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Copter force lands in Kalikot

SURKHET, July 6: A Fishtail Air helicopter en route to Nepalgunj from Mugu force landed at Rangeli of Kalikot

The aircraft, 9N AWI, force landed at 1:30 p.m. after technical problems. Although the tail part of the helicopter is damaged, the crew and four passengers were not injured.

According to journalist Nagendra Bista, who reached the venue, two crew members and four passengers, including two foreigners, are fine.

“The crew and passengers sustained only minor injuries,” Chief District Office Durga Dutta Dhakal said.

District Police Office dispatched a 45-member team and Nepal Army dispatched a 15-member rescue team to Rangeli, an hour on foot from Mamn, the headquarters of Kalikot.

Tourist arrivals on decline

Tourist arrival registered highest in the month of March‚ Bista said‚ adding that only 58 tourists came in February.

KANCHANPUR: The number of tourists entering Nepal via Gaddachauki checkpoint is decreasing.

Gaddachauki office chief Ran Bahadur Bista said 823 tourists entered Nepal between January and July, a decline from around 1,000 in the same period last year.

They said about 800 tourists entered India via this border point in the same period. The border office has collected revenue worth Rs 3.2 million from tourists this year.

Tourist arrival registered highest in the month of March, Bista said, adding that only 58 tourists came in February.

Tourists mainly from the US, Britain, Denmark, Germany and Russia enter Nepal through this border point to visit Kathmandu and Pokhara, Bista added.

Fishtail chopper crash lands on Karnali river bank

KATHMANDU: A Fishtail Air helicopter en route from Gamgadi of Mugu to Nepalgunj made an emergency landing at the bank of Karnali River on Wednesday afternoon at around 2.

According to Suman Pandey, CEO of Fishtail Air the pilot made a safe landing on the bank of Karnali after detecting a problem with the engine.

There were altogether six persons on board including the pilot, two Nepali citizens and three tourists.

All those on board the chopper were safe, added Pandey.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

बीमा प्रवर्द्धकलाई दोस्रो बजारबाट शेयर किन्न रोक

मधुकर दहाल
असार १३, काठमाडौं । बीमा कम्पनीका प्रवर्द्धकहरूले अबदेखि दोस्रो बजारबाट आफ्नै कम्पनीको शेयर खरीद गर्न नपाउने भएका छन् । नियामक निकाय बीमा समितिले सबै जीवन तथा निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीहरूलाई यस्तो निर्देशन दिँदै परिपत्र जारी गरेको छ । 'अघिल्लो साता बसेको बीमा समितिको बोर्ड बैठकले गरेको निर्णयमोजिम बीमा कम्पनीहरूलाई गत शुक्रवार निर्देशन दिइएको हो,' समितिका प्रवक्ता शेखरकुमार अर्यालले भने ।

'बीमा कम्पनी पब्लिक लिमिटेड हुन् । तर, प्रवर्द्धकले दोस्रो बजारबाट शेयर खरीद गर्दै लगेपछि विस्तारै यो प्राइभेट लिमिटेडकै हैसियतमा जान्छ,' उनले भने, 'यो सर्वसाधारणको हितविपरीत भएकाले यसो नहोस् भन्नका लागि समितिले पछिल्लो कदम उठाएको हो ।' बीमा ऐन २०४९ अनुसार, बीमा व्यवसाय गर्ने कम्पनी अनिवार्य रूपमा पब्लिक लिमिटेड हुनुपर्ने छ ।

धितोपत्र कारोबारसम्बन्धी निर्देशिकाले प्रवर्द्धकलाई दोस्रो बजारबाट आफ्नो कम्पनीको शेयर खरीदमा रोक लगाएको छैन । तर, सो निर्देशिकाले सम्बन्धित कम्पनीका शेयर 'विक्री नभएको अवस्थामा' मात्र प्रवर्द्धकले दोस्रो बजारबाट खरीद गर्न पाउने व्यवस्था गरेको छ । यसो हुँदाहुँदै संस्थापकले सर्वसाधारणका तर्फबाट पनि चुनावमा उठी बोर्डमा प्रतिनिधित्व गर्न वा प्रभाव बढाउन दोस्रो बजारबाट शेयर किन्ने गरेको बीमा समितिको ठहर छ । यसलाई निरुत्साहित गर्न प्रवर्द्धकलाई दोस्रो बजारबाट आफ्नै कम्पनीको शेयर किन्न रोक लगाउन लागिएको अर्यालले बताए ।

