Nepal Today

Wednesday, November 30, 2011



Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: Prime
Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Nepali Congress President Sushil
Koirala reviewed the political situation Thursday morning.
The meeting follows a fresh 6-point agreement between major parties to form a national government by 15 December and publish a schedule by 6 December to implement a 7-point agreement whose provisions haven’ t been implemented.
The agreement was inked between ruling parties and the opposition.’ so far.
The talks at the Koirala residence were held as the main opposition pushes government change with NA at the helm.
Ruling coalition is pushing for a national government under its leaderships.
Bhattarai briefed Koirala on his visit Wednesday of two cantonments with Chairman Prachanda to win the hearts of the party’s former fighters as a dissident faction opposes their integration in the state army.


Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Wednesday instructed the ministries and concerned departments not to transfer employees without approval of the Ministry of General Administration.
In a response to a complaint that the civil servants were being transferred under different pretexts without completing their service period, the CIAA said that it was not considered desirable to transfer the employees without observing the Civil Service Act and regulations.
"There is tendency of seeking the consent of the Ministry of General Administration after deputing a large number of employees to other places and making posting in those vacant places," it said and instructed the concerned bodies not to repeat this practice hereafter.
The anti-graft body also directed to correct
the transfers and postings made earlier by violating the Civil Service Act and regulations.
It also said that the Ministry of General Administration was found giving approval for the transfer and posting of employees without clear basis and reason.
"It is not appropriate to conduct transfer and postings of employees when the development works need to be sped up," he said.
The CIAA has instructed the ministry to furnish replies to it within five days with details in regard with the transfer and posting of the employees since more than four months.
It asked the ministry to clarify as to how many employees it approved for the transfer and how many approvals were given on the basis of cabinet and secretary level decisions.

Kathmandu, 1 Dec..: A number of doctors who studied under the government scholarships are getting away without following the compulsory provision of serving in the rural areas at least for two
Years, The Rising Nepal reports.
No doctor has been punished for failing to abide by the provision.
It is mandatory for individuals studying medicine under the government scholarship to serve in the government hospitals and health centers located in the rural areas at least for two years.
The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) said the Ministry of Education should recover Rs. 3.5 million because doctors did not go to serve in the rural areas.
A month ago, the Ministry of Education published a detailed lists of the doctors who had not been to the villages for the compulsory service and started recovering Rs.250,000.
After the Education Ministry’s decision to get back Rs. 250,000 from each service evader, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a stay order according to which those doctors who obtained their education under the government scholarship now needed to serve in the rural areas for five years.
Janardhan Sharma, spokesperson at the Ministry of Education, said after the SC order the publicising of the names was halted.
Although the Ministry collected the names of hundreds of service evaders, most doctors did not come into contact, he said.
The dispute arose when the then Education Minister Gangalal Tuladhar decided to implement a very old Act to recoup Rs.250,000 from those doctors who did not want to serve as per the provision.
However, an official at the MoHP, said the cost of MBBS course was Rs.250,000 while the Act was active. Now the total cost is around Rs. 3.5 million. The Education Ministry should recoup the total cost from those who violated the government’s provision, he said.
Two months after the SC stay order, the government has not made any concrete decision in this regard.
For years, hundreds of doctors who won scholarships under the government quota did not meet the provision of two years’ compulsory service. Some doctors have flown overseas and others are serving in private hospitals and nursing homes.
Every year, more than 250 receive MBBS scholarships. But only 350 doctors are in the compulsory service.
Doctors who study medicine under the government scholarship scheme are generally sent to primary health centers during the compulsory service period. But the Department of Health Services has been unable to send the doctors to many centers in the far-flung villages due to shortage of doctors.
Kathmandu, 1 Dec.:The mutual funds have been recognised as the best medium to channelise Non Resident Nepali (NRNs) investment in the capital market by the committee formed to prepare guidelines to facilitate NRN investment, The
Himalayan Times reports.

“The committee has advised to prepare necessary framework to allow NRN investment in the mutual funds,” informed deputy director at the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) Nabaraj Adhikary. The committee consisting of representatives from Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon), Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Company Registrar Office (CRO) and Insurance Board was formed in July to frame guidelines regarding NRN investment in Nepali capital market.

The NRNs can investment in Nepali mutual funds through the recently formed NRN’s investment company. Global Capital Investment — the investment company formed by Non Resident Nepalis (NRN) to invest in Nepal — already has collective fund worth Rs 500 million. “To allow NRN Investment Company’s bulk investment in the market the Mutual Fund Regulation 2067 has to be amended,” pointed out Adhikary.

However, he added, that the amendment of regulation will not take longer.

The regulator has already provided licence to Siddhartha Mutual Fund, a subsidiary of Siddhartha Bank to operate mutual fund. There are three more commercial banks that are waiting for Sebon’s green signal to start mutual funds. NMB Bank, Nabil Bank and Laxmi Bank’s merchant banking subsidiaries have applied for the license to operate mutual fund. The government had opened capital market investment for NRNs in last fiscal year’s budget. However, due to practical complications regarding the entry and exit of foreign retail capital, the matter has remained in theory only. The current fiscal year’s budget has directed Sebon to prepare necessary guidelines regarding NRN investment in securities market within mid-October but it has not been finalised yet.

NRN investment is supposed to aid the capital market in balancing its demand supply mechanism. At present, the stock market is heaving under the supply pressure pushing the overall performance of the market down. The committee was formed to work out the procedure to eliminate the probable obstacles in attracting NRN investment in the capital market.

