Nepal Today

Sunday, October 30, 2011



Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said
Sunday a draft of a constitution will be ready by 30 November for national understanding.
The premier gave the assurance at a public meeting in Janakpur.
He assured integration of 19,000 plus former combatants in state secccurity agencies will begin in a few days; the premier was addressing a Maoist public meeting in Janakpur.
Bhattarai told his audience a four-point agreement with
Madeshbadi that ensured parliamentary majority for the
government of UCPN (Maoist) parties will be implemented—the agreement has been criticized by a faction of the premier’s own party and
opposition parties.
Maoist Chairman Prachanda also addressed the audience.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct. A scheduled meeting of the Maoist
standing committee wasn’t held Sunday after a boycott by a faction ld by
First Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.
The meeting was to discuss an agenda for a central committee that meets 3 November.
Post B. Basnet and/ Kiran Pun add in Republica:
In a UCPN (Maoist) meeting "boycotted" by the party´s radical faction, the party establishment has decided to seal a deal on the protracted peace process in the next couple of days.

"There were only a few contentious issues including the number of the combatants to be integrated and rehabilitation packages for the rest. We agreed to strike a deal within the next couple of days," Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma told Republica after the "informal meeting" of the party standing committee.

The party radical faction led by Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya was not present at the meeting.

"Yes, not all the leaders were present during the meeting," said Sharma.

The party radicals however claimed that they are not aware of any such meeting of the standing committee -- let alone boycott it, and argued that the ´rumor´ was deliberately disseminated to defame their faction.

"Party tradition has been that any meeting is called jointly by the chairman and the general secretary, but general secretary is not aware about any such meeting," Baidya told Republica.

Baidya also bashed the party establishment for violating the party´s mandate while striking a peace deal with other political parties. "They are going for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) model, which is against the decision of the party´s last central committee meeting," said Baidya.

Party spokesperson Sharma said that the party establishment will not violate the mandate of the last central committee while striking a peace deal with other parties.

With the latest decision of the party establishment, the factional dispute in the party has reached a tipping point.

The Maoist party was scheduled to hold its standing committee meeting on Nov 3 to settle the disputes over the PLA integration, handover of the weapons containers to the Special Committee, return of seized property, and BIPPA signed with India.

"It is time to jump into action without being distracted by unnecessary debates in the party," said a senior leader close to Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. According to him, Dahal is not in a mood to hold the CC.

The party radicals have been saying that they would accept only a "dignified" integration of the PLA, and termed the party establishment´s "compromises on the PLA integration" a serious ideological deviation.

Earlier in the day, the hard-line faction, led by Baidya, had also boycotted the tea reception at Janakpur.

Meanwhile, attempts are being made to bridge the rift between the rival factions and save the party from a potential split. There was a meeting of the rival faction leaders at the residence of party leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

According to party leaders, Dahal had requested the radicals to join the government and keep the party unity intact. "The chairman asked us to hold discussions to sort out the differences and join the government. But we turned down his call. You know our stance," said Netra Bikram Chand who is close to Baidya.

The hardliner faction has argued that it doesn´t accept the party´s "anti-national" four-point deal signed with the Madhes-based parties which led to the formation of the current government, and would not participate in the government until the deal is scrapped.



Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: A tripartite summit of Maoists and main opposition NC and UML is being held at a resort in Budhanilkantha Monday morning.
The parties met last 20 October before the just concluded visit of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai agreeing to
Meet again after the end of the visit.
Opposition parties NC and UML Sunday agreed on a common stance for negotiations with the party lading the government.
The two parties agreed to integration of 5,000 former Maoist combatants in state security agencies.
The Big Three are meeting as time is running out to complete the peace process and
constitution drafting by a 30 November deadline.
Republica adds.
On the eve of the three-party meeting scheduled for Monday morning, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has proposed that all the outstanding issues, including those relating to the peace process, constitution writing and power-sharing, be settled
in a package deal, Republica writes.

The Maoist chairman floated the proposal during a meeting of the leaders of UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-UML on Sunday evening to prepare grounds for the meeting of the three major parties.

“Dahal said they are for settling all the issues -- ranging from the peace process, constitution making, power sharing, formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Disappeared People and appointments in the constitutional bodies -- in a package through mutual understanding,” said CPN-UML leader Surendra Pandey.

