Nepal Today

Friday, November 30, 2012

DR.SINGH CONTINUES DISCUSSIONS WITH LEADERS Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: Dr. Karan Singh, Indian government troubleshooter and close associate of Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, continues his informal discussions with Nepal leaders of the second day of his Nepal visit. Saturday. Singh held discussions with top leaders, including former prime ministers over dinner at the residence of RPP Chairman Pashupati Shumshere JB Rana, his brother-in-law, Friday evening. Singh has come to Nepal at a time when government change has hit a roadblock that could affect constituent elections in April/May to draft a delayed constitution to institutionalize a declared republic. Nnnn YOUTH ASSOCIATION OF NEPAL CLOSED DOOR SESSION BEGINS Kathmandu, 1 Dec.; A closed door session of a national conference of Youth Association of Nepal—an affiliate of opposition UML—began Saturday morning to discuss amendment in the association’s statute. Five hundred delegated are participating in the meeting Chairman Mahesh Basnet will present political report, Vice-chairman Hari Bahadur Rai a proposed statte draft and another vice-chairman Dilu Pant a paper of current isuesss. The conference concludes Sunday aaaaahead of another national conference in December.. nnnn. THAI COURT GRANTS FORMER CROWN PRINCE BAIL Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: A Thai court Friday granted former Crown Prince Paras bail in Thailand, reports from Bangkok said. The then crown prince was held briefly23 October 23, on the charge of cannabis possession in Phuket. nnnn MEDIA GOOGLE “Legal eagles, who have been backing the prime minister in vain, should go through the provisions of the Interim Constitution to know whether the President's move is unconstitutional. "Bhattarai is extending his stay in the government promising the leaders of fringe parties the prime ministerial post instead of holding talks with major parties,” (UML leader KP Sharma Oli, The Kathmandu, Post, 1 Dec.) Nnnn IFIC APPOINTS AUDITOR TO CONDUCT DILIGENCE AAAAAAAAAAAUDIT OF NBB Kathmandu, 1 Dec,: International Finance Investment and Commerce (IFIC) Bank, one of the Bangladeshi promoters of Nepal Bangladesh Bank ( NBB ), has appointed Dhaka-based chartered accountant firm Howladar Yunus and Co (HYC) to hold a due diligence audit (DDA) of NBB . IFIC has initiated the process of purchasing shares of Nepali promoters and another Bangladeshi promoter, Bank Asia, after the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) gave its green light for the proposed transaction some three weeks ago. IFIC will acquire 32.4 percent shares from its partners, which will increase its holding in NBB to 44.55 percent. Currently, IFIC holds 9.92 percent stake in the bank, while Nepali promoters own around 26 percent and Bank Asia has 14.88 percent. “A team of the Howladar Yunus and Company is arriving here on Sunday to undertake the job,” said NBB CEO Gyanendra Dhungana. “Nepali promoters may also appoint a separate firm for a separate DDA to determine the right value of NBB shares.” The central bank has given NBB a three-month period to complete the transaction. “We will do our bit to complete the transaction within the deadline,” said Dhungana. With IFIC becoming the single largest shareholder of NBB , the bank has appointed Mohammad Lutfar Rahaman, who represents IFIC, as chairman. Although the new development gives the IFIC more control over NBB , the Bangladesi bank falls short by 6 percent from a majority stake, as the family of Laxmi Bahadur Shrestha and his brother Jit Bahadur Shrestha will not sell their personal shares immediately. Laxmi Bahadur holds 3.5 percent, while Jit Bahadur has 3.30 percent. Nnnn IFC HEPLS SCALING UP PPP PROGRAMMES Kathmandu, 1 Dec.: International Finance Corporation ( IFC ), a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting the government in scaling up public-private partnership (PPP) programmes to implement projects that will help advance basic infrastructure and accelerate economic development in the country, The Kathmandu Post reports.. IFC will assist the government by helping it lead efforts in public-private partnership projects to develop airports, roads and tourism, a priority for Nepal. IFC will assist in identifying projects and setting transparent standardized bidding procedures in consultation with stakeholders. Additionally, the initiative aims to improve the enabling environment, developing a regulatory, institutional and policy framework for implementing public-private partnerships effectively. “ IFC ’s expertise will enable us to better structure private participation in the upcoming public infrastructure projects,” said Radhesh Pant, chief executive officer of the Nepal Investment Board. “We need to tap into such partnerships more proactively.” Most infrastructure projects in Nepal so far have been funded out of the national budget. Private sector participation in such projects can help address critical infrastructure gaps cost-effectively. According to a white paper by the National Planning Commission, the government has accepted public-private partnerships as an alternative source of building assets. “This initiative should help unlock the huge potential of public-private partnerships in Nepal,” said Val Bagatsing, IFC resident representative for Nepal. “ IFC ’s global expertise will help to overcome the challenges in doing this.” IFC offers advisory services to national and municipal governments on structuring public-private partnerships for basic amenities such as infrastructure, health and education. nnnn


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