Nepal Today

Monday, January 31, 2011

NINE NEW NC CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

BY BHOLA B. RANA

Kathmandu, 1 Feb. Nine persons have been nominated central committee (CC) members by NC President Sushil Koirala Monday evening as Sher Bahadur Deuba pushed the party to nominate him the party candidate for prime minister.
Election is being held Thursday.
Bhim Bahadur Tamang, Narahari Acharya, Bimalndra Nidhi, Padma Narayan Chaudhary, Lila Koirala, Ram Krishna Tamrakar, Dil Bahadur Gharti, Gopal Pahadi and Farmullah Mansur were elected committee members one day before candidates before candidates file nominations for government in parliamentary elections.
Deuba is pushing his candidacy after parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Paudel failed to get elected in 16 rounds of extended vote in nearly six months.
Koiala had nominated only Deuba central committee member after his election as president and he can nominate 10 more persons.
Analysts said Sushil nominated 10 committee members to strengthen his control over the party and dilute Deuba’s influence.
A central committee meeting was indefinitely postponed after the Deuba faction opposed Koirala’s proposal to nominate Paudel vice-president and Krishna Prasad Shitaula general secretary.
Following party presidential elections last year, Koirala and Deuba factions are almost equally represented in the CC.
Koirala continues to push Paudel’s candidacy for prime minister against Deuba in the party.
The president is now expected to convene the party CC meet with his hands strengthened in the body with the appointments of loyalists.
Nidhi is the only open supporter of Deuba.
There are now 74 members in the CC.
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CONSTITUTION DRAFTING COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS STATE STRUCTURE

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: A 63-member main constitution drafting committee headed by Nilambar Acharya Tuesday held inconclusive discussions on the future form of a state structure amid differences on it between Maoists, NC and UML—the three largest parties in the constituent assembly (CA).
Dialogue will continue despite differences of a state structure.
oDiscussions start as all parties in the CA decided to empower and activate the committee to complete a draft of a proposed constitution for
promulgation by the second 28 May 2011 deadline.
Without any business, the committee met for the first time in eight months Monday after it received reports of seven thematic committees with differences.
Earlier, a business advisory committee of the CA amended rules for Ca to activate the drafting committee.
Acharya said the committee will prepare a draft of a constitution while attempting to eliminate differences on contentious issues to be incorporated in a basis law.
There was agreement on 129 issues in a constitution at
a task force headed by Maoist Chairman Prachanda while differences persisted on more dive dozen topics.
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CAN INFO-TECH 2011

Kathmandu, 1 Feb. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday
launched the weeklong 17TH CAN INFO-TECH 2011 fair at Bhrikuti Mandap Tuesday.
Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) is organizing the promotional fair.
There are 300 stalls at the fair.
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UML CC MEET STARTS

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: A crucial meeting of the UML central committee (CC) began Tuesday one day before candidates register names for Thursday’s first round election of prime minister.
The CC meet begins amid deep difference in the ruling party on the
election.
There was no agreement Monday between the Big Three on a consensus candidate for prime minister even as Maoists, NC and UML agreed to continue a dialogue.
The committee meet began amid differences in the party with a faction ledd by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and KP Sharma Oli opposing aan establishment to support the candidacy of Maoist Chairman Prachanda.
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PRESIDENT IN NEW DELHI

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, currently on a 10-day official India visit, arrived in New Delhi Monday.
Top Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President of the ruling Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi will hold political discussions with Dr.Yadav who is only a ceremonial head of state at a time when Nepal is in deep political crisis.
The country is being ruled by a caretaker government for more than seven months.
The president, who is also on a religious pilgrimage with members of his family, was welcomed only by Satish C. Mehta, head of the Nepal desk at the Indian foreign ministry, and other administrative officials.
of touring
DP Tripathi, president of Nepal Democratic Solidarity Committee, launched to oust the royal regime, hosted a dinner for the visiting president.
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COURT STAYS OPENING OF PASHUPATINATH TREASURY

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: A one-man bench of the supreme court Monday
issued an interim order to the government not to open the Shree Bhandar, the treasury of Pashupatinath temple, until a final order.
The order was issued by justice Girish Chandra Lal.
The cabinet nearly one month ago decided to open the treasury and exhibit the still unknown valuables there for public viewing by preparing an inventory at a museum and other places.
The valuables here are offerings to the holiest Hindu temple in the country.
The court was responding to a request filed by Bharan Jangam who pleaded Hindu sentiments would by hurt breaking open the treasury.
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TMDP-N RECOGNIZED

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: The Election Commission Monday gave official recognition to Terai Madesh Democratic Party-Nepal (TMLP-N).
The party which split from TMLP is headed by Local Development Minister Mahendra Prasad Yadav.
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ICRS, NA AGREEMENT

