Nepal Today

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

OE KILLED, FIVE INJURED IN BUS ACCIDENT IN CAPITAL Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: One person was killed when a bus overturned at Machapokhari in the capital at Machapohari Thursday morning. Five others were injured. The driver is absconding. Nnnn . MAOIST CHIEF THREATENINGLY CALLS ON OPPOSITION FOR CONSESUS Kathmandu, 31 Jan,: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has urged the opposition parties to either forge a political agreement or miss the opportunity for ever, Republica reports. “I urge Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to be ready for political consensus or else it would be too late,” Dahal said at a joint gathering of Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) in Kathmandu on Wednesday. The FDRA gathering apparently aimed at countering the mass meeting held by the opposition alliance on Tuesday. Dahal also urged the opposition parties not to further delay consensus. Addressing the same function, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai reiterated that he was in favor of fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls in May-June. Accusing the opposition parties of trying to avoid election, he said the ruling alliance would compel them to participate in the elections. On a separate note, PM Bhattarai said that the road expansion drive initiated by him had been successful. Stating that he is in favor of change, Bhattarai claimed that he would move bring about progressive change and accused the earlier governments of bringing the country to its current miserable state. “The government with its hands tied has been thrown into a pond, but we are still trying to swim,” said Bhattarai mentioning that his government could not formulate its own policies and programs. Addressing the meet, Deputy Prime Minister and Madhesi People´s Right Forum (Democratic) Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar accused the opposition parties of being “anti-federalist” and stressed that the alliance should remain intact until the promulgation of a new constitution that guarantees identity-based federalism. Gachchhadar also claimed that such a constitution would not be possible only through the Constituent Assembly and urged the major opposition parties -- Nepali Congress and CPN-UML -- to stop protesting against the government and step forward for a package deal. Minister for Information and Communications and Madhesi People´s Right Forum (Republican) Chairman Raj Kishor Yadav said NC and UML are still holding on to orthodox ideas when the country has already turned a republic and warned that political forces resistant to change would perish. Similarly, Minister for Health and Chairman of Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato accused the major opposition parties of obstructing the country´s transformation to a federal republic by saying that a federal structure would disturb communal harmony and bring about disintegration of the country. Earlier, FDRA activists and leaders had staged protest march at various places in the Kathmandu Valley before converging into a gathering. The protest march had disrupted traffic movement at various road sections in the capital. nnnn ________________________________________ CENTRAL BANK EASES RESTRICTION Kaaathmandu, 31 Jan.: Remittance inflow might see an increase as commercial banks can now open a liaison or representative office outside the country, The Himalayan Times reports.. Commercial banks that have fulfilled the basic criterion according to the central bank’s rule can now open a representative or liaison office outside the country, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) said today. They must, however, have minimum basic paid up capital, been maintaining one per cent more buffer capital since the last one year, have Non Performing Assets of less than five per cent for the last three years, and the central bank must not have penalised any of the directors within the last six months. Those commercial banks that fulfill the criterion must first apply at the central bank with financials of the last three years, declaration of its capacity to abide by the regulation of the regulatory authority of the concerned country where they are willing to open a representative or liaison office, besides a feasibility study and the bank’s board decision, said Nepal Rastra Bank that will permit banks with time restriction, if the applicant fulfills all the criteria. Commercial banks must get approval from the concerned country’s regulatory authority within six months and a final approval from the central bank to open a representative or liaison office that must come into operation within six months and they must inform the central bank. “Commercial banks must take approval from the Foreign Exchange Department of the central bank for the foreign currency needed to open an office in a foreign country,” NRB added. Commercial banks have been asking the government and the central bank to allow them to operate offices outside the country. Some of the commercial banks have, even, been planning to open a liaison office in the key remittance originating countries like India to officially channel in remittance through banks. Though a World Bank report has projected remittance inflow growth rate to slow down, a large chunk of remittance inflow from India has not yet been completely channelised through formal banking channels making it difficult to track its contribution to the total remittance. Recently, Global IME Bank had sought the central bank’s permission to open a liaison office in New Delhi, India, to channelise the remittance inflow through the bank. The Monetary Policy has also promised commercial banks to allow them to open offices outside the country, though earlier, the Unified Directives 2010 had allowed only licensed institutions established with foreign equity participation to open a liaison or representative office according to the conditions stipulated by the central bank. Nnnn ICJ URGES GOVT. NOT TO NOT TO INTERFERE WITH JUSTICE Kathmandu, 31 Jan.: The International Commission of Jurists today [Wednesday] called upon Nepal government not to interfere any further in the investigation into murder of Dailkeh-based journalist Dekendra Thapa. “Political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation constitutes a fundamental attack on the rule of law in Nepal,” said Frederick Rawski, ICJ Nepal Country Representative, in a press release issued today. “The government must ensure that there are no further attempts to subvert the course of justice.” A murder case against nine persons — four of who are still at large — was filed at Dailekh District Court on Monday seeking life imprisonment to all the accused. The legal proceedings in the eight-year-old murder case had hit a snag following Attorney General Mukti Narayan Pradhan’s order in writing on January 11 to district authorities to halt the investigation. Prosecution had though resumed after the apex court on January 15 directed Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and AG Pradhan not to interfere in the investigation and prosecution. But the government on January 24 had transferred the chief district officer and police chief, a move that was viewed as further interference in the investigation despite apex court’s order. “It is now the obligation of the justice system to ensure the due process and the right to fair trial,” said Rawski. “This is an opportunity for Nepal to illustrate the political will to address past human rights violations and that the country’s judiciary can provide justice for the victims while protecting the rights of the defenders,” he added. “Dekendra Thapa was one of the thousands of civilians whose deaths have gone without proper explanation or justice.” Hailing district authorities’ move to take the case forward, Rawski said, “Thanks to the courageous decision of the local authorities to proceed with the case, there is an opportunity for the Nepali justice system to begin answering the demands for justice.” nnnn


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