Nepal Today

Thursday, May 31, 2012

MEETING TO NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL UNDERWAY Kathmandu, 1 June: A security meeting promised Thursday by Prime Minster Baburam Bhattarai after the murder of Supreme Court Justice Rana Bahadur Bam got underway Friday. Justice Bam was shot dead despite heightened security following similar shootings in the capital and fluid political situation. The premier heads the national security council, nnnn INSUFFICIENT MILK FOR NEPALIS Kathmanndu, 1 June: Nepalis are not getting to consume enough milk according to the quantity prescribed by the government due to shortfall of production and lack of management, The Himalayan Times reports. According to the National Dairy Development Board, average milk consumption in the country stands at 52 litres per year while the government has prescribed 57 litres per year. But the Food and Agriculture Organisation has prescribed 97 litres per year for a person. Similarly, the country is facing a huge shortage of milk in urban areas. The board has recorded a shortage of about 475,000 litres in winter and 300,000 litres in summer, said the board on the occasion of International Milk Day 2012, today. The government entity, Dairy Development Corporation sells 235,000 litres in summer and 150,000 litres in winter. Private dairies have been supplying two-thirds of the milk in major towns including Kathmandu. The average supply from the private sector is around 475,000 litres in summer and 375,000 in winter. According to the board, the country produced about 1.55 million metric tonnes in 2010-11 from 2.26 million milking cows and buffaloes. The country has 12.21 million cows and buffaloes but most of them are of a local breed and cannot produce high quality milk. Out of the total of 1.55 million metric tonnes of milk produced in the country, only 15 per cent is marketed through formal channels like dairies. About 35 per cent is used in local tea shops, sweet shops, hotels and restaurants. Similarly, farmers living across the country consume 778,225 metric tonnes of milk themselves. The board has decided to start programmes to overcome the shortfall of milk by promoting hybrid cattle, producing advance foods, and research and development of more milk producing cows and buffaloes. Increase in milk production will be our major focus in coming years, it said. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has estimated that there are some 1.33 million milking buffaloes this year which is an increase of 3.05 per cent as compared to last fiscal year, and some 998,962 milking cows that is a 2.55 per cent increase as compared to last fiscal year. Nnnn ATTEMPT TO BOOST SHARE MARKET Kathmandu, 1 June: The government today [Thursday] promised to ease margin type lending for shares to boost investor confidence, The Himalayan Times reports. In a nine-point agreement between various stakeholders, the Finance Ministry has agreed to relax the margin type loan against shares as it will take some time to bring margin lending regulation. “Investors can avail loans against the share purchase receipt,” said president of Nepal Investors’ Forum Sitaram Thapalia. After a discussion among Finance Ministry officials led by the caretaker finance minister Barshaman Pun including the central bank governor and Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) chairman, the government also agreed to bring a slew of market supporting regulations soon. “The central bank and Sebon will take appropriate measures to provide long-term loan facility,” according to spokesperson of the Finance Ministry Rajan Khanal. Similarly, the government has also agreed to take action against public companies that have not held regular annual meetings on time and are cheating investors and demoralising them. “It will boost the confidence of the investors as there are many listed companies like National Hydropower which have not held their annual meetings since the last three years,” said Thapalia, adding that the agreement has further directed Sebon and Office of the Company Registrar to safeguard the investment of investors whose shares were invested in public companies which have been delisted due to untimely general assemblies or to avoid financial crime. Sebon and Citizen Investment Trust will also formulate a regulation and working procedure within a month regarding institutional investment in the secondary market. Khanal said that the meeting also decided to start the operation of Credit Deposit System (CDS) from next fiscal year. It has been postponed several times. The Office of the Company Registrar and Sebon will act to execute the provision of Buy Back Option, said Khanal, adding that the Finance Ministry and Nepal Rastra Bank will start homework to establish Assets Management Company to manage securities assets. “Sebon will take prompt action to execute the provision of mutual fund to develop and reform the secondary market.” The meeting also agreed