Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Health insurance for civil servants


KATHMANDU: The government is likely to announce a health insurance scheme for civil servants in the near future.

According to outgoing Minister for General Administration, Yubaraj Karki, some procedural tasks have to be completed before Cabinet approval.

“The study report on health insurance has already been submitted to the Cabinet with the consensual decision of all the parties and concerned stakeholders,”said Minister Karki.

“Had there been a little more time for the government, the Cabinet would already have approved the proposal. Now, the decision depends on the next government,” added Karki.

In May, the government had, in principle, agreed to the proposal of the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) to provide health insurance to civil servants, their spouses and children up to the age of 21 years.

With the objective of motivating civil servants towards duty, MoGA had floated the health insurance scheme that will cover not only the civil servants but also their family members.

According to the source at MoGA, the report has proposed health insurance up to Rs 500,000 for a family covering all hospitalisation expenses.

MoGA received expression of interest from different insurance companies for the health insurance scheme, which means the government will have to bear additional financial burden of around 550 to 600 million rupees annually.

Wheels are turning with PM's Mustang

KATHMANDU: Newly elected Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s ‘made in Nepal’ vehicle has become the talk of the town.

Prime Minister Bhattarai today went to Shital Niwas for the swearing-in ceremony on a Mustang Max, a jeep assembled in Nepal.

Social network sites are flooded with messages in praise of Bhattarai.

“Thumbs up Bhattarai. Impressive first move to use a Nepal-made vehicle, unlike all ex-PMs who rode vehicles that cost crores of rupees,” tweeted Sudeep Sharma. And there was one by Tirtha Acharya, who tweeted: “Morning shows the day. PM Bhattarai will try to do things in his own way.”

However, there are some brickbats, some calling Bhattarai’s selection of a Nepal-made car a ‘populist move’. Commented Indra Dhoj Kshetri on Facebook: “It will prove to be a snobbery unless he can replicate it among his party comrades who ride imported vehicles worth crores.” The feeling is echoed by ‘friendlycalls’ in Tweeter. “Two years ago when I met Baburam in a programme in the Capital, he stepped off a Scorpio jeep. I’d be happier if he was in a Mustang then too.”

Nonetheless, Bhattarai’s decision has broken the longstanding tradition upheld by his predecessor who enjoyed the ride on expensive foreign SUVs.

“The trend of using expensive cars by prime ministers dates back to the time of then king Mahendra and his son king Birendra, who during the Panchayat regime, would give away latest cars to outgoing premiers as a parting gift,” says a former minister.

After the restoration of democracy in 1990, the trend has but flourished, thanks to the successive prime ministers and ministers who institutionalised the tradition — through Cabinet approvals — of using luxury SUVs.

Former prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal is the latest in the series. Khanal will take home a Toyota SUV that costs Rs 13.5 million. Through a Cabinet decision, the government acquired the SUV, which Gokarna Bista, a minister in Khanal’s Cabinet, had refused to take, from the Chameliya Hydropower Project. Former PMs Madhav Kumar Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Sher Bahadur Deuba also have expensive SUVs at their disposal. The government spends millions for such facility.

Meanwhile, today at Shital Niwas, besides the oath-taking ceremony, what stole the show was Bhattarai’s Mustang. And, Diwakar Golchha of Golchha Group that owns Hulas Motors, the manufacturer of Mustang, was another person to hog the limelight with television crew chasing him for an interview.

Bhattarai sworn in as 35th prime minister

KATHMANDU: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav today administered oath of office and secrecy to newly elected Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai at Shital Niwas.

Bhattarai, vice-chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist, won the prime ministerial election yesterday to become the country’s 35th prime minister.

Vice President Paramananda Jha, Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi, Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Nembang, ambassadors of foreign missions, among other dignitaries, were present during the oath-taking ceremony.

After swearing in, Prime Minister Bhattarai administered oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bijay Kumar Gachhadar.

Gachhadar is the chairman of Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic, a member party of the United Democratic Madhesi Front, which backed Bhattarai yesterday in Parliament to elect him the prime minister.

Both Prime Minister Bhattarai, clad in shirt, pants and coat, and DPM and Minister for Home Affairs Gachhadar, who appeared in kurta pajama, had shunned Daura Suruwal during the swearing-in ceremony and took oath in Nepali. Nonetheless, several other dignitaries were present in traditional Daura Suruwal whose national dress status has been contested.

Former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and UML senior leader KP Oli, however, didn’t turn up at Shital Niwas today.

After he was sworn in, the new prime minister went to Kirtipur to pay tributes to the champion of the communist movement late Pushpa Lal, where he garlanded Pushpa Lal’s statue, in a move that broke the longstanding tradition of prime ministers’ visiting Shahid Gate to pay tributes to martyrs before assuming the office.

Appointments of other ministers and Cabinet expansion are likely on Wednesday, according to Prime Minister Bhattarai’s aide Bishwodip Pande.

But for Bhattarai, Cabinet expansion is going to be a tall order, with challenges ahead to pick the members for the government from his own party.

A meeting of the top Maoist leaders held today morning discussed about inducting standing committee member Dev Gurung as the finance minister and either Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha or party Secretary CP Gajurel as deputy prime minister and foreign minister. Sources claimed that Shrestha has been laying claim to either finance or foreign ministry, saying that he ‘has been cheated’.

But during today’s office bearers’ meeting, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal pitched for Gajurel as DPM and finance minister. Gajurel has never become a minister, while Shrestha, even though for a short stint, was in the Cabinet, and Gurung has been a consistent choice for the party. Dahal has been also demanding Lekhraj Bhatta and Secretary Post Bahadur Bogati’s continuation in the government and induction of Gopal Kirati.

Vice-chairman Mohan Baidhya faction is for continuing with Jayapuri Gharti and Mahendra Yadav and pulling out Khadga Bahadur Biswokarma. Top Bahadur Rayamajhi of the Bhattarai faction will continue to be a minister in the government.

Sources claimed that Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal has been claiming three ministries as it won’t get the foreign ministry this time, and therefore chances are high that they will remain outside the government as Prime Minister Bhattarai is against a large Cabinet.

Bhattarai was bright‚ quiet

NEW DELHI: A PhD candidate at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Nepal’s new Prime Minister Dr Baburan Bhattarai has left a deep impression among friends and teachers for his academic excellence.

JNU Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy has known Bhattarai since the university days.

He describes Bhattarai as a bright, quiet and soft-spoken personality, pragmatic leader and a deep thinker.

According to Prof Chenoy, Bhattarai’s PhD dissertation became an international story.

When Bhattarai had finished 2-3 chapters of his thesis, he met with an accident and briefly lost his memory. Undeterred, Bhattarai started from the scratch and yet finished the thesis well in time.

“That shows his brilliance and dedication to work.”

Prof Chenoy met Bhattarai in his constituency during 2008 CA elections after a long gap, yet, to his wonder, Bhattarai instantly recognised him.

Bhattarai would plan things well ahead in a far-sighted manner. “He did things at the JNU exceptionally well. Bhattarai was well-received here,” the professor added.

Chenoy believes Bhattarai’s association with JNU played a key role in shaping his political ideologies because at that time many students were into Marxism because of the success of communism in Eastern Europe and Russia and sorry state of Indian workers. “We were all inclined to Marxism, although we later adjusted to the new changes that dawned after the fall of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia in the early 90s,” Chenoy recalls.

According to Chenoy, Bhattarai would have been a different man if he were a student at the JNU today.

According to Prof Chenoy, Nepali Maoists were different from Indian Maoists as they, aware of the flawed one-party communist rule that led to the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe, gave up their armed struggle.

Prof Chenoy describes Bhattrai’s political line of democratic federalism as a pragmatic approach. Bhattarai’s challenge is to bring the peace process to a logical conclusion by taking all stakeholders into confidence, according to Chenoy.

“I hope Bhattarai takes those challenges for the sake of Nepal and thus leaves his mark as a dynamic leader, not because I support any political party but because Nepal needs to overcome the challenge of political transition without further delay.”

Bhatbhateni violates law


KATHMANDU: Ramps at Bhatbhateni Supermarket and Department Store at Patan have been constructed by encroaching the road by nearly five feet at the entrance and exit gates.

Likewise, an engineer in the map section of Lalitpur Sub-Metropolis office informed that the boundary wall was made without the supermarket getting ‘map approval’. Moreover, with neighbours lodging complaint, the sub-metropolis had to interfere. The supermarket’s drainage had apparently been interlinked to the main drainage system without permission. While the supermarket violated the law of the land, the sub-metropolis was kept in the dark regarding construction of the ramp and boundary wall.

The blueprint of the building, which was approved by the metropolis on July 11, 2010, explicitly mentions that while building a boundary wall, it is mandatory to leave a 5.5 metre right of way (for main road) and 1 metre setback (footpath) from the center of the road, however the provision has not been implemented,” locals complained.

However, Sub-metropolis chief Rajendra Kumar Paudel conceded that regular monitoring system was not in place to regulate construction. “Bhatbhateni employees have even denied receiving letters from us. Upon registration of complaints, we will look into the case” added Paudel. The provision is that we must dismantle all construction against standard norms and everything illegally made, and impose fine of up to Rs one lakh, according to Local Self-Governance Act-1999.

Monitoring official Baburaja Maharjan at sub metropolis expressed ignorance about the ramp and boundary wall, however, he said he intervened in

construction of the drainage and called those who had complained and Bhatbhateni people for settling the issue of drainage. “The rule should be equal for all,” said Hari Krishna Byanjankar, a local.

However, Supermarket Construction Supervisor Kamal Ghimire claimed that they do

not need to get approval of the blueprint of the boundary wall saying they just replaced the old one. Asked about the width they had left from the centre of the road while making the road, Ghimire repeatedly claimed they had abided by the law but did not tell specifically the space maintained while constructing the boundary wall.

The supermarket company has five separate shopping malls in the city.

Bir CT scan down since three months

KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Patients at Bir Hospital have been suffering as the CT scan machine at the hospital remains unrepaired since the past three months.

The hospital is currently sending patients requiring CT scan outside, where the cost is over 50% higher. Doctors refer to the scans to assess the suceess of treatment apart from diagnosis.

“There is a very high risk when the patients needing neurological surgery have to be sent elsewhere immediately for CT scan,” Dr Gopal Raman Barma, a senior neurologist, said adding, “But we have no option.” He said that the neuro department has to send a doctor along with the patients whenever they are sent outside for the scan. “We don´t even have doctors to send out with the patients all the time,” he added.

Dr Barma claimed some critical patients have to be given suction to keep them breathing at times and they can even die if a doctor is not immediately available to attend to them. The hospital is currently sending more that 50 patients to other hospitals for CT scan every day.

Doctors also claimed that the hospital administration has not shown any urgency to repair the machine. Dr Barma said doctors´ repeated requests to the administration for the maintenance of the machine remains unheeded.