समितिले हाललाई प्रवर्द्धकको आफ्नै नाममा दोस्रो बजारबाट किनिएका सम्बन्धित बीमा कम्पनीका शेयरको मात्र विवरण मागेको छ । तर, प्रवर्द्धकका परिवारका अन्य सदस्यको नाममा रहेका यस्ता शेयरको विवरण पनि माग्ने सम्भावना रहेको समितिस्रोतले बतायो ।

समितिले बीमा कम्पनीहरूलाई अन्य दुई निर्देशनसमेत दिएको छ । यसअनुसार, कम्पनीका प्रवर्द्धकहरूले दोस्रो बजारबाट खरीद गरेका आफ्नै कम्पनीका सम्पूर्ण शेयरको विवरण १५ दिनभित्र समितिलाई बुझाउनु पर्नेछ । त्यस्तै, एक समूहका शेयरधनीलाई अर्को समूहमा प्रतिनिधित्व नगर्न पनि समितिको निर्देशन छ । यो निर्देशनपछि बीमा कम्पनीमा प्रवर्द्धक शेयर भएकाले सर्वसाधारणका तर्फबाट सञ्चालक समितिमा प्रतिनिधित्व गर्न पाउने छैनन् ।

Admin 2011-06-28

तीन बीमा कम्पनी मर्जरमा

रमेश कुमार
असार १६, काठमाडौं । निर्जीवन बीमा गर्ने तीन कम्पनी मर्ज हुने (गाभिने) भएका छन् । शिखर इन्स्योरेन्स, युनाइटेड इन्स्योरेन्स र प्रुडेन्सियल इन्स्योरेन्सले एकआपसमा गाभिने सैद्धान्तिक सहमति गरेका छन् । 'आपसमा गाभिएर बलियो संस्था बन्ने विषयमा सैद्धान्तिक सहमति भएको छ,' युनाइटेड इन्स्योरेन्सका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत कृष्णप्रसाद आचार्यले भने ।

मर्जरको तयारीमा रहेको युनाइटेड इन्स्योरेन्समा चौधरी, र्एनई समूह लगायतको लगानी छ । शिखर यति समूह, बुद्ध एयर, एमएस ग्रूपलगायतद्वारा प्रवर्द्धित छ । त्यस्तै, पु्रडेन्सियलमा त्रिवेणी, विशाललगायतका समूहको लगानी छ ।

आन्तरिक छलफलबाट गाभिने टुङ्गो लागेका तीनओटै कम्पनीले यसका लागि गृहकार्य अघि बढाएका छन् । यसमध्ये शिखर इन्स्योरेन्सले सञ्चालक समितिबाट नै गाभिने प्रस्ताव पारित गरिसकेको स्रोतले बताएको छ । युनाइटेड र प्रुडेन्सियल भने छिट्टै सञ्चालक समितिबाट यस्तो प्रस्ताव पारित गराउने तयारीमा छन् । गाभिने विषयमा तीनै इन्स्योरेन्स कम्पनीले नियामक निकाय बीमा समितिलाई अनौपचारिक जानकारी गराइसकेका छन् ।

