Nepal Today

Monday, January 30, 2012



Kathmandu, 31 Jan. Speaker Subash Nemwang Tuesday asked Prime Mnister Baburam Bhattarai to intervene and break a deadlock in parliament.
Seventeen of 33 parties in the legislature have been
obstructing sessions demanding government retract a cabinet
decision to seize assets by Maoist parallel governments during the 10-year insurgency.
Maoists leading the government have been sending confused signals.
Maoist Chief Prachanda said clearly n Butwal Monday assets will be returned on condition alternative arrangements are made for farmers.
Parliament session has been obstructed six times consecutively
with opposition vowing to continue disruption until the decision is corrected.
The prime minister has been avoiding parliamentary sessions.


Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: With deep differences between parties
on a federal structure, two separate reports are being presented to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai Tuesday in by a state appointed state restructuring commission (SRC)
Reports of the majority and minority are being presented separately.
Agreement on major themes to be incorporated
in a proposed constitution has been elusive.


Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: NC senor leader ha s convened
a meeting of his supporters Tuesday at his residence to collect support for plans to
convene a meeting of party district presidents to broaden his influence in the main opposition.
He’s locked in a bitter dispute with the establishment charging President Sushil Koirala for dictatorial tendencies for dissolving elected ad hoc odies of four sister organizations behind the three-time former prime minister.
In protest, Deuba has resigned from the central committee.

Kathmandu, 31 Jan : Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party chairman Mahantha Thakur Monday said that the Madhes revolution was not for political achievements and added that the revolution was for the social, economic and cultural transformation of Madhesi people, The Rising Nepal reports..
Speaking at a programme at the party office, he said that he was for establishing equality for the Madhesi people.
He said, "The Madhes revolution is not for showing, it was a demand of the nation and no one has the power to stop the revolution."
He claimed that his party had given a high priority to establish the rights of the Dalit communities and stressed that his party was against the caste-based discrimination.
He said that the Dalit communities had played a major role in the democratic revolution in the nation.
He said, "The Dalit communities’ role to establish democracy is remarkable."
On the occasion, 81 members of Dalit communities entered his party and took its membership. During the programme, chairman Thakur welcomed the members of Dalit community.
Meanwhile, RSS adds: Minister for Health, Rajendra Mahato has claimed that his party, Sadbhavana, split to fulfill the vested interest for power and money.
At an interaction at the Reporter’s Club on Monday, Minister Mahato, however, claimed that his party became healthy after it shed off the malaise.
Chairman of the Sadbhavana party, Mr Mahato further accused Speaker Subash Nembang of playing a role to split his party.
The Speaker has a role to split the Madhes-based parties, he said, buttressing the claim, "I punished Anil Jha but Speaker legitimized his defection. Now as well, two CA members from the party walk out, Speaker again legitimized this."
In another context, he said the peace process clogged after the Nepali Congress and UML created impediments to it.
The Madhesi Front forged an alliance with the Maoist party for peace, constitution and Madhesi people.
Responding to a query relating to his recent visit to India, he said. ''I was on a visit to Tirupati. It was my personal visit. I did not meet any Indian leader.''