The hospital administration said it has published an advertisement demanding proposal for the maintenance of the machine but they have not received any response.

“We had published a notice a month ago but no one has shown interest to repair it,” Dr Mukunda Panthi, Registrar of the National Academy of Medical Science (NAMS), which oversees Bir, said.

Cabinet shape likely Tuesday


KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Newly-elected Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai assumed office on Monday after taking his oath at the President´s official residence at Shitwal Niwas, but the prime minister failed to give any shape to his cabinet due to intra and inter-party differences over distribution of ministerial portfolios.

President Dr Ram Baran Yadav administered the oath of office and secrecy to Bhattarai, who was elected as the 35th prime minister of the country. Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, who is chairman of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), also took his oath of office.

The prime minister is yet to finalize the names of the ministers due to inter and intra-party differences over the ministries.

Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel said after a meeting of top office bearers on Monday that his party would consult the Madhes-based parties on the distribution of portfolios and decide the names of party leaders to be sent into the cabinet. “The party is holding a Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday morning to decide on ministerial portfolios,” said party Standing Committee Member Barshaman Pun.

“The cabinet will be formed once we settled the issue with the Madhes-based parties,” he said. According to sources, most of the 12 ministers who were in the last government would be retained in the same positions. However, Hisila Yami, the prime minister´s wife who was minister for land reforms, would stay out.

Similarly, sources say Gopal Kirati and either Barshaman Pun or Janardan Sharma, all of them from the party establishment faction, are likely to join the government.

Party hardliners say if they get the chance to send into the government the next seniormost leader after Bhattarai as deputy prime minister, they would pick CP Gajurel. And if they don´t get that chance, they would pick Dev Gurung.

The group is likely to send party leader Tilak Pariyar into the cabinet in place of Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma, who was minister for tourism and civil aviation.

There is a tussle between Gajurel and Narayankaji Shrestha over who should become deputy prime minister.

Meanwhile, a meeting of top Maoist leaders and the leadership of the five Madhes-based parties held at Singha Durbar on Monday morning decided to finalize the allocation of ministries on Tuesday.

“We need more homework. So, we will finalize the issue on Tuesday,” said JP Gupta, chairman of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Republican (MPRF-R).

Gupta said UDMF would get altogether 11 ministries whereas the UCPN (Maoist) would keep the remaining 15 portfolios out of which four would be allocated to fringe parties.

Madhes-based political parties are likely to get many of the plum ministries including Information and Communication, Defense, Energy, Physical Planning, Tourism and Civil Aviation, and Local Development.

According to sources, Madhes-based parties remained divided over the number of ministerial portfolios each party should get. There are disputes within UDMF over deputy prime ministership. However, emerging from the meeting with the Maoists, Gupta said the Madhes-based political parties have not held discussions in this regard.

“UDMF has not held any discussions yet about allocation of ministerial portfolios,” Gupta added.

According to a preliminary agreement, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) will get four ministries and MPRF-Republican, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP) and TMDP-Nepal will each get two ministries whereas Sadbhawana Party will get one ministry.

Meanwhile, MPRF, which is not associated with UDMF, is likely to get the Ministries of Labor and Transport and Commerce and Supply.

Meanwhile, breaking the tradition of the newly elected prime minister visiting Sahid Gate to pay respects to the four martyrs Sukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dasarath Chand and Ganga Lal Shrestha, Prime Minister Bhattarai went to Kirtipur to pay his respects to the late Pushpa Lal Shrestha, founder of the Communist Party of Nepal.

PM picks Mustang despite security worry


KATHMANDU, August 30: Setting aside advice from security and his aides, newly elected Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai bucked the general trend of prime ministers and ministers going for expensive, luxurious vehicles and refused to ride any bullet-proof, foreign-made, luxurious vehicle available in the market, chosing instead a comparatively far cheaper, indigenously assembled four-wheeler.

According to Biswadeep Pandey, security had suggested to Dr Bhattarai not to ride the Nepal-assembled Hulas Mustang for security reasons. Even aides including Pandey had suggested he use the Scorpio that he has been riding if he did not want anything expensive or luxurious.

Dr Bhattarai had expressed a wish to ride the Mustang, a product of Biratnagar-based Hulas Motors Company, to officials of the Home Ministry that arranges vehicles for government ministers, when it became certain he was to be elected prime minister Sunday afternoon. The Home Ministry made arrangements accordingly.

"We brought the vehicle to Kathmandu overnight from Biratnagar," said Diwakar Golchha, a Constituent Assembly member and managing director of Golchha Organization, which owns the company.

But the vehicle made available by the company is just for temporary use while the car actuallly meant for the prime minister is being put together. The car has been purchased at a price of Rs 1,650,000.

The Mustang used by the prime minister at the moment has a 2,570 cc diesel engine with a mileage of about 11 km per liter. It has minimum luxury and safety features. The vehicle being customized for him has much more luxurious features and will be given away to him about two months from now.

“The vehicle being customized for the PM has additional features like power steering, power windows, comfortable seats, anti-noise flooring system, advanced stereo system and much more,” said Surendra Golchha, managing director of Hulas Motors.

But the vehicle will not have any advanced safety features. Hulas Mustang has had a tough time marketing itself in the Nepali auto market and is not known to many Nepalis.
The PM´s Mustang parked at Sheetal Niwas attracted politicians who reached there to attend the swearing in ceremony and journalists covering the occasion .

Lawmaker Golchha was busy answering questions about the vehicle from the politicians and journalists.

"I am proud that the prime minister chose this vehicle; it will be a great support to national production," a cheerful-looking Golcha told journalists, leaning against the prime minister´s vehicle.

Golchha not only thanked the prime minister for choosing the more indigenous vehicle; he also opened its door and ushered the prime minister into it. He then closed the vehicle door before riding away in his own Korean-made Ssyangong Rexton.

CA extended three more months

KATHMANDU, Aug 30: A resounding majority at parliament Monday endorsed the proposal to extend the Constituent Assembly (CA) term for a third time, for three months.

Of the total 541 lawmakers present at the meeting, 537 voted in favor of the CA term extension and only four lawmakers from Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) stood against the proposal.

A bill to amend the Interim Constitution was endorsed by the parliament meeting as the CA tenure is set out in the statute. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Gachchhadar tabled the bill to amend the constitution and urged political parties to vote in favor, saying, "It has become essential to extend the term to conclude the remaining tasks of constitution writing." Nepali Congress (NC) Chief Whip Laxman Ghimire and CPN-UML Chief Whip Bhim Acharya seconded the proposal.

An understanding reached at a meeting among top leaders of three major political parties -- UCPN (Maoist), NC and CPN-UML -- held at the president´s office at Shital Niwas in the presence of Speaker Subas Nembang paved the way for the extension of the CA term, which was to expire on Wednesday.

UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman and outgoing Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and NC Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Paudel, among other top leaders, were present at the meeting. The leaders, who reached there to attend the swearing-in ceremony for the new prime minister, held a meeting on the sidelines immediately after the ceremony.

"The leaders were persuaded after Speaker Nembang said there was no point causing any further delay and they became ready to accomplish the task today [Monday] itself," said a leader present at the meeting.

In the past, the CA term extension bills were tabled at midnight and endorsed in the wee hours due to bickering over power-sharing as well as term extension. On Monday, however, even lawmakers were taken by surprise as the leaders had, all of a sudden, agreed to table and endorse the bill. The lawmakers were informed about the new development only in the afternoon. The parliament meeting that commenced at 5:30 p.m. held three sittings and endorsed the bill by completing all the procedures by 8:45 p.m.

The last time, on May 28, the leaders bickered the whole day and tabled the bill at 11:45 p.m., resumed their talks and agreed to endorse it only early in the morning next day.

This is the first time the CA term has been extended without inking any deal. Earlier, the opposition parties had forced both then erstwhile prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal in 2010 and Jhalanath Khanal in 2011 to sign separate deals before extending the CA. Both prime ministers had to agree to step down to pave the way for forming a consensus government, and they stepped down later.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

बाबुराम भट्टराई ३५ औं प्रधानमन्त्री

काठमाडौं, भदौ ११ (नागरिक)- गोरखा, खोप्लाङको किसान परिवारमा जन्मिएका बाबुराम भट्टराई नेपालको ३५ औं प्रधानमन्त्री बनेका छन्। आइतबार संसदमा भएको चुनावमा माओवादी उपाध्यक्ष भट्टराई ३४० मत प्राप्त गर्दै प्रधानमन्त्री निर्वाचित भएका हुन्।
संयुक्त लोकतान्त्रिक मधेसी मोर्चाका ५ दल सहित माले समाजवादी, नेकपा संयुक्त, जनमुक्ति पार्टी, नेकपा एकीकृत, राष्ट्रिय जनमोर्चा सहितका दलले बाबुराम भट्टराईलाई मतदान गरेका थिए।

बौद्धिक प्रखरता, स्पष्ट भिजन र आर्थिक अवधारणा कारण भट्टराई सर्वसाधारणबीच चर्चामा छन्। ऐतिहासिक महत्वको संक्रमणकालमा प्रधानमन्त्री भएका भट्टराईको परीक्षा संविधान निर्माण र शान्ति प्रक्रिया निष्कर्षले निर्धारण गर्नेछ।

बाबुराम भट्टराई फेरि प्रथम

काठमाडौँ, भदौ ११ (नागरिक)- गोरखाको अमरज्योति हाइस्कूलमा सधैँ प्रथम हुने बाबुराम भट्टराई २०२६ सालको एसएलसीमा बोर्ड फस्ट भएका थिए। सधैँ प्रथम र कहिलै दोस्रो नहुने भनेर चर्चा पाएका भट्टराई माओवादी पार्टीको उच्च पदमा छैनन्। तर अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहाल ७ पटक हारेको संसदमा बाबुराम भट्टराई एकै पटकमा विजयी हुँदै प्रधानमन्त्री बन्न सफल भए। को हुन् बाबुराम ?
बाबुरामको जन्म वि.सं. २०११ सालमा गोर्खा जिल्लाको बेलबास, खोप्लाङ गाविसमा निम्न-मध्यमवर्गीय किसान परिवारमा भएको हो। नेपालबाट राजतन्त्र उन्मुलन गर्न मुख्य भूमिका निर्वाह गरेका कम्युनिस्ट नेता भट्टराईको परिवार इतिहास राजदरबारसँगै जोडिएको छ। प्रधानमन्त्री भट्टराईका पुर्खा पाल्पाका सेन राजाका परम्परागत पुजारी र ज्योतिषी हुन्। १५ औं शताब्दीतिर पाल्पाबाट गोर्खाको लिगलिगमा बसाइ सरेको भट्टराई परिवारले द्रब्य शाहलाई लिगलिग र गोर्खाका राजा बनाउन मुख्य भूमिका निर्वाह गरेको थियो। लिगलिग कोटको फेदीमा रहेको बेलबासमा खेतीपाती गरेर बसेको त्यही भट्टराई परिवार नै प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुरामका पुर्खा हुन्। नेपालको मध्य पहाडी क्षेत्रमा रहेको यही स्थानमा बाबुराम भट्टराईको जन्म भएको हो। भोजप्रसाद भट्टराई र आमा धर्मकुमारी भट्टराईको कोखबाट जन्मिएका उनी दोस्रो सन्तान हुन्।