'उनीहरू गाभिनेबारे हामीलाई अनौपचारिक जानकारी आएको छ,' बीमा समितिका कानून महाशाखा प्रमुख तथा प्रवक्ता शेखरकुमार अर्यालले अभियानलाई भने, 'तर गाभिने स्वीकृति मागेर औपचारिक आवेदन आएको छैन ।' तीनओटै कम्पनीबाट औपचारिक आवेदन आएपछि सैद्धान्तिक स्वीकृति दिने प्रचलन रहेको अर्यालले बताए । 'तर, बीमा कम्पनी गाभिने प्रक्रियाबारे अहिलेसम्म स्पष्ट कानूनी व्यवस्था छैन,' अर्यालले भने, 'त्यही कारणले गाभिने प्रक्रिया भने रोकिँदैन ।' प्रस्तावित नयाँ बीमा विधेयकमा भने यसबारे व्यवस्था गरिएको अर्यालले बताए । सो विधेयकमाथि अहिले अर्थ मन्त्रालयमा छलफल भइरहेको र त्यो जारी हुन समय लाग्ने देखिएकाले समितिले मर्जरसम्बन्धी निर्देशिका जारी गर्ने तयारी गरेको छ । 'तत्काल कुनै बीमा कम्पनीहरूबाट गाभिने प्रस्ताव आएमा बाधा फुकाउन निर्देशिका जारी गर्ने योजना छ,' उनले भने ।

तीनै कम्पनीले असार मसान्तपछि मर्जर प्रक्रियालाई अघि बढाउने प्रस्ताव गरेको शिखर इन्स्योरेन्सका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत दीपप्रकाश पाण्डे बताउँछन् । 'यो आर्थिक वर्षको हिसाबकिताब मिलान गरेपछि प्रक्रिया दु्रत गतिमा अघि बढ्छ,' उनले भने । बलियो संस्था बन्नकै लागि यी तीन कम्पनी गाभिन लागेको उनको भनाइ थियो । शिखरले यसअघि पनि सगरमाथा र प्रिमियमले मर्जरको तयारी गरे पनि त्यो सफल भएको थिएन ।

'अहिले बीमाक्षेत्रमा पनि मर्जरको आवश्यकता छ,' बीमक सङ्घका पूर्वअध्यक्षसमेत रहेका पाण्डेले भने, 'धेरै होइन, थोरै तर राम्रा कम्पनी भए बजार स्वस्थ ढङ्गबाट चल्छ ।' पाण्डेले हाल कतिपय बीमा कम्पनीलाई लगानीअनुसारको प्रतिफल पाउन गाह्रो पर्दै गएको जानकारी दिए । 'बजारबाट उठाएको प्रिमियमले पूँजीअनुसारको प्रतिफल आउन पनि गाह्रो परेको छ,' उनले भने, 'अस्वस्थ प्रतिस्पर्धा र दक्ष जनशक्तिको पनि अभाव छ ।' पूँजी वृद्धि गर्नुपर्ने स्थिति सृजना हुँदै गएकाले पनि मर्जर प्राथमिकतामा परेको समितिका प्रवक्ता अर्याल बताउँछन् ।

समितिले जीवन, निर्जीवन र पुनर्बीमा सबै कम्पनीको चुक्ता पूँजी वृद्धि गर्ने तयारी गरेको छ । प्रस्तावित विधेयकमा जीवन बीमा कम्पनीको रू. २ अर्ब र निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीको रू. १ अर्ब चुक्ता पूँजी पुर्याउन प्रस्ताव गरिएको छ । हाल जीवन बीमा कम्पनीको रू. २५ करोड र निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीको रू. १० करोड चुक्ता पूँजी हुनुपर्ने व्यवस्था छ । ठूलो परिमाणमा चुक्ता पूँजी वृद्धि गर्नुपरे थप लगानीका लागि मर्जरको विकल्प नहुने अर्याल बताउँछन् । 'सबैसँग त्यो परिमाणमा लगानी गर्न क्षमता हुँदैन,' अर्यालले भने । समितिले प्रस्तावित ऐन आउन समय लागे निर्देशिकामार्फत नै चुक्ता पूँजी वृद्धिका लागि तयारी गरिरहेको उनले बताए । हाल देशमा १६ निर्जीवन तथा आठ जीवन बीमा कम्पनी सञ्चालनमा छन् । सरकारी स्वामित्वको राष्ट्रिय बीमा संस्थानले दुवै सेवा प्रदान गर्छ ।

Admin 2011-07-01

Miss Nepal USA 2011 to be held

KATHMANDU, June 29: An event of glamour and glory, Miss Nepal USA 2011 is being held on August 20 in New York City.