Kathmandu, 31 Jan.:, UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ Monday said that the government could revoke the decision to legalise land dealings made by the Maoists’ parallel government during the decade long insurgency on condition that the opposition parties like Nepali Congress and CPN-UML put forward alternatives, Chabi Pandey reports isn The Rising Nepal from Butwal .
The chief of the main ruling party claimed the land transactions made during the war was not only the matter of concern for his party.
"The government’s decision on land dealings could be revoked if protesting parties including NC and the CPN-UML come up with viable alternatives that address the problems of farmers," Prachanda maintained.
Addressing a press meet in Butwal organized by the Revolutionary Journalists’ Association, Prachanda, who arrived here today to orient party cadres of the Abadh-Madesh states committees of his party, asserted that the stalled peace and constitution writing process would move ahead despite recently emerging hurdles.
"The process of farewell to the PLA members who opted for voluntary retirement would be initiated from Tuesday and the task of integration and rehabilitation would also be expedited," Prachanda said.
Saying that he had proposed for the formation of the national government with NC and the CPN-UML after the peace process got momentum, the former prime minister clarified that dialogues could be made regarding the leadership of such a consensus government.
He reiterated that Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai would lead the national government if his party was given the leadership of a national government.
However, senior vice-chairman Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’ said that talks would be made within the party over the leadership of the government whenever such an opportunity arose.
Restating that he had conditional support to the present government, Kiran said that he had been for the formation of consensus government for long.
"Party will discuss on who leads the national government. There has been no decision in the party that Dr Bhattarai should lead a national consensus government," he said.
Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, who is also Maoist vice-chairman, said the peace process, which had been stalled for three years, got momentum after the formation of the present current government.
Saying that initiatives were taken for the management of the law related to right to information, the Prime Minister said consideration to the privacy of information would as well be given in this regard.
He expressed confidence that the constitution writing process would be moved ahead according to the lately revised work plan.


Kathmandu 31 Jan 30: With 7,000-plus combatants packing up to return to their homes and the old chain of command breaking up, the Maoist PLA commanders have begun to work on alternative arrangements for managing the remaining
Combatants, Kiran Pun writes in Republica..

On Sunday, the commanders held a preliminary meeting to work out a plan for cantonment management, and they have tentatively agreed to shut down two satellite camps under each division, reducing the total number of cantonments from the existing 28 to 14.

There are seven main cantonments and 21 satellite camps where 19,000-plus combatants were housed after their verification in 2007. But the total number of combatants was found to be just over 16,000 during the categorization process, the rest having deserted the cantonments.

Each of the seven main cantonments houses one brigade -- except Shaktikhor cantonment with its two brigades -- and controls three satellite camps each, again except Shaktikhor. Each satellite camp houses one brigade. There are altogether 29 brigades.

"With the old chain of command breaking up, we are planning to reduce the number of cantonments to 14. It is a force whose command and control should be managed immediately," Suk Bahadur Roka Magar told Republica.

On Sunday, during their meeting with the party top brass, the commanders, besides venting their ire for not having been taken into confidence before the decision to release the combatants opting for voluntary retirement, also discussed creating a new chain of command and control under the new circumstances.

The meeting, held at the new residence of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Lazimpat, was participated by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya and General-Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa.

Altogether 7,365 PLA will leave the cantonments under the voluntary retirement package and the process of releasing them will begin on Wednesday, while 9,000-plus have chosen integration into the Nepal Army Directorate. Only six have opted for the rehabilitation package.

Most PLA commanders from the Baidya faction have opted for voluntary retirement, objecting to the ´humiliating´ integration deal.

What shall we do with the weapons and cantonments?

The PLA commanders have demanded that the party leadership and the government clarify what will happen to the cantonments and the weapons of those leaving for home.

During their meeting with the party brass on Sunday, the commanders had raised this question also.

They said handing over the weapons and cantonments to the government immediately would in principle amount to surrender.

It may be recalled that the keys of the weapons containers have already been handed handed over to the Special Committee, although some of the combatants have been allowed to keep some weapons for perimeter security at the cantonments.

"There will be 14 empty cantonments and the weapons of those leaving for home. Handing over the cantonments and weapons before the integration process will amount to surrender. So, how will you settle these things," a commander asked Dahal.

The top brass answered that they would discuss the issues in depth in the party and with other stakeholders. The commanders had warned the leadership that they were for integration, not for ´surrender´ or ´recruitment´.


Kathmandu, 31 Jan : As a part of bringing more income groups under tax net, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is soon initiating a campaign to get high-income earners registered for Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Value Added
Tax (VAT), Republica reports.

“We have credible information that a larger number of professionals with sizable income are not paying tax. We are initiating the campaign within a couple of days to bring them under the tax net," Tanka Mani Sharma, director general of the IRD, told Republica on Monday.