किसान परिवारमा जन्मिएका भट्टराईको प्रारम्भिक शिक्षा भोजबहादुर भुजेलसँग अनौपचारिक रुपमा लिएका हुन्। अमरज्योती हाइस्कूलमा एकै पटक कक्षा ३ मा भर्ना भएका उनी विद्यालयमा सधैँ प्रथम रहे। लुइँटेल गाउँस्थित यो स्कूल पुग्न भट्टराई दैनिक २ घण्टा हिँड्थे। २०२६ सालको एसएलसी परिणामले धेरैलाई चकित पार्‍यो। एसएलसीमा त्यो साल बाबुराम भट्टराई नेपालभरिका विद्यार्थीलाई पछि पार्दै बोर्ड फस्ट भए। अमृत साइन्स कलेजमा आइएस्सी अध्ययन गरेका बाबुरामले प्रविणता प्रमाणपत्र तहमा पनि प्रथम स्थान नै हाँसिल गरे। सन् १९७७ मा कोलम्बो प्लान पाउन सफल उनले कोलम्बो प्लान अन्तर्गत भारतको चण्डीगढबाट आर्किटेक्चर इन्जिनियरिङमा स्नातक गरेका छन्। उनले क्षेत्रीय विकास योजनामा जवाहरलाल नेहरु विश्वविद्यालयबाट पिएचडी गरेका छन्। 'द नेचर अफ अन्डरडेभलपमेन्ट एण्ड रिजनल स्ट्रक्चर अफ नेपाल' विषयमामा उनले गरेको थेसिस पुस्तकको रुपमा पनि प्रकाशित छ।

सन् १९७७ मा अखिल भारत नेपाली विद्यार्थी संघको संस्थापक अध्यक्ष बनेका बाबुरामले भारत रहँदा वीपी कोइराला, तुलसीलाल अमात्य, मोहनविक्रम सिंह, ऋषिकेश शाह लगायतका नेताहरुसँग सम्पर्कमा रहेर नेपालको लोकतान्त्रिक आन्दोलनमा आफ्नो सक्रियता बढाएका हुन्। पञ्चायतविरोधी प्रखर युवाको रुपमा चिनिएका बाबुरामलाई सन् १९८० मा नयाँ दिल्ली भ्रमणमा आएका राजा वीरेन्द्रलाई कालो झन्डा देखाउँदा भारतीय प्रहरीले पक्राउ गरेको थियो।

मोहनविक्रम राजनीतिक गुरु
सन् १९८१ मा उनी मोहनविक्रम सिंहमार्फत नेपाल कम्युनिष्ट पार्टीको सदस्य बनेका हुन्। औपचारिक शिक्षा सकेपछि भट्टराई सन् १९८६ मा नेपाल फर्किए र पार्टीको पूर्णकालिक सदस्य र राजनीतिक कार्यकर्ता बनेर सक्रिय रहे। सन् १९९० को पञ्चायतविरोधी जनआन्दोलनको बेला उनी 'संयुक्त राष्ट्रिय जनआन्दोलन'का केन्द्रीय प्रवक्ता थिए।

जनयुद्ध अवधारणाकार
नेकपा माओवादीले सन् १९९६ देखि २००६ सम्म सञ्चालन गरेको जनयुद्धको बाबुराम भट्टराई एकजना मुख्य अवधारणाकार हुन्। जनयुद्ध छाडेर शान्ति र संविधानमार्फत् रुपान्तरण हुनुपर्छ भन्ने माओवादीको पछिल्लो अवधारणा पनि बाबुरामकै हो। एकीकृत नेपाल कम्युनिष्ट पार्टी (माओवादी)का उपाध्यक्ष तथा स्थायी समिति सदस्य नेता भट्टराई आफ्नो राजनीतिक तथा बौद्धिक सक्रियताका कारण बहुपरिचित छन्। आलोचकहरु भन्छन्- भाषण गर्न सिपालु भए पनि उनी अन्तरमुखी छन्; पुस्तक पढेको सैद्धान्तिक ज्ञान भए पनि अव्यवहारिक छन्। तर समर्थकहरु ठान्छन्- नेपालको मुहार फेर्ने भिजन बाबुरामसँग छ; उनले केही गर्छन्।

Rally to protest attack on lawmaker Jamakattel


KATHMANDU, Aug 28: The workers associated to the UCPN (Maoist) took out rally in the Capital today to protest the attack on lawmaker and Maoist trade union leader, Shalikram Jamarkattel.

The rally rounded different parts including Ratna Park, Kamaladi, Putalisadak, Sahidgate and converged into a corner assembly after reaching Ratna Park.

Speaking at the corner assembly, lawmaker and Maoist leader Jhakku Prasad Subedi condemned the attack on lawmaker Jamerkattel and demanded to arrest the guilty and take legal action against those involved in the case.

Similarly, Minister for Youth and Sports, Onsari Gharti Magar, said the attack has created an environment of terror among the public.

An unknown group had attacked lawmaker Jammerkattel while he was heading to his residence at local Babarmahal last night.

Injured lawmaker is receiving treatment at Norvic Hospital, Thapathali.

Meanwhile,the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, today visited Jammerkattel at local Norvic Hospital to inquire about his health condition.

Chairman of the UCPN (Maoist) Dahal and NC Vice-president Paudel condemned the attack and demanded an investigation into the case and action to the guilty.

According to Dr Pravin Shrestha, a doctor involved in Jammerkattel’s treatment, said Jammerkattel received a deep injury on his head.

Also, the Metropolitan Police Commission Office has formed a five-member investigation committee coordinated by Senior Superintendent of Police Kedarman Singh Bhandari to probe into the case, said Spokesperson of the Metropolitan Police Commission Office, Madhav Nepal.

Superintendent of Police Dipak Thapa, Deputy Superintendent duo Somendra Singh Rathaur and Arun Kumar BC, and Inspector Kaji Acharya are the other members of the committee.

Bhattarai elected as new PM


KATHMANDU, Aug 28: UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai outpolled Nepali Congress (NC) Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel by the margin of 105 votes to become the country’s new prime minister Sunday evening.

During the prime ministerial election held at the Legislature-Parliament today, Bhattarai polled in 340 votes, while his rival Paudel could muster only 235 votes. A total of 575 lawmakers were present in the voting.

Lawmakers from UCPN (Maoist) and United Democratic Madhesi Front, the alliance of five Madhes-based parties, among other parties voted for Bhattarai, whereas those from the NC, CPN-UML and some other fringe parties cast their vote in Paudel’s favor.

Today’s voting took place after the political parties earlier failed to form a consensus government within the 10-day deadline issued by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav after Jhalanath Khanal resigned as the prime minister on August 14.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Real Estate Expo kicks off


KATHMANDU, Aug 25: The second edition of Panchakanya Real Estate Expo kicked off in the capital on Thursday.

The expo, organized by Nepal Land and Housing Developers´ Association (NLHDA) in association with Direction Nepal, will last for three days, during which property dealers will showcase latest land and housing products.

The expo has over 200 stalls of housing developers, banks and financial institutions, construction material producers, interior designers and electrical equipments producers, among others.

"We hope the expo to reinject fresh confidence and capital in the real estate sector," said Ichhya Raj Tamang, president of NLHDA.

Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal, inaugurating the expo, said that the government was taking steps to promote land and housing industry. He asked the developers and building traders to seriously focus at catering to the requirements of the needy people belonging to middle and low income groups.

During the program, builders and developers expressed dissatisfaction against the central bank´s policy to tighten loans to real estate business, and asked Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to withdraw its cap on realty loans.

However, NRB Governor Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said if the central bank had not taken such a step, a larger number of banks would have landed into trouble by now.

"It was a wise move," he said. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that real estate is an important sector of economy and that the country needs its well-planned growth to fulfill basic housing needs of the people.

Money Expo to promote investment opportunities


KATHMANDU, Aug 25: A three-day Money Expo 2011 is being held in Kathmandu from September 12 with a view to promote investment opportunities and wealth protection strategies in the country.

The expo will have more than 100 stalls, including that of financial sector regulators, stock exchange, commodities exchanges, banks and financial institutions, investment and remittance companies, among others, said the organizers at a press meet.

Arthik Abhiyan, a national business daily, Jamb Technologies, Minds Nepal and Morningstar Services are the organizers of the event.

More than 50,000 people are expected to visit the expo.

The expo will be the first ever event in Nepal dedicated to promoting investment opportunities and wealth protection strategies.

“The expo also aims to strengthen business-networking for financial sector players and their constituents by providing opportunity to speak directly with leading experts,” reads a statement.

The expo will feature seminars and lectures from financial experts, regulators, analysts and successful investors. Quiz contest, art exhibition, national and international currency show and movies on trading and investment will be showcased during the event, concludes the release.

CA term extension a political issue: Karki


KATHMANDU, Aug 26: Lawyers on Thursday argued before the Supreme Court special bench that the Constituent Assembly (CA) enjoys the right to extend its term for whatever length of time it needs.

Pleading before the SC special bench chaired by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi and including senior Justices Top Bahadur Magar, Damodar Sharma, Ramkumar Prasad Shah and Kalyan Shrestha, lawyer Mukti Pradhan said that the CA can extend its own term for one year and even more if it feels the need to do so.

"The CA is not defunct as claimed by the writ petitioners," he said, adding," It is functioning and so it can extend its term to promulgate a new constitution."

He, however, argued that there should be grounds for extending the term. "CA can extend its term if the objective behind that is meaningful," he added.

"What do you mean by meaningful?", Justice Kalyan Shrestha asked Pradhan. "What I mean is that the term can be extended only on meaningful grounds," Pradhan replied.

Unsatisfied with the answer, the bench raised another question "You lawyers who are pleading in favor of term extension argue that there should be justified grounds before extending the term. But what do you mean by justified grounds," the bench asked.

"There is no problem for the CA to extend its term but there should be proven legitimacy for that," Pradhan argued. Pradhan, who is close to the Maoists, was pleading as part of the amicus curie appointed by Nepal Bar Association (NBA) on a formal request by the Supreme Court.

Another lawyer, Harikrishna Karki, pleaded that the SC cannot take any decision regarding the CA´s term extension.

"The issue of CA term extension cannot be a matter of judicial review at the SC," Karki said, adding, "Extending or not extending the CA term falls under the jurisdiction of the CA and the apex court cannot impede the matter." He said this was a political issue.