The event is being organized by E Planet Pvt. Ltd Nepal in collaboration with Event Planet Inc. USA.

The organizers are calling for applicants for auditions.

The applications for the “Miss Nepal USA 2011 Pageant” is to be submitted within July 20.

The participants for this mega event will be selected through auditioning at ten major cities of USA. The audition at Washington D.C. is on July 2 and 3.

Similar auditions will also be held in Boston on July 9, in Georgia on July 10, New York on July 15, Chicago on July 16, Minneapolis on July 17, Colorado on July 23, Texas on July 24, Seattle on July 30, and in Los Angeles on July 31.

The audition will select candidates for the final event on August 20.

“We’re organizing this event to promote our culture and provide a platform for the Nepali girls living in the USA,” said Santosh Sapkota, Managing Director of E Planet Pvt. Ltd, Nepal.

Sapkota further said that they also intend to conduct a similar beauty pageant in 56 countries, including the UK, Belgium, and Japan.

“The idea then is to bring together all the winners together and host the Miss Nepal Worldwide contest in the future.”

He said that around ten years back, Miss Nepal America had been organized; and after all those years, this is another big beauty pageant for Nepalis being held
in USA.

According to the organizers, the event will celebrate the arts and culture of Nepal and crown intelligence, talent and beauty.

The intention is to inculcate a sense of connectedness in every Nepali who has created a home away from home in the United States.

For the event, the organizers informed, a dedicated team of outstanding mentors will provide ample support and world-class training for every participant to attain her best self and compete for the coveted title.

The organizers believe that it is a chance for every aspiring young Nepali girl who has traveled to the “Land of Opportunity” to earn international fame and add wings to her dreams.

Amid wide acclaims and new avenues of success, the winner will be a youth icon for the young generation and add glory to the Nepali community in the US.

In addition, the winner of the pageant will receive a combination of cash and gift prizes with the retail value of US$5,000, a round-trip ticket to and fro Nepal, including media performance opportunities.

Similarly, the 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up will also receive a combination of cash and gift prizes with the retail value of US$3,000 and US$2,000 respectively, including scholarship and other gift certificates.

The application can also be submitted through online or mail. The grand beauty pageant is for young Nepali girls of between 18 and 27 years of age across
the USA.

Interested ones for audition can visit For more information, log on to

Goyal NDBA president AND New MD in DCBL


KATHMANDU: Manoj Goyal of Clean Energy Development Bank has been elected as the new president of Nepal Development Bankers’ Association (NDBA) in Kathmandu on Friday. He secured 44 votes against his rival’s 134 votes. The association has elected Rajaram Khadka of International DEvelopment Bank and Loknath Bhusal of Bhrikuti Development Bank as first and second vice-presidents in the 13 member executive committee.

KATHMANDU: DCBL Bank appointed Manoj Kumar Bhattarai as its managing director effective from July 17. Bhattarai has experience of working in NIDC for ten years and Nepal Life Insurance — where he was chief executive officer — for three years, according to the bank.

Budget should focus on investment


KATHMANDU: Revenue Advisory Committee suggested the government to emphasise on increasing investment and production in the next budget.

“We have hundreds of issues to address in the budget but it should have high growth target for production and investment for sustainable economy,” said joint-secretary of the Finance Ministry Bishnu Prasad Nepal while submitting the report to the Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari here today.

The committee formed to suggest tax policy measures for the budget for fiscal

year 2011-12 has endorsed 386 suggestions collected from 15 experts and 101 institutions from private and public sector.

According to the committee, the report has incorporated 105 suggestions in custom duty, 46 in income tax, 80 in value added tax (VAT), 40 in excise duty, 10 in health service tax, 17 in vehicle tax, 12 in real estate tax and 76 suggestions in other sectors.

According to Nepal, the report has asked to revise customs duty and make valuation more realistic, expansion of non-tax and tax revenue structure, formation of Central Revenue Board and special focus on growing tax evading situation.

Likewise, the committee has also suggested the ministry to reduce energy crisis, solve tight liquidity situation and capital market problems through appropriate measures in the budget, apart from a dozen of suggestions for higher economic growth.

