Nepal Today

Monday, April 30, 2012


PARTIES AGREE TO AMEND RULES OF PROCEDURE TO FACIKITATE PASSAGE OF ARTICLES Kathmandu, 1 May The Big Thee and Madesh Morcha decided Tuesday to amend a constituent assembly (CA) procedure Tuesday to facilitate approval by the assembly to articles to a proposed constitution. Maoist leader Khim Lal Devkota disclosed this after a summit meeting of party leaders The CA is scheduled to meet at one in the afternoon. The assembly meeting was postponed twice to enable parties to come to a consensus. Without consensus on disputed articles to be incorporated in a basic law , the CA will vote on articles for adoption by majority vote.. Leaders of the big parties held discussions with Chairman Subash Nemwang before a Prachanda-sub-committee on resolution of disputes met. The body held discussions even as its tenure had ended. nnnn MINISTER DISDAINS NATIONAL FLAG Kathmandu, 1 May:: Culture Minister Gopal Kirati seems to be too haughty to honour the norm set by the state for high profile public post holders, Bishnu Pd. Aryal writes in The Himalayan Times.. Unlike other ministers, Culture Minister Gopal Kirati prefers to be driven along without the national flag on his vehicle. “It is mandatory for ministers to use the national flag on their vehicles, but we have noticed that Minister Kirati’s car does not have one,” said officials at the Prime Minister’s Office. Spokesperson for Culture Ministry Narayan Prasad Regmi expressed ignorance about Minister Kirati not using the national flag. “Ministers get a vehicle with the national flag because they deserve state respect and they must reciprocate,” said Regmi. “PMO is the responsible body to look into these matters.” But PMO Secretary Lila Mani Paudel said the Ministry of Home Affairs was the body to implement rules. MoHA Secretary Sushil Jung Bahadur said MoHA Spokesperson Shankar Koirala would answer, but Koirala could not be contacted. The minister appears to know only too well how to give things a twist. “I’ll use the national flag only after the constitution is promulgated,” Kirati said in his brief comment sent through text message. nnnn CIAA DRAGS 41 OFFICIALS TO COURT Kathmandu, 1 May: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Monday dragged 41 government officials and members of the All-Party Mechanism to court on charges of gobbling up millions of rupees allocated to local bodies in Bara district. The CIAA has sought around Rs 177 million from them in fines, The Kathmandu Post reports. The anti-graft body said the number of those dragged to court was the highest ever. Thirty-four police officials and two suppliers were taken to court in the Sudan scam. In the charge sheet filed in the Special Court, the CIAA concluded that the government officials, including former Bara LDO Murari Prasad Nepal and 18 members of the cross-party mechanism, gobbled up Rs 22.767 million earmarked for local development. During his three-month stay in the Bara District Development Committee, LDO Nepal embezzled millions of rupees in the name of fake projects, while working hand-in-glove with the APM. A CIAA team led by DIG Ramesh Shekhar Bajracharya investigated the matter after the media reported massive corruption in Bara district. According to CIAA officials, the case was filed by taking into account funds misused just before the end of the fiscal year 2010/11. "We have not yet touched cases of long unpaid advance payment and some 200-300 fake projects and the budget misused in their name," Bajracharya said. The CIAA has sought Rs 22.7m from former LDO Nepal, Rs 22. 7m from Chief Accountant Gopal Das, Rs 17.25 million from engineer Meghu Jaiswal, Rs 17.158m from the Senior Divisional Engineer, Rs 12m from engineer Rajesh Lal Karna and Rs 14. 5m from enginener Pradeep Poudel, among others. It has also sought Rs 9.1 million from 18 members of the APM representing various political parties. nnnn SALARY REVISED WTH JOb SHORTAGE Kathmandu, 1 May: Shortage of foreign job aspirants has forced the government to hike salaries in the destination countries in Gulf; Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, The Himalayan Times reports. Ministry of Labour and Transport Management is revising salary structure upwards for Gulf states to attract potential job aspirants, said spokesperson at the ministry Buddhi Khadka. “We have increased salary from Saudi Riyal (SR) 600 to 800 SR,” he said adding that the revision of other destination countries is also on card. “Gulf countries are offering lowest salary to Nepali workers, so it needs to be revised to attract more foreign job aspirants,” he said. “The ministry is increasing migrant workers’ salary to at least $250 (Rs 20,500) from current average $180 (Rs 14,760). The outsourcers have also agreed to increase salary in Saudi Arabia and the talks are going on to revise salary of other countries upwards,” Khadka added. The ministry and outsourcing agencies have agreed to increase worker’s salary for Saudi Arabia to SR 1,000 including boarding facility, on Sunday. Nepali embassy in Jeddah has advised government to revise salary upward last month after studying salary structure of migrant workers in the destination country. The study has revealed that Nepali migrant workers are getting the lowest salary compared to the workers from India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and African countries. Nepali and Bangladeshi workers are found earning the lowest salary of around SR 800 ($210). However, Bangladesh is not in a mood to revise salary of gulf bound workers. “We have agreed to increase migrant workers salary following workers’ shortage but it may back fire as the neighbouring countries are sending workers at a low salary,” said second vice president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies Kumud Khanal. According to him, Nepali outsourcing sector is in risk unless Nepal endorses Saudi Arabian government salary. “If Bangladesh and African countries supply workers at the current wage there will not be any demand for Nepali workers,” he said adding that it is hard to implement the decision. He, however, suggested the government to start diplomatic efforts to revise migrant worker’s salary in other gulf countries and Malaysia. According to the association, outsourcers are getting sufficient workers according to the demand they have in hands. “Outsourcers have to visit villages to convince youths for foreign jobs. They have mobilised their agents in villages,” said president of the association Bal Bahadur Tamang. “But the department’s raid against agent’s offices have created problem,” he said, adding that they have above 100,000 demands in hands but only one-third of them has contacted for foreign jobs. “Branches and agent’s office are illegal, according to Foreign Employment Act,” director general at the Department of Foreign Employment Purnachandra Bhattarai, said, agreeing that there is a shortage of foreign job aspirants but his drive is to protect the sector. “The government is ready to facilitate outsourcers according to the law but they should come forward,” he added. nnnn

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