The bench had asked a number of questions to both Pradhan and Karki.

The hearings on a writ petition concerning CA term extension are expected to be completed by Friday. The bench is likely to come up with a final decision on Sunday on CA term extension.

बिमा समितिद्वारा एसियनलाई कारबाही

काठमाडौं, ७ भदौ

बिमा समितिले एसियन लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्स कम्पनीलाई कारबाही गरेको छ । समितिले एसियनलाई कारबाही स्वरूप कम्पनीले बिक्री गर्दै आएको सार्वधिक जीवन बिमालेखअन्तर्गत सुखी जीवन बिमालेख जारी गर्न रोक लगाएको छ ।

समितिले तत्काल लाभांश बाँड्न सर्त तोक्दै साधारणसभा गर्न अनुमति दिए पनि एसियनले समितिबाट लाभांश बाँड्ने अनुमति पाएजस्तो गरी साधारणसभामा प्रस्तुत हुनुका साथै समितिको निर्देशनको उल्लंघन भएको ठहर गर्दै कारबाही गरेको हो ।

समितिका प्रवक्ता शेखर अर्यालले समितिबाट स्वीकृति नलिई लाभांश दिने भन्दै लगानीकर्ता र बिमितलाई समेत अन्योलमा पार्ने गरी काम गरेकाले कारबाही गर्नुपरेको बताए । उनले समितिले पहिलो चरणमा सांकेतिक कारबाही स्वरूप बिमकको व्यवसायमा आंशिक रोक लगाइएको बताए । आवश्यक परे थप कारबाही गर्न सकिनेसमेत समितिले जनाएको छ । समितिको हालै बसेको सञ्चालक समितिले एसियनलाई कारबाही गर्ने निर्णय गरेको थियो । कारोबारले यसअघि एसियनले घोषणा गरी साधारणसभाले पारित गरेको नगद लाभांश प्रचलित मान्यताविपरीत रहेको सार्वजनिक गरेको थियो । जीवन बिमा कम्पनीले बिमांकीय मूल्यांकनअघि कुनै पनि प्रकारको लाभांश घोषणा गर्न पाउँदैनन् । समितिले अर्को निर्णय नभएसम्म कम्पनीले घोषणा गरेको लाभांश वितरणका लागि स्वीकृति दिन नसकिनेसमेत जनाएको छ ।

कम्पनीले पटक–पटक बिमा समितिको स्वीकृति लिएर लाभांश घोषणा गरी नियामक निकायमाथि नै जनमानसमा नकारात्मक धारणा फैलाउन उद्यत् रहेपछि कारबाही गर्नुको विकल्प नरहेको जनाएको छ । दुई साताअघि समितिले समितिकै काम कारबाहीप्रति शंका उब्जने गरी गरिएको प्रचार–प्रसारप्रति असन्तुष्टि जनाउँदै कारोबारमा किन रोक नलगाउने भन्दै कम्पनीसँग स्पष्टीकरण मागेको भए पनि चित्तबुझ्दो जवाफ नदिएकाले कारबाही गरिएको हो ।


एशियन लाइफमाथि कारबाही

अभियान संवाददाता
भदौ ७, काठमाडौं । निर्देशनविपरीत लाभांश बाँड्ने निर्णय गरेको आरोपमा बीमा समितिले एशियन लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्सको व्यवसायमा आंशिक रोक लगाएको छ । समितिले कम्पनीको 'सुखी बीमालेख' व्यवसायमा रोक लगाइएको हो । तर, समितिले लगाएको रोक अन्यायपूर्ण भएको एशियनका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत रमेशकुमार भट्टराईको भनाइ छ । 'समितिकै स्वीकृतिबमोजिम नगद लाभांश बाँड्ने प्रस्ताव साधारणसभाले पारित गरेकाले कारबाही न्यायोचित छैन,' उनले भने ।

एशियन लाइफलाई बीमा ऐन २०४९ को दफा १२ (क), १ अनुसार कारबाही गरिएको समितिले बताएको छ । 'उक्त दफाको खण्ड 'क' बमोजिम समितिको निर्देशन उल्लङ्घन गरेकाले व्यवसायमा आंशिक रोक लगाइएको छ,' समितिका कानून तथा नियमन महाशाखा प्रमुख शेखरकुमार अर्यालले भने, 'बीमा बजारको विश्वसनीयता र नियामकको साखका लागि यस्तो कदम उठाइएको हो । समितिले एशियनको उक्त बीमालेख व्यवसायमा भदौ ८ बाट लागू हुने गरी रोक लगाएको हो । यसबारे जानकारी गराउँदै समितिले कम्पनीलाई बुधवार दिउँसो ४ बजे पत्र काटेको छ ।

आव २०६६/६७ को नाफाबाट शेयरधनीहरूलाई २८ दशमलव १५ प्रतिशत नगद लाभांश बाँड्ने सञ्चालक समितिको प्रस्ताव कम्पनीको गत असार १७ गतेको साधारणसभाले पारित गरेको थियो । 'गत वैशाख २६ मा कम्पनीको वित्तीय विवरण पास गर्दा बीमाङ्कीको प्रतिवेदन स्वीकृत नभई नगद लाभांश वितरण नगर्न निर्देशन दिएका थियौं,' अर्यालले भने, 'तर, सो निर्देशनविपरीत कम्पनीको सञ्चालक समितिले निर्णयगरी साधारणसभामा प्रस्ताव लग्यो र त्यसलाई पारित पनि गर्‍यो । यसले बीमा ऐनलाई मिचेको छ ।'

तर, एशियनका भट्टराई भन्छन्, 'समितिले गत वैशाखमा स्वीकृत गरेको वित्तीय विवरण नगद लाभांशसहितको थियो, जसलाई साधारणसभा प्रयोजनका लागि पनि स्वीकृत गरिएको हो ।' समितिले वित्तीय विवरण स्वीकृत गर्दा बीमाङ्कीको प्रतिवेदन पास भएपछि नगद लाभांश बाँड्नु भनेको उल्लेख गर्दै उनले कम्पनीको बीमाङ्कीको प्रतिवेदन दुई हप्ताअघि स्वीकृत भइसकेको तर पनि अझैसम्म लाभांश नबाँडिएको समेत जानकारी दिए । 'त्यसैले साढे १७ हजार शेयरधनीको हितमा काम गर्न खोज्दा नगरेको कसुरमा कारबाहीमा परियो ।' उनको भनाइ छ ।

लाभांश नबाँड्दै कारबाही गरिनु न्यायोचित नभएकाले रोक्का फुकुवा गर्न समितिलाई आग्रह गरिने बीमक सङ्घका अध्यक्षसमेत रहेका भट्टराईले बताए । तर, कम्पनीले आगामी दिनमा निर्देशन उल्लङ्घन नगर्ने गरी समितिलाई विश्वास दिलाउन नसकेसम्म कारबाही फुकुवा नगरिने अर्यालको स्पष्टोक्ति छ ।

कम्पनी ऐनले पनि साधारणसभा भएको ४५ दिनसम्म लाभांश बाँड्न बन्देज गरेको छ । तर, कम्पनी रजिष्ट्रारले लाभांश वितरण गर्ने अनुमतिपत्र दिइसकेको एशियनस्रोतको दाबी छ । त्यसैले, एउटा नियामकबाट स्वीकृति लिइसकेपछि अर्कोबाट लिन आवश्यक नरहेको जिकीर गर्दै एशियनले लाभांश बाँड्ने सूचना पत्रपत्रिकामा प्रकाशित गरेको थियो । त्यसपछि लाभांश बाँड्ने निर्णयरोक्न समितिले कम्पनीलाई निर्देशन दिएको थियो ।

तर, 'एउटा नियामकबाट स्वीकृति पाइसकेपछि पनि साधारणसभाबाट पारित गरेको निर्णयाई बीमा समितिले रोक्न खोज्यो' भन्ने भ्रामक सूचनायुक्त विज्ञप्ति पनि कम्पनीले प्रकाशित गरेको र यसले समितिको प्रतिष्ठामा आँच पुर्‍याएको अर्यालको गुनासो छ । 'बीमा समितिले हालसम्म कम्पनीहरूले गर्दै आएको गल्तीमा सुधारात्मक कदम मात्रै चाल्दै आएको थियो,' उनले भने, 'अब भने समिति बीमा कम्पनीहरूउपर ठोस कारबाहीमा जान सक्छ भन्ने सङ्केत पनि हो यो ।' बजार स्थायित्वका लागि पनि यस्तो कारबाही गर्नु आवश्यक भएको अर्यालको भनाइ छ ।

एशियनले २०७० सालसम्ममा चुक्ता पूँजी रू. ५० करोड पुर्‍याउनुपर्ने शर्तमा बीमा व्यवसाय गर्ने स्वीकृति २०६४ सालमा पाएको हो । हालसम्म चुक्ता पूँूजी अनुमति दिँदाकै करीब रू. ३६ करोडमात्र भएकाले यसलाई नबढाई लाभांश बाँड्नु उचित नभएको पनि समितिको भनाइ छ ।

समितिले यसअघि विसं २०५६ मा तत्कालीन नेशनल लाइफ एण्ड जनरल इन्स्योरेन्सको अग्नि बीमा कारोबारमा रोक लगाएको थियो । त्यसपछि नेशनल इन्स्योरेन्स (निर्जीवन)को सामुद्रिक बीमा व्यवसायमा र त्यसको केही वर्षपछि एलिकोको एउटा बीमालेखमा रोक लगाएको थियो । २ वर्षअघि नेशनल लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्स पनि समितिको कारबाहीमा परेको थियो । सो कम्पनीको खाता रोक्का गर्दै करीब ५ महीना आर्थिक कारोबारमै रोक लगाइएको थियो ।


एसियन लाइफलाई आंशिक रोक, फेरि निर्देशन उल्लंघन गरे कडा कारबाही गर्ने चेतावनी

नारायण सापकोटा, काठमाडौं, भदौ ८- बिमा समितिले एसियन लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्सको व्यवसायमा आंशिक रोक लगाएको छ। समितिले आफ्नो निर्देशन उलंघन गरेको जनाउँदै रोक लगाएको हो।

बिमा ऐन २०४९ को दफा १२ बमोजिम निर्देशन उल्लंघन गर्ने कम्पनीको व्यवसायमा आंशिक र पूर्ण रोक लगाउन सकिने प्रावधान छ। 'पहिलोपटकका लागि सचेत गराउँदै कारोबार आंशिक रोकिएको हो,' समितिका प्रवक्ता शेखरकुमार अर्यालले बुधबार नागरिकसँग भने।

समितिले कम्पनीको 'सुखी जीवन बिमा' पोलिसी सञ्चालन रोक लागेको छ। कम्पनीले समितिको निर्देशन उल्लंघन गर्दै गए कडा कारबाही गर्ने चेतावनी दिँदै सचेत पनि बनाइएको छ।