The report has stressed on sufficient investment on infrastructure development, export promotion and import substitution, building competitiveness of agriculture products, and development of socially justifiable supply system. The committee has analysed eight different issues, including problems and challenges in taxation, of revenue including economic situation of the country to draft the suggestions, Nepal said, adding that the committee has organised a series of discussions with Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries and other private sector organisations during the preparation of report.

35% of NTY target achieved in first half of 2011

KATHMANDU, July 1: Tourist arrivals to Nepal via air increased by 27 percent over the first six months of 2011.

According to Tribhuwan International Airport Immigration Office, the country has so far welcomed around 250,000 visitors, which is only 35 percent of the target set for Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011 campaign. The country targets to welcome 700,000 tourists via air during NTY 2011.

Tourist arrivals in June have increased by 37.9 percent to 37,226, as compared to arrival figures of the same period last year. According to the figures released by the office, all regions posted positive growth during the month. Arrivals from the South Asian segment increased by 52.4 percent, thanks to strong growth of 59.3 percent from India. Similarly, arrivals from Pakistan and Sri Lanka also increased by 23.1 percent and 46.5 percent respectively.

However, arrivals from Bangladesh dropped by 12.5 percent.

Arrivals from Asia (other than South Asian market) also recorded a positive growth of 31.9 percent during the period, with Chinese arrivals growing by a whopping 105.4 percent. Arrivals from Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand also increased by 18.9 percent, 6.3 percent, 35.9 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

European market also recorded positive growth of 10.9 percent in aggregate. Arrivals from UK, France, Germany and Italy grew by 11.8 percent, 11.2 percent, 26.8 percent and 34.8 percent respectively.

However, arrivals from Sweden and Spain declined by 39.3 and 27.4 percent respectively. The arrivals from USA recorded positive growth of 24.3 percent during the month.

NAC will add two aircraft: Minister Biswokarma

KATHMANDU, July 1: Ailing national-flag carrier -- Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) -- will add two new aircraft to its fleet within next one-and-a-half month, if the statement of Minister for Tourism and Aviation Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma is anything to go by.

“NAC needs two new planes and those must be purchased by Sept 17 at any cost,” said Biswokarma. Interestingly, he even added that the present government will make it possible for NAC to bring in the two aircraft by Sept 17.

Biswokarma said this while addressing a program organized to mark its 53rd anniversary.

According to NAC, it has nine aircraft in its fleet at present. But only five of them are in condition to operate. It has not been able to buy new planes since more than two decades ago.

NAC operates its international flights with two Boeing 757s and given the technical glitches that surface now and again and C-checks they need to go through, NAC relies mostly on a single aircraft for international flights.

As that has sharply eroded the credibility and international image of the national flag carrier, Biswokarma laid emphasis on the need to expand NAC´s fleet and enhance quality of services.

“The corporation should place its clients at the centre,” said Biswokarma. He even suggested that the national flag expand and increase services in remote areas. “It should expand services without being profit-oriented,” Biswokarma added.

NAC officials informed that the financial health of the corporation in the last fiscal year remained poor and revenue it collected from ground handling -- the only profitable venture of NAC -- was just enough to provide salary to its staffers. NAC has around 1,400 employees.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Ganesh Raj Joshi, said the Ministry was committed to revamp the financial condition and international image of the corporation.

NAC Executive Chairman Manrup Sahi, who was appointed just recently, said that his first priority would be to improve the internal administration and financial condition of NAC.

When doctor becomes patient

What happens when a doctor is admitted to hospital in the worst imaginable pain? When it happened to me, what I learned about the importance of simple, human kindness changed my opinions about the role of objectivity and professionalism in medical care.

It was to be a vacation day like any other and I was planning a trip with friends. However, when I got up in the morning, my eyes were swollen, crusted and red. "It must be my familiar seasonal allergic conjunctivitis flaring up," I thought. The trip would have to wait, and so I called my friend, excused myself from the day´s activities, and went back to sleep.