The proposal indicates a shift in the Maoist leadership´s position with regard to the peace process and constitution drafting. Previously, Dahal and Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai had insisted on settling the issues of the peace process in isolation if a package deal on all contentious issues was not possible. The Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the Mohan Baidya faction of the UCPN (Maoist) have also been insisting on such a package deal.

Besides Baidya, Ram Bahadur Thapa from the camp was also present at the meeting. Prime Minister Bhattarai and Maoist leader Posta Bahadur Bogati, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, leaders Ashok Rai, Pandey and Bhim Rawal were also present at the meeting.

During the talks, both the sides agreed to settle all the issues in a package and not in isolation, leaders said.

Dahal said the new political development has further proved that formation of consensus government and decision-making through mutual understanding among the major parties has become imperative for accomplishing the twin tasks of concluding the peace process and writing the new constitution,” Pandey told Republica.

Earlier in the morning, the second and third largest parties in parliament -- NC and CPN-UML -- had agreed with UCPN (Maoist) to present a common proposal on the integration number and rehabilitation package.

“We have agreed to propose the same number for integration and the same amount of money for the rehabilitation package,” an NC leader told Republica preferring anonymity, refusing to give details about the number and the cash incentives they plan to propose to the Maoists.

NC Parliamentary Party leader Ram Chandra Paudel said they have agreed to settle all the major contentious issues on the peace process in a package and not in isolation. The NC briefed the UML leaders about their latest rounds of talks with the Maoists and assured the latter that the NC will not sign any deal with the Maoists keeping the UML in the dark.

According to Pandey, NC leaders told them that both the NC and the Maoists haven´t made any tangible progress since the Maoist-NC-UML talks on the eve of the prime minister´s visit to India earlier this month.

UML leaders had proposed to resume the tasks of constitution writing simultaneously with the peace process. At present, the leaders have deferred the constitutional committee meetings until further notice as the NC leaders insisted that the constitution drafting process should be taken ahead only after first settling the major thorny issues of the peace process.

“But the NC leaders are still for settling the contentious issues on the peace process beforehand,” said Pandey.

UML leaders during the meeting also enquired if the NC leaders had reached any understanding with the Maoists with regard to power sharing, particularly about heading the election government after promulgating the new constitution. “We just discussed this matter but the NC is never for keeping aside the UML while reaching any agreement in a package,” a leader quoted the NC leaders as saying at the meeting.


Kathmandu, 31 Oct.: A handful of corporate giants have defrauded the government of billions of rupees by evading Value Added Tax, a Finance Ministry report
has revealed, The Himalayan Times reports.

In its report titled ‘Study and Investigation of Fake and Fictitious VAT bills–2011, the ministry has listed the firms involved in the scam.

“It is the largest corruption of the decade,” Right to Information campaigner Taranath Dahal, who had moved the National Information Commission (NIC) seeking the list of VAT defaulters.

In response to an October 16 NIC directive, the finance ministry had commissioned a committee under a deputy director general at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on February 21.

The committee had submitted its 33-page report on March 4.

Him Electronics of Golchha Organisation, Varun Developers, CG Electronics Pvt Ltd, CG Impex Pvt Ltd and CG Foods Pvt Ltd of the Chaudhary Group, Dugar Brothers and Sons and Dugar Auto Clinic Pvt Ltd of the TM Dugar Group, Jagadamba Steel of Shankar Group and Rasuwa Construction Company figure in the list of defaulters.

Also included in the list are United Distributors, a partner of Vishal Group, Bhatbhateni Supermarket, Morang Auto Works and Chameliya, according to the report.

The report reveals that the government has refunded VAT to seven firms: Rs 5.04 million to Sarita Enterprises, Rs 5.31 million to Sarita International, Rs 17.22 million to Ashutosh Impex Pvt Ltd, Rs 16.94 million to Shivashakti Impex, Rs 11.26 million to Digambar Trade House, Rs 45.60 million to Digambar Trade International and Rs 14.35 million to Bhimeshwar Trade House.

In the wake of tremendous pressure from the public, the ministry had agreed to investigate the fake VAT bill scam.

But the ministry did not disclose the actual amount that the firms have defrauded.

It also did not provide the list of large taxpayers. As of October 19, IRD has slapped Rs 3.45 billion tax and fine on 365 out of 518 firms, which had evaded VAT by producing fake invoices.

Of the remaining cases, Large Taxpayer Office is handling 105 cases, according to the IRD.

“The ministry expects to collect more tax and fine from large taxpayers,” a source at the finance ministry said.


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