आर्थिक वर्ष ०६६/०६७ को कम्पनीको वित्तीय विवरण समितिले सर्तसहित स्वीकृत गरेको थियो। कम्पनीको नाफा, नोक्सान र दायित्वको हिसाब देखाउने बिमांकीय प्रतिवेदन स्वीकृत गर्दा लाभांश वितरण नगर्न समितिले निर्देशन दिएको थियो। उक्त निर्देशन कम्पनीले अटेर अर्यालले बताए।

इन्स्योरेन्सले साधारण सभाबाट १० करोड १३ लाख ४० हजार रुपैयाँ लाभांश सेयर धनीलाई दिने प्रस्ताव पारित गरेको थियो। प्रस्ताव पारित भए पनि कम्पनीले लाभांश बाँडेको थिएन। पछि समितिले बिमांकीय प्रतिवेदन स्वीकृत गर्न ढिलाइ गरेकाले लाभांश बाँड्न नपाएको सूचना कम्पनीले निकालेको थियो। यसपछि समितिले कम्पनीलाई दुई स्पष्टीकरण सोधेको थियो। 'स्पष्टीकरणमा चित्त नबुझेपछि कारोबारमा आंशिक रोक लगाउने निर्णय भएको हो,' अर्यालले भने। समितिको निर्देशनविपरीत गएर कम्पनीले सेयरधनीलाई समेत झुक्याउन खोजेको थियो।

लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्सको स्थापना ०६४ सालमा भएको हो। त्यतिबेला कम्पनीलाई लाइसेन्स दिँदा २०७० सालसम्म ५० करोड चुक्तापुँजी हुनुपर्ने सर्त राखी स्वीकृति दिइएको थियो। तोकिएको अवधिमा पुँजी पुर्‍याउन नसक्नेलाई लाभांश बाँड्न नदिने पक्षमा समिति थियो। 'पुँजी पुर्‍याउनुपर्ने काम नगरी सेयरधनीलाई लाभांश बाँडन खोजिएको देखियो,' अर्यालले भने, 'अहिले नगद बाँडेर पछि पुँजी बढाउन फेरि संकलन गर्न कठिन हुन्छ।' अहिले १० करोड लाभांश बाँडन नदिँदा ४६ करोड पुँजी हुने र त्यसपछि ४ करोडको हकप्रद सेयर निस्कासन गरी पुँजी बढाउन सकिने विश्लेषण समितिले गरेको छ।

बिमा कम्पनीले कुल नाफाको ९० प्रतिशत बिमा लेख लिने (बिमा गर्ने) लाई बाँड्नुपर्छ। बाँकी १० प्रतिशत नाफा मात्रै सेयरधनीलाई कम्पनीले बाँडन सक्छन्।

अहिले मुलुकमा २५ बिमा कम्पनी छन्। यसमध्ये जीवन बिमा कम्पनीको संख्या ८ छ। निर्जीवन बिमा कम्पनीको संख्या १६ पुगेको छ। राष्ट्रिय बिमा संस्थान दुवै व्यवसाय गर्ने संस्था हो। अहिले नयाँ ऐनको मस्यौदा बनाएर पुँजी वृद्धि गरेपछि मात्रै थप बिमा कम्पनीलाई लाइसेन्स दिने गृहकार्यमा समिति छ। केही वर्षमा बिमा कम्पनीको संख्या ह्वात्तै बढेपछि समितिले लाइसेन्स रोकेको हो। बिमाको दायरा बढाउन ठूलो पुँजी भएका कम्पनीलाई लाइसेन्स दिने पक्षमा समिति छ। अहिले ५ प्रतिशतमा नेपालीलाई बिमाले समेटेको समितिको अनुमान छ।


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

बीमा व्यवसायका चुनौती

चन्द्रसिंह साउद
विविध चुनौतीको सामना गर्दै बीमा व्यवसाय विकासको शिखर चुम्नेतर्फ लम्किरहेको छ । १६-१७ अर्ब रुपैयाँबराबरको पूँजी परिचालन, कुल गार्हस्थ्य उत्पादनमा गैरकृषितर्फ२ प्रतिशतको हाराहारीमा पुर्याएको योगदान, प्रत्यक्ष र अप्रत्यक्ष गरी करीब ७५ हजारलाई रोजगारी प्रदान र ६७ जिल्लामा भएको उपस्थिति बीमाक्षेत्रको प्रगति हो । पछिल्ला दिनमा मुलुकका आर्थिक सूचकाङकहरू सङ्कुचनोन्मुख भइरहेको अवस्थामा पनि आफ्नो बजार विस्तार गर्न सक्नु चानचुने कुरा होइन । देशमा छरिएर रहेको ससानो पूँजीलाई एकत्रित गरी मोटो रकम सरकारले भनेका ठाउँमा लगानी गरेको छ । यसबाट प्रत्यक्ष रूपमा अर्थतन्त्रलाई टेवा पुगिरहेको र अनौपचारिक क्षेत्रको पैसालाई बीमाका माध्यमबाट औपचारिक च्यानलमा ल्याइरहेको वर्तमान अवस्था राष्ट्रकै लागि सुखद् कुरा हो ।

बीमा क्षेत्रमा कमजोरी र सबल दुवै पक्ष छन् । दक्ष जनशक्तिको चरम अभावमा पनि यहाँसम्मको सफलता उल्लेख्य भएको बीमाविज्ञहरूको तर्क छ । त्यसैगरी, जनचेतनाको अभाव पनि बीमाक्षेत्रमा नभएको होइन । पछिल्लो समय बीमाक्षेत्रमा उल्लेख प्रगति भइरहेको छ । बैङ्किङ क्षेत्रमा निक्षेप नआइरहँदा पनि बीमा कम्पनीहरूको प्रिमियम बढिरहेको छ । मुलुकका समग्र आर्थिक सूचकाङ्कहरू सन्तोषजनक नभएको अवस्थामा बीमाक्षेत्रको अवस्था सन्तोषजनक रहन सक्नुले यस क्षेत्रको प्रगति भएको मान्न सकिन्छ । दीर्घकालीन रूपमा जोखिम बहन गर्न सक्ने वित्तीय सुरक्षासहितको व्यवस्था हो बीमा, जुन मानवीय जीवनका लागि अति आवश्यक छ । विकसित देशहरूमा बीमा अनिवार्य भइसकेको छ । तर, नेपालजस्तो अविकसित देशका जनतालाई गाँस, बास र कपासजस्ता आधारभूत कुराहरू पूरा गर्न हम्मेहम्मे परिरहेको अवस्थामा पनि ५-६ प्रतिशत जनसङ्ख्याले बीमा गर्नु सुखद कुरा हो । बाँकी रहेको ९४/९५ प्रतिशतमा तीव्र रूपमा बजार विस्तारको सम्भावना छ ।

बीमा कम्पनीहरूको लगानी सुरक्षाका सन्दर्भमा सरकार र व्यवस्थापनले जोड दिनै पर्छ । बीमाक्षेत्रमा देखिन थालेको संस्थागत सुशासनको अभावलाई तत्काल निर्मूल गर्नु अहिलेको मुख्य चुनौती हो । यसमा बीमा समिति र बीमा कम्पनीहरूले आफूभित्र भएका आन्तरिक समस्याका बारेमा खुलेर छलफल, बहस गरेर समाधान गर्न सकिन्छ ।

बीमा व्यवसायको विश्व इतिहास निकै लामो भए पनि नेपालमा त्यति लामो छैन । विसं २००४ मा नेपालमा नेपाल बैङ्कको ५१ प्रतिशत शेयरस्वामित्वमा स्थापना भएको नेपाल इन्स्योरेन्सले बीमा व्यवसायको शुरू गरेको हो । आर्थिक गतिविधिहरूको बढोत्तरीसँगै जोखिम पनि बढ्न थालेपछि, जोखिम न्यूनीकरणको उपायस्वरूप बीमाको आवश्यकता महसूस हुँदै गयो । २००४ सालदेखि शुरू भएको निर्जीवन बीमाको दायरा फराकिलो हुँदै व्यवसायको ढोका पनि खुल्यो । नियमनका लागि २०२७ सालमा बीमा समिति स्थापना भयो । जीवन बीमाको विकासक्रममा विसं २०४० देखि २०५० सालसम्मको अवधि अत्यन्तै महत्त्वपूर्ण छ । २०४६ सालको राजनीतिक परिवर्तनपछि सरकारले अँगालेको उदार अर्थव्यवस्थाका कारण मुलुकमा आर्थिक गतिविधि ह्वात्तै बढयो । उद्योगधन्दा, कलकारखाना, बैङ्किङ क्षेत्रको तीव्र रूपमा विकास भयो । मुलुकमा लगानीका पर्याप्त अवसरहरू आए । लगानीकर्ताहरू उत्साहित भए । रोजगारीका अवसर पर्याप्त सृजना भए । त्यसैले जीवन तथा निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनी खोल्नेक्रम तीव्र रूपमा अघि बढयोे । बीमा व्यवसायले मौलाउने सुनौलो अवसर पायो । हाल जीवन र निर्जीवन गरी २५ ओटा बीमा कम्पनी सञ्चालनमा छन् । जीवनबीमा क्षेत्रको उल्लेख्य विकास भने विसं २०६० को दशकमा भएको छ । यो बीमाक्षेत्रका लागि निकै महत्त्वपूर्ण कुरा हो र प्रगति पनि ।

पछिल्लो समयमा बैङ्क तथा वित्तीय संस्थाहरू तरलता अभावलगायतका समस्याले ग्रसित भएपछि निर्जीवन बीमाको व्यवसायमा नकारात्मक असर परेको छ । लगानीयोग्य रकमको अभावसँगै बैङ्किङ क्षेत्रले सवारीसाधन, घरलगायतको कर्जामा कडाइ गरेपछि निर्जीवन बीमा कम्पनीहरूको व्यवसाय प्रभावित बनेको छ । बैङ्कबाट कर्जा लिएर खरीद गरिएका त्यस्ता साधनको बैङ्कले अनिवार्य बीमा गर्ने व्यवस्था गरेका कारण कुल व्यवसायको आधाजति बैङ्कमार्फत आउँथ्यो । बैङ्कमार्फत यो वर्ष कमैमात्र व्यवसाय आएको छ । सानो आकारको व्यवसाय र बढी कम्पनीहरूका कारण निर्जीवन बीमा व्यवसायमा पनि व्यापक रूपमा अस्वस्थ प्रतिस्पर्धा भएको स्वीकार नगर्ने कमै मात्र छन् ।