Later, when I woke up a second time, I felt a nagging discomfort in my flank and lower abdomen. "I must have slept in a bad position," I assured myself. But the pain continued. I tried going to the bathroom, lying in different positions, sleeping. Nothing worked. The discomfort was unrelenting and it felt deep.
"Is this the pain of kidney stones?"

In medical school, I was taught the classic locations and radiation of such pain: Loin to groin. It wasn´t exactly that. It was described in textbooks as the severest of pain, on a scale of 1 to 10. "Is this pain 10/10?" I couldn´t decide. I tried to bear it and put on a brave face. But when I started sweating, getting pale and becoming nauseated, I told myself, "This is not just a figment my imagination. I am seeing physiological signs."

I decided to go to the Emergency Room (ER). Different thoughts played around in my mind. "Am I a hypochondriac? What if they find nothing? Will this make me come across as a weakling, exaggerating a simple pain?"

My friend Dr K arrived in no time after hearing about the pain, and drove me to the ER. The severity of the pain was disabling and it broke all of my attempts to control it. I felt uneasy and uncomfortable deep within. I was sweating profusely; I was becoming pale and felt like passing out. "Can´t we ignore the traffic light? Why don´t we overtake other cars?" I wondered. With worsening pain I wanted nothing more than to lie on a bed in ER and be given something to ease the pain. I had made this drive so many times on the way to work but it had never felt so long.

We finally arrived and I was asked to register by one of the staff. "How could anyone make me wait for paperwork to be treated?" I thought.
Striving for a mechanical, objective interaction between doctor and patient is the wrong kind of professionalism in medicine. What is needed is the cultivation of kindness, respect, responsibility, empathy and morality between patient and provider.

"Can I get a bed where I can lie down?" I asked desperately.

"We need to register you first. Can you give me your driver´s license please?"

She had a kind look, but I understood that she couldn´t bypass standard procedure.

My hands were trembling as I fetched my license and handed it to her. She registered me quickly and took me to the triage area. I slumped in my chair, agonizing, while Adam, the triage nurse, checked on me. He was casual but concerned. Seeing me in pain, he rushed to get a stretcher, checked my vitals and rushed me into another room. Then, in came a nurse, whose name I don´t remember now. She was joking, empathetic and concerned while she took a brief history, placed an IV line smoothly, drew blood for the labs and asked for urine. I dragged myself to the bathroom but could not urinate. So, she started IV fluids. I vomited profusely, and the nausea was gone.

Next, the doctor came in and asked brief questions before outlining a plan to check urine for traces of blood and if positive, to do a CT scan for stones. The doctor asked me if I wanted morphine to relieve the pain.

This initiated a strange train of thoughts that led me to deny morphine, despite the unbearable pain. I work in a clinic where doctors must constantly judge whether the patient is telling the truth about their pain. Multiple times, I have determined that patients were just seeking to obtain drugs and did not really feel the pain (without full certainty of course but with a reasonable level of confidence). In these cases, I had refused to prescribe them. "So," I thought, "having made such judgments about other people, is it moral for me to use it so easily? Will I become dependent on opioids and join the club of people taking extreme measures to obtain it by manipulating the system? Am I so weak as to need it to control the pain?"

While all this was going through my head, I finally said "I would like to avoid morphine for now. Can you please give me Toradol (a substitute)?" The doctor agreed but also let me know that if the pain persisted he would have to use morphine. Eventually the pain dissipated completely and I urinated a little. It turned out that I had some blood in the urine and some Ketones, which indicated starvation. This was not surprising: I had not been eating well the past few days.

According to plan, I was lined up for a CT scan. A nurse apologized for the two hour wait that ensued but I understood how crazy the enormous workload in ER could be. Finally, they just wheeled me in and convinced the CT tech to do the scan. She rubbed my legs and asked how I was doing. She made a brief joke about my age compared to hers, before taking me to the scanner, explaining each step of the process and scanning me.