The guidelines thus prepared as supposed to eliminate any possible cases of clash of regulations imposed by different regulatory bodies. Though, the capital market regulator has permitted NRN investment in securities market through portfolio investors back in December 2010, it also could not be materialised.

According to Portfolio Management regulations, NRNs can appoint licensed portfolio managers to undertake investment on their behalf. However, there are difficulties regarding the exit mechanism for the returns and fund that NRNs have invested. As a preventive measure to capital flight, there are some complications posed by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) regarding the exit mechanism.

“The repatriation of returns will be simpler if the investment is being undertaken by a company instead of numerous individuals that is why the committee has recommended investment through the company,” pointed out Adhikary.

However, the policy measures alone will not help attracting the foreign investors in the stock trading the infrastructure also need to support the policies. It is not possible in the existing technology; thus, Nepal Stock Exchange is trying to get its trading software upgraded to incorporate online trading as well.
Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: The Islami Sangh Nepal has threatened to launch the third phase of agitation within this week if the government does not keep the pledges it made to the Muslim organisation, which includes punishment for the killers of its general secretary Faizan Ahmed, declaration of Ahmed as a martyr and inclusion of the Muslim representatives in the State Restructuring Commission, The Himalayan Times reports.

In a press statement issued today, the Islamic organisation informed that it had organised two rounds of protest - the second round concluded on November 27 - against the September 26 murder of Ahmed.

The organisation described the protest as successful.

“The government has compelled us to launch the third round of agitation against the murder with authorities concerned not heeding to our demands,” the organisation said in its press statement.

Meanwhile, police are still clueless about the killers of Ahmed and the motive behind the murder.

Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: The frozen relations between Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala and senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba seems to be thawing with the establishment faction showing signs of willingness to address the latter’s grievances, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Interlocutors engaged in efforts to bring the two sides to a meeting point have said there are “positive signs” from both the sides.
“Some of us have held a few rounds of discussions with both the sides. The party president seems to be serious this time around. He has called a crucial meeting of office bearers and senior leaders at his residence early on Thursday, an indication that things are improving,” said an NC leader who wished not to be named. “The meeting is expected to come up with a solution.”
On Tuesday, NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Situala met Deuba to discuss a way out of the factional differences, including the row over dissolution of the party’s sister wings. Leaders close to Koirala said he is ready to take Deuba into confidence before taking any decision on the formation of interim committees of the dissolved sister wings and appointments in vacant departments and other internal bodies.
“Things will be resolved if the party president can appoint a proportional number of our leaders in over two dozen vacant departments, the Parliamentary Board and the Central Work Execution Committee,” said a Deuba confidante. “We won’t object if the party president appoints a majority of the members from his camp. What we need is a proportional representation as agreed in the past.”
Both Koirala and Deuba had met and talked for the first time in the last one-and-a-half months during a meeting with Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday.
Deuba supporters, however, wanted to remain skeptical over the ongoing negotiations. “Though efforts are on, we have not reached an agreement yet. We have not received any concrete proposal from the party president,” said NC leader Prakash Sharan Mahat. “The party president has been saying all along that he is serious, but we are yet to see that in reality.”
The widening rift has been a matter of serious concern for most of the NC leaders as the party has not been able to hold regular meetings and hold open discussions on several pending issues since the party’s general conventions in September 2010. Deuba, who resigned following differences over the ‘unilateral’ dissolution of the sister wings, and his backers have been boycotting the party’s central working committee meetings for the past couple of weeks.
“I’m worried because the differences are serious and bringing both the sides to a meeting point is a challenging task,” said Minendra Rijal, another leader who has been trying hard to bring both the sides to an agreement

Kathamandu, 1 Dec.:Three officials at the Land Revenue Office, Chabahil, have been arrested for their involvement in the sale of a piece of land twice. Bikash Maharjan of Lalitpur, who had sold his land in Jhapa, Surunga, four years ago, “sold”
the same again four months ago from Kathmandu, this time to a different buyer and in collusion with government officials, The Kathmandu Post reports.
Navaraj Dhakal, section officer at the Land Revenue Office, Chabahil, and two non-gazetted officers, Drona Poudel and Khagendra Pokharel, were arrested by the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, on Wednesday for their part in the fraudulent deal.
The two bigha (26 ropani) land, which Maharjan owned in Surunga, was sold to Chitrakumari Shrestha on January 27, 2008 from the Land Revenue Office, Jhapa.
However, Maharjan sold the property again jointly to Dipa Mukhiya and Dambar Kumari Shahi on July 24, 2011. He had lied to the buyers that the land was in his name and taken Rs 2.6 million from them.
“The land revenue officials had helped Maharjan in the crime. They had not even tried to ascertain the real status of the land. They had forwarded papers under the influence of bribe,” said DSP Dhiraj Pratap Singh, spokesperson for the Range.
“Papers permitting the sale were not signed at the office. The paperwork was done at a restaurant in Maharajgunj,” said Singh.
Maharjan was arrested on November 23. Based on his testimony, the trio was arrested on Wednesday. Police say the officials had turned a blind eye to concerns such as who the real owner was and receipts of land revenue payment by Maharjan. Moreover, they allowed Maharjan to “sell” the land even without appearing at the office.
The Kathmandu District Court on Wednesday evening authorised the trio’s stay at the Range for more than a day.


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