समस्या र चुनौती
बीमा कम्पनीबीच स्वच्छ प्रतिस्पर्धा हुन नसक्नु यस क्षेत्रको सबैभन्दा ठूलो समस्या हो । पारदर्शिताको कमी, बीमा दाबी भुक्तानीमा ढिलासुस्ती, वास्तविक नोक्सानीभन्दा बढी रकमको दाबी गर्नु आदि यस क्षेत्रका अन्य समस्या हुन् । बीमा ऐन-नियममा समयानुसार परिमार्जन हुन नसक्नु, ग्रामीण क्षेत्रमा सेवा विस्तार हुन नसक्नु, जनचेतनाको कमी, दक्ष जनशक्तिको अभाव, नियमनकारी निकायको सक्षमता वृद्धि नहुनु पनि बीमाबजारका प्रमुख समस्या हुन् । नेपाली बीमालाई अन्तरराष्ट्रिय मापदण्डअनुसार विकास गर्नु, निर्जीवन बीमालाई आर्थिक क्षति व्यवस्थापन गर्ने गरी व्यापक बनाउनु, जीवन बीमालाई आर्थिक सुरक्षाका साथै बचत र लगानीका रूपमा स्थापित गर्नु, बीमा सबैका लागि भन्ने अवधारणालाई सही रूपमा कार्यान्वयन गर्नु यस बजारका चुनौती हुन् । नेपालको बीमा व्यवसायलाई स्वच्छ, प्रतिस्पर्धी तथा विश्वसनीय बनाई बीमितको हकहित संरक्षण गर्नु आवश्यक छ । त्यसका लागि बीमा व्यवसायलाई व्यवस्थित, नियमित र विकसित गर्ने, बीमाको माध्यमबाट नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रको दिगो विकासमा टेवा पुर्याउने मूल गन्तव्यका साथ सरकारले आफ्नो गतिविधि केन्द्रित गर्नुपर्ने
चुनौती छ ।

आगामी रणनीति
बीमासम्बधी अन्तरराष्ट्रिय मापदण्डका आधारमा नेपालको बीमाक्षेत्रको मूल्याङ्कन गरी विस्तृत कार्ययोजना तयार पारिएको छ । सोबमोजिम बीमाको स्तरवृद्धिसँग सम्बन्धित प्रणालीहरू विकास गर्न ग्रामीण क्षेत्रका न्यून आय वर्ग तथा समाजको सबै तहका लागि उपयुक्त बीमा सेवाहरूको विस्तार गर्नु आवश्यक छ । साथै, बीमितको हकहित संरक्षण सुनिश्चित गर्ने रणनीति तर्जुमा गर्न विस्तृत योजना बनाई बीमालाई जनजीवनको अभिन्न अङ्ग बनाउने गरी नीतिगत, संस्थागत र संरचनागत सुधारलगायतका कार्य गर्नुपर्ने छ । यसमा बीमा व्यवसायको विकास तथा विस्तारका साथै ग्रामीण जीवन र अर्थतन्त्रमा मद्दत पुर्याउने उद्देश्यसहित विभिन्न कार्यक्रम समेटिनुपर्दछ । बीमा ऐन २०४९ लाई प्रतिस्थापन गर्ने, अन्तराष्ट्रिय स्तरका प्रणाली विकास गरी प्रदान गर्ने काम गर्नुपर्ने छ । बीमाक्षेत्रको विद्यमान सेवा विस्तार गर्ने र बीमा उद्योगका लागि आवश्यक जनशक्ति तयार गर्ने काम पनि प्राथमिकतामा पर्नुपर्छ । बीमासम्बधी अध्ययनका लागि पिछडिएका वर्गलाई छात्रवृत्ति प्रदान गर्नु तथा बीमालाई विद्यालयस्तरको शैक्षिक पाठयक्रममा समावेश गर्नु आवश्यक छ । लघुबीमाको माध्यमबाट ग्रामीण क्षेत्र तथा न्यून आयवर्गका मानिसमा बीमाको सेवा विस्तार गर्न वैकल्पिक वितरण प्रणालीको विकास गर्ने काम गर्नुपर्छ । त्यस क्षेत्रमा प्रभावकारी जनचेतना कार्यक्रम कार्यान्वयन गर्नु आवश्यक छ । यस क्षेत्रमा कानूनी तथा संस्थागत सुधार गर्ने काम गर्नुपर्ने छ । बीमा कोषलाई सुरक्षित क्षेत्रमा लगानी गर्ने वातावरणको विकास गर्नुपर्ने देखिन्छ ।

नेपालको बीमा व्यवसायको औपचारिक इतिहास ६४ वर्षको छ । बीमाक्षेत्रलाई सुदृढ, सूक्ष्म, सुरक्षित र मर्यादित बनाउन गर्नुपर्ने कार्य धेरै छन् । नीतिगत तहमा संस्थागत सुशासन सुधारका कार्य अझै अपुग छन् । यसका साथै अन्तरराष्ट्रिय नियमनकारी निकायहरूसँग समन्वय गरी यसको सम्बन्ध गाढा बनाउँदै लैजानु पनि प्रमुख कार्य छ । बीमा व्यवसायलाई अन्तरराष्ट्रिय तहमा समकक्षी बनाउनेतर्फहाम्रो ध्यान जानु नितान्त आवश्यक छ । एक दिन, एक महिना र एक वर्षको कामले मात्र कुनै कार्य साध्य छैन । यसका लागि सकारात्मक विचार, अनुशासन, इमानदारी, लगनशीलता, पारदर्शिता आदिको निरन्तर अभ्यास आवश्यक पर्दछ ।
लेखक नेपाल इन्स्योरेन्स कम्पनी लिमिटेडका कामु नायब महाप्रबन्धक हुन् ।


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Parbat man admits to killing daughters


KUSHMA: A police probe team has found that Krishna Prasad Tiwari of Pipaltari VDC-9, Parbat district, had flung his daughters Namuna (8) and Nabina (6) from a bridge at Phalebas about two weeks ago and cooked up a story about their ‘abduction’ from Pakuwa VDC-1 to hide his crime.

Police made the findings of the investigation public at a press conference at the Parbat District Police Office today.

“Owing to poor financial condition, I and my wife worked abroad for long. After returning home from Iraq six months ago, I sent my wife abroad. Feeling humiliated for having to send her abroad, I threw my kids from the bridge at 11 pm at night. I had wanted to kill myself, but could not,” police quoted Tiwari.

A three-member probe team under Superintendent of Police Sher Bahadur Basnet had investigated the case after district police failed to unravel the mystery.

After the dastardly act, Tiwari had moved the Parbat DPO stating that an unidentified group had barged into his house and kidnapped his daughters at 11 pm 13 days ago and demanded ransom payment of Rs 1 lakh for their release.

Namuna and Nabina were second and first graders at the Kusma-based Rastriya Bal Shikshya Sadan Residential Secondary School.

Their mother Radhika is in Israel.

In the absence of their parents, aunt Huma Tiwari had brought up Namuna, Nabina and and their sister Namrata (15).

Credit rating agency in pipeline

KATHMANDU: The capital market will have first credit rating agency soon, as India’s leading credit rating agency Icra has already started the procedure for setting up a rating agency here.

“Icra has applied for a ‘No Objection Letter’ after submitting the required documents,” said director of Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) — the capital market regulator — Niraj Giri.

A foreign credit rating agency has to obtain ‘No Objection Letter’ from the capital market regulator to register the company in Nepal.

“The regulation requires Nepali credit rating agency to have a minimum of 25 per cent stake of foreign credit rating agency so that Nepal Investment Bank Ltd (NIBL) is planning to start the agency in association with Icra Ltd,” he added.

Moody’s Investor Service hold the majority stake in Icra.

“We are informed that they have already completed preparation of basic requirements,” Giri said, adding that the credit rating agency can be expected to come into operation soon.

According to the recently endorsed Credit Rating Agency Regulation, the companies planning to issue ordinary shares, bonds, debentures, preference shares exceeding Rs 30 million in value have to get themselves rated by a rating agency. The rating agencies also have to continue rating once rated companies for next two consecutive years as well.

The rating agency can charge the companies rating fee ranging between Rs 150,000 and 0.10 per cent of the total offering on the first year and follow up fee maximum of Rs 50,000 or 0.01 per cent of the offering.

The regulation also stated that the rating agency has to start the functioning within two years after obtaining the licence.

The credit rating agencies rate the credit worthiness and financial soundness of an entity — individuals, company or country based on their financial indicators. They assign ratings on bonds and other forms of debt instruments so investors can judge how likely an issuer — governments and corporations — could pay the debt back.

They are also supposed to be a simple yet effective indicator aiding the ordinary investors influencing their decision regarding the purchase of the securities.

However, the regulator is also conscious that the investors need to be educated regarding the functioning of the rating agencies along with clarifying the meaning of ratings. “The general public has to be educated that the investor should not take decisions solely based on the ratings issued by the rating agencies which might pose as a challenge,” expressed Giri.

The recent downgrade of United State’s credit rating by Standard & Poor has created ripples throughout the global stock and commodity markets.

The rating agencies were also sharply criticised after the 2008 financial crisis. They were accused of contributing to the crisis because they didn’’t warn about the dangers of sub-prime mortgages as investors lost billions of dollars when the mortgages went bad.

Likewise, the rating agencies had even failed to detect the problems the companies such as Lehmann Brothers Holdings and Enron on time. Enron’s rating even remained at investment grade four days before the company went bankrupt.

Proportionate Share Allotment System

KATHMANDU: Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) has officially issued Share Allotment Directives 2068 to implement Proportionate Securities Allotment System. According to the new guidelines, shares will be distributed proportionately to all the applicants of Initial Public Offering (IPO) irrespective of amount applied for. The proportionate allotment will designate the shares to the applicants according to the proportion of the applied amount and there will not be any reason for the applicants to provide multiple applications to obtain larger number of shares. It will help remove the instances of fake application in the public offerings. The directive has segregated 40 per cent of total issue for the retail applicants. The retail applicants are defined as those who apply for unit shares amounting upto Rs 50,000. Sebon and merchant bankers have already started the discussion on developing software that will ensure proportionate allotment.