There was a stone of about 3mm near my bladder. There were also two other stones in the kidney. The stones of these sizes generally pass through the urine and require no specific interventions. Dr C explained all the results, the nurse took out the IV line and we left the ER. With the diagnosis finally established, I felt relieved.
There is so much kindness in this world. The nurses who took care of me did not know that I was a doctor at their hospital. Yet, they were willing to help and to sooth me, even though they were not required to. I was surprised to find that even their joking and casual ways imparted a sense of normalcy beyond my suffering the worst imaginable pain. This normalcy consoled me. The kindhearted nurses, techs and doctors treated me as a human being in their own unique ways. It was they who made the visit satisfying. They were casual and caring and at the same time took care of all the details that I needed.

Ever since this visit, I have admired how important are the subjective contributions of providers to patient care.

And yet, this kindness cannot be reproduced mechanically. It is wholly subjective and unique to every human. This is what humans are – vulnerable, erratic, fluctuating. We must accept sufferers as human beings, and treat them through this understanding. In our search for objectivity in the medical profession, why can´t we design a system that acknowledges that health care providers are human too and as human beings they provide a most important aspect of care? Most of the medical leaders and administrators I have met with have a pervasive sense of suspicion, paranoia and doubt about the intentions of the providers. I suspect that this is wrong.
Striving for a mechanical, objective interaction between doctor and patient is the wrong kind of professionalism in medicine. What is needed is the cultivation of kindness, respect, responsibility, empathy and morality between patient and provider.

The writer is an endocrinology fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

TIA runway

We are aghast that the poor quality of runway overlay and helipad construction at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has not just obstructed international flights but also put lives of thousands of passengers and crew members at risk. The news and pictures of crumbled roads immediately after their constructions are regularly splashed in the Nepalis newspapers.

But similar pictures and news about the runaway in the country’s only international airport were unseen and unheard of in the past. That the corruption and irregularities have happened in such a sensitive place like runway only indicates the growing audacity of the corrupt officials and contractors. The widespread impunity that corrupt officials and contractors enjoy in this country must have emboldened them to think that they can escape justice irrespective of the scale of corruption and crime they are involved in. This must change.

The parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has taken a right step in this direction. The PAC members, following an inspection of the TIA runway and helipad and interrogation of the concerned officials and contractors, have reached a preliminary conclusion that there were irregularities in both construction of the helipad and overlay of the runway. PAC members suspect that raw materials used in the overlay and helipad construction were sub-standard. As referred to by the PAC, the constitutional anti-graft body, Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), should now launch an in-depth investigation into the issue and bring those guilty to book.

That there is already a pending case at the CIAA claiming that the contract for overlay work was awarded through a faulty selection process lends further credence that systemic irregularities led to the poor quality of the work at the TIA. Though the CIAA has also instructed the government to take action against the guilty, we suggest that the government and its agencies should step aside and let the CIAA fully investigate the matter and file a case at the Special Court after the completion of the investigation.

We applaud the initiatives taken by the parliamentary committees, especially the PAC, in taking up corruption cases seriously. If it had not formed a probe committee to investigate irregularities in procurement of the armed personnel carriers for the Nepal Police peacekeepers in Sudan, one of the biggest corruption cases in Nepali history would have gone unnoticed. Its probe report helped the CIAA take the corrupt police officials to the court and the Supreme Court has already sought clarifications from concerned politicians and civil servants about their involvement in the scam. If the parliamentary committees play active roles, this alone can contribute hugely to promoting accountability in the country. We do not expect anything less than that from them.

Mudslides, swollen rivers kill 10

KATHMANDU, July 2: Torrential rainfall resulted in swollen rivers and landslides that killed 10 people across the country Thursday night and Friday.

Our Tanahun correspondent reported that six people died in the district on Friday from rain-related disasters, while a boy went missing in a river.

Hari Kumar Shrestha, 44, and his daughter Gita Shrestha, 14, died after being swept away by a swollen Chisapani River at Rising Ranipokhari of the district.
The residents of Rising Ranipokhari-4 were crossing the river when they were swept away. Meanwhile, Hari Kumar´s 16-year-old son Dipendra, who was also crossing the river, has gone missing.