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: Nepal Army (NA) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the continued running and maintenance of physical rehabilitation centers in Kathmandu and Pokhara for victims of landmines.
The extension of the MoU was the third.
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NAC DIRECTOR FREED

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) Director Mayor Shumshere Rana Monday was released on a surety of Rs 1.5 million.
Rana has been charged for misappropriating Rs 5.7 billion in a deal with Airbus to purchase two aircraft.
Rana and several other NAC executives have denied the charges.
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TRADE, COMMERCE, ECONOMY

Kathmandu, 1 Finance ministry Monday released Rs 1.30billion to the cash-strapped Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) amid shortage of POL
Products.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has regulated exports of POL
products amid NOC’s delay in settling dues for imports from the Indian state monopoly.
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COMBATANTS DON’T BELONG TO MAOISTS; PM





Kathmandu, 1 Feb: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal Monday rejected the claim by Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda that the Maoist combatants were under their party and said they belonged to the chain of command of the Army Integration Special Committee, The Rising Nepal reports.
"Maoist combatants have come under the control of special committee," PM Nepal said while addressing a function organised by Municipalities Association of Nepal in the capital.
PM Nepal said that the combatants would be integrated and rehabilitated as per their interests, abilities and capacities.
He emphasised that the peace and statute writing processes should be concluded as early as possible for the consolidation of loktantra.
"During the transition, all parties should form a common viewpoint to accomplish the works relating to the state restructuring. It should be carried out by respecting national integrity, sovereignty, geography, culture, and language as well as establishing the ownership of the people to this task," he said.
The restructuring map should be clearly sketched by coordinating in administrative, organisational and economic aspects among centre, province and local units, he said and added that there should be a common standpoint on the proposed federal structure of metropolitan governments and autonomous metro cities.
He also complained that there was no uniformity in the public participation and budget allocation at the local level because the local elections had not been held for a long time.
PM Nepal mentioned haphazard construction of houses in Kathmandu metropolis hit rivers, drains, and roads.
National Planning

Commission vice-chairman Dr. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel said that the change in the structure of the state and form of governance following the political changes should be embraced which, he said, should be taken as a challenge as well as an opportunity.
Dr. Pokharel said that they had imagined a prosperous and just Nepal under federal set up.
Lawmakers Ratna Gurung and Krishna Prasad Sapkota said that local bodies should be systemized and attention should be given to the developments of villages.
The programme entitled ‘the proposed autonomous metropolis government and metro cities’ was chaired association chairman Dor Mani Poudel.




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IC CRINCH WORSENS

Kathmandu, 1 Feb.: Rapid rise in demand for Indian currency (IC) propelled mainly by widening trade deficit with India and a surge in demand to finance illegal gold imports has further worsened the long running shortage of IC in the local market, Milan Maani Sharma reports in Republica.

IC has been in short supply for some time, but traders said the situation has aggravated since last two month as illegal imports of gold from India has increased alarmingly. Higher demand of IC in the local market, according to traders, has fuelled exchange rate of IC in informal market has jumped to Rs 163 per IRs 100 -- three rupees higher than the official rate fixed by the central bank.

As per the Nepal Rastra Bank´s directives, banks are allowed to provide exchange facility of up to IRs 25,000 in a day or maximum of Rs 200,000 in a month to a party. But on Monday Republica found a number of clients approaching senior bank officials to get just a few thousand IC.

Bankers said they are facing difficulty to deal with soaring demand as the central bank itself has tightened IC supply. Some of the bankers complained NRB is presently issuing as less as IRs 200,000 a week, whereas demand runs in millions.

NRB officials refused to talk about the issue, but sources said that the latest spate of IC shortage surfaced particularly after gold dealers started relying heavily on supply made from India.

In a bid to pressure the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to allow them to import gold directly, gold dealers, who have been protesting the policy of allowing commercial banks to import gold and sell them at the local market, are deliberately buying only five kg gold per day from the banks whereas the daily demand, according to Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association (Negosida), stands at 25 kg.

Despite such a huge supply mismatch, consumers say there is no shortage of gold in the market.

"Clearly, supply from India is bridging the gold deficit. We estimate some 15 to 20 kg is presently entering Nepal everyday through informal channel," said Negosida President Tej Ratna Shakya.

If the association´s claim is anything to go by, then as much as IRs 39 million is flying away from the country everyday.

Apart from gold, concerned officials said that the informal trade has grown for almost all products. Growing use of credit cards by visiting Indian tourists and soaring trade deficit too have affected normal supply of IC.

Sources said the central bank has recently increased inspection in major trading hubs along the border to dig out facts about latest spate of IC shortage.

Despite the tightening of supply, the central bank is still facing difficulty maintaining its IC reserve. Records show, IC reserve has dipped by more than 5 billion even though NRB has already bought IRs 46.53 billion by selling US$1.20 billion to finance the trade deficit, which stood as much as Rs 87 billion over the first five months of 2010/11.
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