Sharma said IRD will now study whether or not high-income earners like lawyers, medical doctors, consultants, auditors, stock brokers, Lekhandas, professors, and cooperatives have been brought under the tax net. “After conducting the study, we will request those that are yet to be brought under tax net to register for PAN or VAT,” Sharma said, adding: “We will take action against those that ignore our calls.”

IRD will collect data of high-income earners with the help of umbrella organizations of concerned professionals. “We will then match the data with our record of tax payers. This will help us identify those who are yet to be brought under the tax regime,” Sharma added.

Similarly, IRD is launching a campaign within a week to study tax compliance by educational institutions, health institutions, party palaces and house-rent earners. The department is mobilizing 500 persons, including 200 revenue officials, to launch the campaign simultaneously across the country.

"We will first take stock of tax compliance by these firms and revenue mobilized from them. This will help us sort out the firms that are not under the tax net,” Sharma said, adding that the department was also in the process of formulating a monitoring guideline to effectively regulate house rent collection.

IRD has already directed brick manufacturers to register for VAT. It is expected to bring additional revenue of Rs 500 million in the state coffer. Only around 150 of more than 700 brick kilns operating across the country are registered for VAT.

The government has formed an 11-member committee led by Begendra Poudel, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Finance (MoF), to study situation of brick industries and address the demands placed by brick kiln owners, who recently brought brick sales to a standstill for a fortnight. Brick kiln operators have been opposing the department´s directive for VAT registration.




Kathmandu, Jan 30, As the contract deadline for the tourist resorts inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP) is nearing, the resort owners, employees as well as the tour operators are in
a great dilemma, Ballav Dahal writes in The Rising Nepal..
They fear that Nepal could lose her charm as a much sought-after wildlife tourism destination internationally if the resorts are closed.
In 2009, various seven resorts operating inside the CNP had urged the government for extending a 15-year contract period. But the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) under the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation did not renew their contracts. Consequently, the resorts had to remain closed for some months. The closure of the resorts, including Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, Temple Tiger Hotel and Hotel Narayani Safari, had an adverse impact on the country’s tourism industry as a whole.
Then, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the Legislature Parliament had taken up the issue with much focus on outstanding royalty and tax dues to be recovered from the resorts. After holding a series of meetings with the concerned stakeholders, the parliamentary body, however, was not against the resorts. Also five of them immediately paid their dues to the government.
Later, another parliamentary body, the Natural Resources and Means Committee, thought that the matter was under its jurisdiction. The committee was in favour of closing the resorts. However, with the committee’s consent, the government decided to extend their contracts for a short period as the national tourism campaign-- Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY 2011)—was round the corner.
It is needless to say that wildlife diversity is an exceptional feature of Nepal. After mountaineering and cultural tourism, wildlife safari is considered to be the third prime product in Nepal. More than four decades ago, Nepal pioneered wildlife tourism in Asia with the opening of Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge inside the CNP. In the wildlife tourism circle, the country is regarded as ‘Africa of Asia.’
Because of its significant contributions to promoting the environmentally responsible tourism, quality services and effective marketing, Tiger Tops has now become synonymous with wildlife tourism in Nepal. As wildlife safari started gaining ground in Chitwan, more other resorts were established inside the park during the 1980s and 1990s.
Several other Asian countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia have learned from Nepal and developed jungle safari as their new tourism products.
The CNP, which is UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, is the third most popular tourist destination of the country after Kathmandu and Pokhara. More than 80 hotels and resorts are in operation in and around the park. Chitwan attracts a large number of tourists from home and abroad annually. The number of visitors to the park has been on the rise considerably with the start of the peace process in the country.
Since tourism is one of the mainstays of the national economy, the government must think of pros and cons of the closure of the resorts inside the CNP. It should consider the fact that Nepal would have been so popular as a wildlife tourist destination internationally without the efforts made by these resorts.
The government, however, needs to regulate

the resorts and even take action against them if they are not found sticking to conservation rules and regulations. But it should look at practices of wildlife tourism in Africa and other countries where this type of tourism has flourished before taking its decision on the fate of the resorts.


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