In another incident in the same district, 19-year-old Gomaya Ale and her 14-day-old infant daughter Sajin Ale died after landslide buried their house at Poltyang village of Rising Ranipokhari-7, police said. Similarly, 17-year-old Pitamaya Thapa of Bhanumati-8 died after being buried by landslide while she was cutting grass.

Meanwhile, in Bandipur of the same district, Chet Maya Bhattarai died after being hit by landslide. Bhattarai, 78, of Bandipur-8, had gone to see a slide that had struck an area near her house when another slide hit her and hurled her into Faldi River, police said. Her dead body was found in the river, according to Tanahun District Police Office.

Our Palpa correspondent reported three deaths in the district Thursday night due to landslide. One additional person has gone missing while crossing a river.
Two girls were killed after a cattle-shed they were studying in was flattened by landslide at Palungmainadi VDC of the district Thursday night. Shrijana BK, 17, and Sunita BK, 16, died after the shed was flattened by a tree that fell owing to landslide.

An elephant and his young negotiate the flooded Bakalya Rive in Bara district Friday. (UPENDRA LAMICHHANE)

Srijana was preparing for supplementary SLC exam, while Sunita was a tenth grader. Both were students of Kalika Secondary School at Dabaka village of Palungmainadi-6. Their bodies were pulled out of the rubble by locals and the police.

Similarly, a motorcyclist was killed along the Palpa-Butwal road section after being hit by landslide. Dharma Prasad Bhandari, 35, of Madhauliya-7, Rupandehi, died after being hit by the slide. Bhandari was traveling on a motorcycle (Lu 5 Pa 127) from Butwal to Palpa when the slide hit him at Jhumsa of Dovan VDC. He died while receiving treatment at Lumbini Medical College, Palpa.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Raju Kanauje of Kunsare, Tansen-14 has gone missing while crossing Tinau River of the district. The ninth grader was returning home when the incident occurred. A day-long search was fruitless, police said. In Arghakhanchi, a woman died after landslide buried a house. The woman, whom police identified as the wife of Chandra Bahadur Shrisha of Hansapur-6, died after landslide buried her house Friday afternoon, police said.

A river breaches its course in Palpa after heavy rains Friday. (TEK NARAYAN BHATTARARI)

Over 500 houses inundated

Incessant rain has inundated over 500 houses in Sunsari, our correspondent reported.

Two hundred houses at Baklauri 4, 5, and 6 have been inundated, while 100 houses have been inundated by flooded Sunsari River at Inaruwa 4, 5, and 6, according to District Police Office. Another 100 houses at Nayabasti, Duhabi-4 have also been inundated. Houses at Babiya 1, 6, 7, and 8 have also been inundated. Works have been affected in most of the industries at Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor due to inundation.

A schoolgirl is helped by her parents to wade through a flooded road in Palpa district on Friday. (TEK NARAYAN BHATTARAI)

Danger signal at Koshi barrage

The warning red light of Koshi barrage has been lit as the river has swollen to a dangerous level due to incessant rainfall.

The warning light has been on since Friday morning. Fifty gates of the barrage have been opened to prevent possible disaster. More gates will be opened if need be, according to Superintendent of Police Raju Manandhar of Sunsari District Police Office.

The water level of Koshi was 157,095 cusecs Friday morning. By evening the level rose to 158,275 cusecs.

A boy watches rising Koshi waters at Koshi barrage in Sunsari district Friday. (AMAR KHADKA)

Three years ago, when the river breached its eastern embankment and entered human settlements, water level was 168,000 cusecs. The flooding that followed the breach had displaced over 7,000 people.

Three rescued from raging Koshi

Three Indian nationals, who were swept away by Koshi River on Friday, have been rescued. Those rescued are Mohan Kumar Emadi of Kerala, and Randhir Kumar Singh and Rajeev Kumar Sahani of Patna.

The three are employees of Dharti, a company that has been tasked with leveling sand deposited by the river. They were swept away by the river after the machine they were operating was overturned.

The three were immediately rescued by local fishermen, according to Kapil Dev Mandal of Haripur, who was also involved in rescuing them. “We could rescue them as we were rowing our boat nearby,” Mandal said.