बैंकहरूमा विशेष साधारणसभाको लहर

काठमाडौं, २४ साउन

आर्थिक वर्ष समाप्तिको ६ महिनाभित्र नियमित साधारणसभा गर्नुपर्ने भए पनि बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाहरू विशेष साधारणसभातर्फ आकर्षित भएका छन् । झन्डै एक दर्जन बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाले मर्जरका लागि भन्दै विशेष साधारणसभा आह्वान गरेका छन् । तीमध्ये केही बैंकको साधारणसभा सम्पन्न भइसकेका छन् ।

केही संस्थाले मर्ज गर्ने संस्था टुंगो लगाएर र केहीले नलगाएरै विशेष साधारणसभा बोलाएका छन् । बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाले मर्जर कमिटी वा सञ्चालक समितिलाई मर्जरबारे निर्णय गर्ने अधिकार दिएपछि काम गर्न सहज हुने भएकाले विशेष साधारणसभामार्फत निर्णय गर्नुपरेको उनीहरूको भनाइ छ ।

काष्ठमण्डप डेभलपमेन्ट बैंक र शिखर फाइनान्स मर्ज गर्ने औपचारिक सहमतिपछि उनीहरूले गत असारमै साधारणसभा सम्पन्न गरी प्रक्रिया अघि बढाइसकेका छन् । त्यसैगरी भिबोर विकास बैंकमा गाभिने निर्णय गरेको भाजुरत्न फाइनान्स एन्ड सेभिङले साउन २६ र भिबोरले ३० गते साधारणसभा बोलाएका छन् । प्रोगेसिभ फाइनान्सले पनि साउन ३० गते नै विशेष साधारणसभा बोलाएको छ ।

यसअघि एभरेस्ट बैंक र कुमारी बैंक मर्ज गर्ने आपसी समझदारीपछि असार ३२ मा बोलाइएको साधारणसभा एकाएक स्थगित गरिएको थियो । एउटै समूह मुख्य लगानीकर्ताकर्ता रहेको नेपाल क्रेडिट एन्ड कमर्स (एनसीसी) बैंक र नेपाल बंगलादेश बैंकबीच मर्ज गर्ने तयारीका लागि क्रमशः असार १७ र असार २१ गते बोलाइएको विशेष साधारणसभा पनि स्थगित गरिएकोमा सोही प्रयोजनका लागि एनसीसीले साउन ३१ गते पुनः साधारणसभा बोलाएको छ भने बंगलादेश बैंक चुपचाप बसेको छ ।

गत साता इन्फास्ट्रक्चर डेभलपमेन्ट बैंक र स्वस्तिक मर्चेन्ट फाइनान्सले पनि भदौ १० गतेका लागि विशेष साधारणसभा बोलाएका छन् । ग्लोबल बैंक, कुबेर मर्चेन्ट फाइनान्स र सूर्यदर्शन फाइनान्सले असार २५ मै विशेष साधारणसभा गरी मर्जरसम्बन्धी विशेष प्रस्ताव पारित गरिसकेका छन् । तर, यी दुवै संस्था कोसँग मर्ज हुने भन्नेमा भने अझै अन्योलमा छन् । उनीहरूले उपयुक्त संस्था खोजी भइरहेको बताउँदै आएका छन् ।

पछिल्लो समय मर्जरसम्बधी बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाको चासोले नेपालको वित्तीय क्षेत्र तातेको छ । अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मुद्राकोष (आईएमएफ) ले हालको वित्तीय संख्यालाई आधा घटाउन नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकलाई भनिसकेको छ । हाल ३१ वाणिज्य बैंक, ८७ विकास बैंक, ७९ फाइनान्स कम्पनी र २१ लघुवित्त विकास बैंक अस्तित्वमा छन् ।

तर, जुन ढंगले मर्जर प्रक्रिया अघि बढ्नुपर्ने हो, त्यसमा भने कुनै प्रगति हुन नसकेको बैंकरहरूको भनाइ छ । सरकारले चालू आवको बजेटमार्फत मर्जरपछिको जग्गा नामसारीमा केन्द्रीय बैंकको सिफारिसमा मालपोत छुट दिइने व्यवस्था गरेको छ । तर, यो प्रावधानबाट बैंकरहरू भने सन्तुष्ट छैनन् । कुमारी बैंकका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत राधेश पन्त मर्ज भएका बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थालाई विशेष व्यवस्था गरेरै भए पनि कर्पोरेट करमा छुट दिनैपर्ने बताउँछन् ।

केही ठूला बैंकमा मर्जरको चर्चा चले पनि आपसी खिचातानी र सञ्चालकहरूको अहमताले प्रक्रिया अघि नबढ्नेजस्तै देखिएको छ । पन्तका अनुसार कुमारी बैंक मर्जको सवालमा उदार रहे पनि नियमित साधारणसभा गर्ने भएकाले तत्काल विशेष साधारणसभा रोकिएको हो ।

बैंकर र राष्ट्र बैंकका उच्च अधिकारीहरू भने अहिलेको अवस्थामा राष्ट्र बैंकबाट अन्तिम ऋणदाता सुविधा लिएका बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाबाहेक अरु मर्जर प्रक्रियामा सामेल हुने अवस्था नदेखिएको बताउँछन् । उनीहरूका अनुसार भिबोर, सूर्यदर्शनलगायत डेढ दर्जन संस्थाहरू मात्र मर्जरमा सामेल हुने सम्भावना छ । तर, यी संस्था मर्ज भएर बलियो संस्था तयार हुनेमा भने बैंकरहरू र स्वयं राष्ट्र बैंकका अधिकारी विश्वस्त छैनन् ।

नेपाल वित्तीय संस्था संघका अध्यक्ष राजेन्द्रमान शाक्यले दुईतिरको धमिलो पानी मिसाएर सङ्लो पानी तयार नहुने बताए । “खराब संस्थालाई जसरी पनि मर्ज गर्नुपर्छ भनी अहिले अघि सारिएको विकल्प वित्तीय क्षेत्रका लागि घातक हुनसक्छ,” उनले भने ।

यसअघि राष्ट्र बैंकबाट ऋण सुविधा लिने संस्थाहरूलाई तीन महिनाभित्र मर्जरको सहमतिपत्र तयार गर्न र त्यसको जानकारी दिन केन्द्रीय बैंकले निर्देशन दिएको थियो । सोहीअनुसार बाध्यात्मक अवस्थामा भिबोर र भाजुरत्नबीच सहमति भएको छ । सूर्यदर्शन मर्ज हुनका लागि साथी खोजेर बसेको छ ।

भिबोरका कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष अजय घिमिरे आफूहरू धेरै पहिलेदेखि नै मर्जरका पक्षमा रहे पनि प्राविधिक कारणले सम्भव नभएकाले ढिलै भए पनि सकारात्मक कदम अघि बढेको बताउँछन् । नियमित साधारणसभाबाट जाँदा केही ढिला हुने भएकाले विशेष साधारणसभा गर्नुपरेको उनको प्रष्ट्याइँ छ ।

राष्ट्र बैंकका प्रवक्ता भाष्करमणि ज्ञवालीले बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाले सुरु गरेको प्रयासलाई सकारात्मक रूपमा लिइएको बताए । केन्द्रीय बैंकले गाभ्ने/गाभिने विषयलाई महत्व दिएकाले नै बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्था नियमन विभागका उपनिर्देशक प्रल्हाद थापाको नेतृत्वमा ‘मर्जर डेस्क’ स्थापना गरिएको बताए । मर्जको विषय त्यति सहज नभएको भन्दै ज्ञवालीले भविष्यमा मर्ज गर्ने गरी गरिएको साधारणसभालाई अस्वाभाविक रूपमा लिन नहुने उल्लेख गरे । मर्जर प्रस्ताव पारित गरेपछि पनि ‘ड्यू डिलिजेन्स अडिट’ (डीडीए) रिर्पोट तयार गरी राष्ट्र बैंकमा स्वीकृतिका लागि आवेदन दिन फेरि साधारणसभा गर्नुपर्ने भएकाले नियमितको सट्टा विशेष साधारणसभा गरिएको हुनसक्ने उनको भनाइ छ ।


RBI ready to help NRB track unauthorized transfers, investments


KATHMANDU, Aug 13: Top official of India´s central bank -- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) -- said that RBI was ready to track unauthorized flow of money and investments by Nepalis in India, if Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) formally requested for it.

“Controlling movement of illicit money is part of our job. We will extend all possible support to NRB to check the flow of illegal money and trace investments made by Nepalis in India if the two governments entered an understanding or we received formal request from NRB,” said RBI Governor Dr D Subbarao.

Such statement from the visiting Indian governor came at a time when NRB has been trying to establish formal ties with the Indian central bank to control capital flight, which grew rampantly in the current political transition.

NRB has been trying to tighten knots against capital flight mainly after its research hinted that corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, and private individuals that amassed huge money through illegal means were parking their earning in India.

Even as a portion of that money is again channelled to third countries, officials say a substantial chunk of such money has been invested in housing and real estate sectors in India.

In this context, Republica had caught up with Dr Subbarao and asked what will be RBI´s response if NRB formally requested for its support to trace and control such investments.

“We will extend full cooperation to NRB,” he replied. Dr Subbarao was in Kathmandu for a two-day visit and Republica interviewed him before he left for India on Saturday.

National govt soon: Dr Bhattarai

KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Vice-chairman of the UCPN (Maoist) Dr Baburam Bhattarai has hinted the possibility of formation of a national consensus government soon.

Taking part in an interaction organised by the Media for Energy Private Limited here on Sunday, Maoist Vice-chairman Dr Bhattarai said that there was no alternative for the parties to forming the government of national consensus so as to conclude the ongoing peace process and the constitution drafting process.

"The parties should give an opportunity to individuals with a clean image to represent the national consensus government", he stressed and urged them to work together by rising above the partisan interests to put the transition to an end.

On the occasion, Energy Minister Gokarna Bista was honoured with the Hydro Nepal Excellence Award-2011. The prize carries a purse of Rs. 15,000 and a letter of appreciation.

Receiving the award, Minister Bista announced to offer the prize money to the Jhamak Kumari Ghimire Foundation by adding an equal sum to it.

Minister Bista underlined the need of reducing poverty and unemployment in the country through the development of the hydro power sector.

The problem of load-shedding facing the country could be minimized by adopting the alternative measures, the Energy Minister added.

PM to resign today

KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal is going to tender his resignation to President Dr Ram Baran Yadav Sunday evening.