for close supervision of companies whose financial health is not good, said Khanal, adding that Nepal Rastra Bank and Sebon will initiate action against such companies if they are found involved in any misconduct. nnnn MPRF-D SEEKS CALRIFICATION FROM SHARAT SINGH BHANDARI Kathmandu, 1 June: Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) has decided to seek clarification from its senior leader Sharat Singh Bhandari accusing him of working against party policy, Gani Ansari writes in Republica. . According to MPRF-D leaders, the disciplinary committee of the party will publish a notice in Gorkhapatra daily on Friday seeking clarification from Bhandari. The party’s political committee after two days of deliberations had decided to seek clarification from Bhandari. The Disciplinary Committee has accused Bhandari of organizing gatherings across Tarai districts unilaterally for the last few months joining the Broader Madhesi Front and standing with NC and UML against the government’s decision to hold CA election on November 22. Bhandari says he has done nothing wrong and just worked for the cause of Madhesi peoples and democracy. “If working to institutionalize achievements of the Madhes movement and democracy is against party policy then I will continue to do so in the future as well,” said Bhandari, adding, “It is my responsibility to work for safeguarding the achievements of the movement.” He stated that leaders and cadres would decide who actually violated party’s policy and said Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar had unilaterally decided to support CA dissolution. Bhandari, who is also a member of the party’s political committee, said he along with political committee members duo Pramod Gupta and Nilam Berma were not invited to the committee meeting. Gupta also said no one had informed them about the meeting. “In fact, the chairman violated party policy by supporting the Maoists to dissolve the CA so he needs to give clarification,” Gupta said. Speaking at the meeting, committee member Sarba Dev Ojha, who is also a member of the disciplinary committee, had opposed Gachchhadar’s proposal to seek clarification from Bhandari. “Before accusing him of working against party policy, the party should be able to produce evidence. If we believe in democratic system then a leader has every right to protest against the government’s activities,” Ojha told the meeting. According to MPRF-D leaders, seeking clarification from Bhandari is a part of Gachchhadar’s plan to expel him (Bhandari) from the party. “If someone needs to give clarification to the party, then it is Chairman Gachchhadar, who has been making decisions unilaterally, without consulting the party,” fumed a leader, who preferred to remain anonymous. nnnn ________________________________________ ________________________________________ INDIGENOUS LEADERS FOR ALL-PARTY GOVT. Kathmandu, 1 June: Stating that the current fluid political situation should not be prolonged, leaders belonging to indigenous communities have stressed on the need for formation of an all party government comprising intellectuals and human rights activists, among others, Republica reports. A meeting of leaders representing 56 nationalities in the capital on Thursday concluded that a national consensus government must be formed as per the principle of proportional and inclusive representation. "As the country cannot have an elected government, the national consensus government must comprise representatives from political parties, intelligentsia, and human rights organizations," General Secretary of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nefin) Aangkaji Sherpa said after the meeting. The leaders also demanded a legal and political solution to end the fluid political situation. "We concluded that prolonging the situation could pose a threat to national unity and integrity," Sherpa added. The meeting also identified Rastriya Janamorcha, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), RPP-Nepal, Nepal Workers and Peasants´ Party, Rastriya Janasakti Party as “anti-federalists” while accusing the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML of being against identity-based federalism. They also accused UCPN (Maoist), NC and CPN-UML of being responsible for dissolution of the CA. Nefin Chairman Rajkumari Lekhi said that the meeting also dwelt on preparations for the nationwide mass gatherings on June 3 to expose anti-federalist forces. "We will expose the political parties and their leaders who stood against identity-based federalism" Sherpa said. Nefin has already decided to hold a two-day national political gathering of indigenous peoples starting June 16 to chalk out future strategy on the formation of an alliance of indigenous and other leaders representing marginalized communities and to form a new party comprising indigenous leaders. nnnn ________________________________________


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