“While giving concluding remarks to the party’s (UML) central committee meeting, the prime minister informed that he is going to tender his resignation to the president and he would address the parliament meeting on Monday,” the prime minister’s press advisor Surya Thapa told Republica.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

लघुबिमाको सीमा निर्धारण

काठमाडौं, १७ साउन

सरकारले असोजबाट सुरु गर्ने भनेको लघुबिमा कार्यक्रमको सीमा सार्वजनिक गरेको छ । बिमा समितिको पहलमा सुरु भएको यो कार्यक्रममा लघुबिमाले समेटेका ११ कार्यक्रममध्ये पशु र लघुवित्तको क्षेत्रमा लगानी भएको १ लाख रुपैयाँसम्मको ऋण र अन्य क्षेत्रमा ५० हजार रुपैयाँसम्मको ऋणलाई लघुबिमा भित्र राखिने भएको छ ।

बिमा समितिका प्रवक्ता एव लघुबिमा उप–समितीका सदस्य सचिव शेखर अर्यालकाअनुसार बिमा कम्पनीहरूले पहिलेदेखि नै सञ्चालन गरिरहेका कार्यक्रमलाई वैधानिकता दिन पनि यो कार्यक्रम सञ्चालन गर्न लागिएकोे हो । यस कार्यक्रमले पहिलो चरणमा ११ वटा क्षेत्रको सीमा निर्धारण गरेको छ । यस्तै साना क्षेत्रमा जाने विभिन्न कर्जाको रकम पनि त्यति नै निर्धारण गरिएको छ । जीवन बिमा (सर्वाधिक÷म्यादी), दुर्घटना, स्वास्थ्योपचार, बाली, पशु, दुग्ध तथा मासुजन्य उत्पादन, साना आयोजना, साना व्यवसाय, भवन र स्वचालित अन्य सवारी साधनमा भएको लगानीलाई लघुबिमाको क्षेत्रमा समेटेको छ ।

त्यसैगरी लघुबिमा क्षेत्रमा भएको बिमालाई पुनर्बिमा कसरी गर्ने भन्नेबारेमा पनि समितिले छलफल अघि बढाएको छ । अर्यालका अनुसार यस विषयमा भारतलगायतका विभिन्न मुलुकका पुनर्बिमा कम्पनीसँग छलफल भइरहेको छ । लघुबिमा व्यवस्थापन कोष सञ्चालनका लागि समितिले विनोद अर्यालको संयोजकत्वमा ७ सदस्यीय उपसमिति बनाएको छ । यो उपसमितिमा जीवन र निर्जीवन बिमा कम्पनीका सञ्चालक तथा प्रमुखलाई सदस्य बनाइएको छ । बिमा समितिका निर्देशक डा. अनिल भट्टराई, शिखर इन्स्योरेन्सका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत दिप्तप्रकाश पाण्डे, नेसनल इन्स्योरेन्सका जे घोष, सिद्धार्थ इन्स्योरेन्सका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत एस के तमोट, नेसनल लाइफ इन्स्योरेन्सका भरत बस्नेत सदस्य र सदस्य–सचिवमा प्रवक्ता विनोद अर्याल छन् । सरकारले यस पटकको बजेटमार्फत लघुबिमाको कार्यक्रम सार्वजनिक गरेको थियोे । यस कार्यक्रमको मुख्य उद्देश्य सामाजिक सुरक्षाको माध्यमबाट गरिबी निवारण गर्नु हो ।


Two glaciers in Nepal to disappear

KATHMANDU, Aug 3: Two glaciers in Nepal that shrank at an accelerated rate in the past 10 years compared to preceding decades will inevitably disappear from rising temperatures as no fresh snow supply is expected for them, a new research conducted by researchers from Japan´s Nagoya University says.

The masses of Yala glacier of Langtang Himal in central Nepal and the AX010 glacier of Shorong Himal in the Khumbu region shrank annually by 0.8 meters and 0.81 meters respectively in the 2000s, which was a significant acceleration from the 0.68 and 0.72 meters of shrinkage per year between 1970 and 1990, said findings of the research published in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States on Tuesday.

“If the trend since the 1990s continues for the Yala and AX010 glaciers, then the disappearance of these glaciers is inevitable because they are about to lose their accumulation areas; thus, no snow supply is expected for these glaciers,” says the research conducted by Koji Fujita and Takayuki Nuimura.

The researchers also found that while shrinking of glaciers has accelerated in humid environments, the opposite is true for those in arid environments. The shrinking of Rikha Samba glacier located in Kaligandaki Hidden Valley slowed from 0.57 meters per year between 1970 and 1990 to 0.48 meters per year in the 2000s.

“A comparison of the mass balance results and annual precipitation reveals that glacier wastage has been accelerated in humid environments but suppressed in an arid environment,” the research says.

Apart from environment, altitude also appears to play a role in the lifespan of glaciers, the researchers say. Rikha Samba is located at an altitude of 5,700 meters where loss of mass from melting could be compensated to some extent by collection of snowfall.

The Yala glacier and AX010, on the other hand, are located at lower altitudes of 5,400 meters and 5,200 meters respectively.

Comprehensive Study

This is among a few comprehensive researches on Nepal´s glaciers published so far as it relies on extensive ground-based information and not speculation and hearsay, said Pradeep Mool, action area team leader for Monitoring and Assessment of Ice and Water Resources at the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Apart from extensive field work, the researchers relied on global positioning systems and simulation models. The study that was conducted solely for academic purposes and not for activism was supported by Japan´s Ministry of Science and Technology.

“Also, the three glaciers are among the most widely researched in Nepal,” Mool said, underlining the importance of the findings. “Though it is not certain that other glaciers in the country will behave exactly in the same way as these three, it is by now clear that glaciers are generally shrinking due to warmer temperatures,” he added.

While loss of mass from melting of snow is one of the effects of rising temperatures, another effect is the formation of melt-water lakes that can burst through the natural dams, or moraines, leading to catastrophic flooding of valleys located below it.

Imja, Thulagi and Tsho Ropla are some of the glacial lakes that are believed to pose the threat of such flooding. A March 2010 reports of ICIMOD says detailed field investigations of the three glaciers showed that immediate threat of the lakes breaking their natural dams was found lower than previously reported, although they should be monitored regularly.

Nepal has faced glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) in the past. In 1981, Sunkoshi Hydroelectric Project was struck by flood resulting from the bursting of Baqu glacial lake in Tibet, China. And in 1985, an outburst flood from Dig Tsho glacial lake in Khumbu destroyed a nearly-completed Namche Small Hydel Project.

Average income per tourist per day falls $22

KATHMANDU, Aug 3: Although length of stay and number of tourist increased in 2010 compared to the previous year, latest data reveals that average tourism income per tourist per day has dropped more than 33 percent.

According to statistics provided by the foreign exchange management department of Nepal Rastra Bank, income per visitor on an average dropped $22 per visitor per day. On an average, a tourist spent $65.3 in 2009 but only $43.2 last year.

The total earning from tourism has declined 12.5 percent during this period. Nepal earned nearly Rs 29 billion through tourism in 2009 which reduced to Rs 23.43 billion in 2010.

Data from the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) states that tourists visiting for trekking and mountaineering declined significantly whereas tourists for pilgrimage have gone up.

Trekkers and mountaineers spend more than other tourists, say tourism entrepreneurs. Statistics show that 26.1 percent of total tourists visited Nepal for trekking and mountaineering which in 2009 which dropped to 13.8 percent in 2010. Similarly, tourist coming for pilgrimage comprised only 10 percent of the total arrivals in 2009 which increased to nearly 20 percent in 2010.

Nepal had registered as high as $79.1 per day per visitor in 2003 which declined to $45.1, $58.5 and $55 in succeeding years. The average income from per tourist was $45 and $73 in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

According to an official at Foreign Exchange Management Department of the central bank, the decline in income is mainly due to foreign exchange straying into informal sectors, where it is not regarded as tourism income. “Also, number of tourists from South Asia and China who comparatively spend less than European and American tourists, has gone up,” the official said.

Despite a decline in tourism income, latest data from MoTCA shows average length of stay has increased to 12.67 days in 2010 from 11.32 days in 2009. Similarly, number of arrivals increased 18.2 percent during this period.

The purpose of visit by tourist interests has been pilgrimage, trekking and mountaineering, and holiday/pleasure at 19.9 percent, 13.8 percent and 12.4 percent respectively.

Ex-IGP Rana, agent Bharati released as each furnishes Rs 150 m bail

Prime accused in the Sudan scam, former Inspector General of Nepal Police Om Bikram Rana and Shambhu Bharati, the local agent of the London-based supplier, Assured Risks Ltd, were released from judicial custody after they paid the Rs 150 million bail each.

Bharati deposited the bail through bank guarantee of Civil Bank and Siddhartha Bank while Rana presented the bail by mortgaging his land ownerships.

The two had been sent to Dillibazaar prison last week after they failed to pay the bail amount set by the court after separate hearings.

The bail amount set for them is the highest so far in the Sudan scam trial. nepalnews.com

UCPN (Maoist) introduces code of conduct for its ministers

UCPN (Maoist) introduces code of conduct for its ministers

The Unified CPN (Maoist) has introduced a code of conduct for its ministers Wednesday, two days after it replaced the old team led by Krishna Bahadur Mahara by a new team led by Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

A meeting of the Maoist office-bearers at chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal's residence in Nayabazaar Wednesday issued the code of conduct for the ministers to ‘send a positive message to the people’.

Party secretary CP Gajurel said, the office-bearers’ meeting had directed the ministers to work efficiently for the welfare of the people without engaging in corruption.

The meeting has also directed the ministers to bring relief programmes for the family of the martyrs and the injured in the armed conflict where possible.
The office-bearers meeting has also decided to form a monitoring committee to ensure the code of conduct is followed properly. nepalnews.com

'PM's resignation by August 13 if consensus likely'


RUKUM: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said that Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal would resign by August 13 if an atmosphere conducive to formation of a national consensus government was established.

He made it clear that there is no alternative to the implementation of five-point deal, adding the incumbent government, however, will continue if significant progresses are made towards peace building and constitution drafting processes.

The first and foremost challenge of the government is peace building and constitution making and it is effortful to that end, the Home Minister further said.

Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha, who arrived here to observe the losses triggered by the landslide that took place in Purtimkanda of Rukum on July 15, said this while talking to journalists.

The government is concerned over the loss of life and property in Purtimkanda and will provide victims with relief, he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha was accompanied by UCPN-Maoist politburo member duo Janardan Sharma and Hemanta Prakash Oli.

Energy minister quits as NEA chairman

KATHMANDU: It did not come as a shock when Energy Minister Gokarna Bista resigned from the post of chairman of Nepal Electricity Authority Board, as he had already made an announcement to this effect a few days ago. Nonetheless, today’s development is expected to send a wave of change in the country’s sole electricity utility.

According to the Ministry of Energy, a Cabinet meeting tomorrow is likely to approve Bista’s proposal to resign and appoint someone else as NEAB chairman, a move the minister says is aimed at saving the Nepal Electricity Authority from further politicisation.

“I have found that extreme political interference brought the organisation to such a dire straits. The (energy) secretary will take the responsibility now onwards,” said Bista. He was the chairman of the board by virtue of being the minister of energy.

With Bista’s move today, NEA has seen two fresh changes. A few days ago, the managing director of NEA was appointed through open competition, breaking the longstanding tradition of seating a person of the minister’s choice as the executive head of NEA.

Bista said a minister’s direct appearance at operation level was not necessary. “The only authority to watch the work of NEA is ministry. But if the head of the ministry, who should warn against wrongdoings, himself assumes the top post, who will question the irregularities? So, a minister should not be involved in day-to-day decision-making processes and it must be given a chance to operate by itself,” said Bista.

As per NEA Act 1984, NEA board of directors has the managing director as the member secretary and secretaries from the ministry of energy and ministry of finance as members.

Minister Bista’s recent moves are aimed at fixing the troubled electricity utility that has a cumulative loss to the tune of Rs 28 billion, and rising. “It’s high time we introduced some reforms. If we let the trend continue, I am afraid the organisation will collapse soon,” said Bista.