Nepal Today

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

23 HIMALAYAN PEAKS BEING OFFERED FOR CLIMBS Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: Government is opening 23 Himalayan peaks to climbers to mark the diamond jubilee of the ascent of Mount Everest, the 8848meters world’s tallest 29 May by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. The names of the peaks haven’t been named as yet. Most of the peaks currently open for climbs have been scaled. Nnnn . RAPIST ARRESTED IN DHADING Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: A Chepang nursing mother, who was asleep outside home for space limitation, was raped on last Monday night, RSS reports from Gajuri,. Police on Tuesday nabbed Min Bahadur Ale Magar (42) of Dhupa VDC-9, Gransibas for allegedly raping the nursing mother, said Deputy Superintendant of Police Bikas Raj Khanal. Husband of the victim woman on Tuesday registered FIR at District Police Office, Dhading demanding stern action against the criminal for arbitrary act. A rape case was filed against Ale Magar and action will be taken accordingly, said police sources. The raped woman is being treated at District Hosptial Dhading. Nnnn UNDP TO INVEST $159 MILLION IN NEXT FIVE YEARS Kathmandu 27 Feb.: UNDP will invest $159 million in a new country programme from 2013-17. Government and the agency signed an agreement Tuesday. Effort will be made to reduce vulnerability of communities under threat from climate change and disaster, and on expanding energy access, while continuing its support for elections, constitution writing and income generating opportunities, an announcement said.. UNDP’s energy programme will benefit 25,000 rural households providing access to modern energy. Nnnn WATER LEVEL IN TAMAKOSHI DROPS Kathmandu, 27 Feb.:: Water level in Tamakoshi has plummeted suddenly to such an extent that people can easily cross the river on their foot from either side of the river banks, The Rising Nepal writes from Dolakha.. Various stakeholders said the water level in Tamakoshi has decreased due to the decreasing level of Chho-Rolpa glacial lake and its tributary river and decreasing snow level in Mt. Gauri Shanker. The local fishermen have claimed that the decreasing water level in Khimti River, a tributary river of Tamakoshi, is a major reason behind the suddent fall in its water level. Ganesh Majhi, a fisherman of Kunauri, Bhaluwajor, said that the water level has also decreased in the major tributary rivers of Tamakoshi including Khimti River, Milti River, Singati River, Charnawati River. This is the reason causing the fall of water level in Tamakoshi River, added Majhi. Coordinator of Civil Network, Ramechhap and Intellectual Ram Chandra Biyogi, claimed that the water level has decreased because the high volume of water has been drawn from the rivers for the purpose of irrigation and for running drinking water projects. Biyogi said the water of Tamakoshi River has been drawn from the thick water pipes at more than hundreds of places of the district alone. In such cases, it is natural for river to experience lesser volume of water. Former President of Majhi Utthan Sang, Ramechhap and a teacher Sir Bahadur Majhi said since the water level has decreased in the river, the situation is likely to jeopardize the profession of fishermen. After the sharp decrease in water level, the fishermen are finding it hard to catch fish like earlier days, he added. The fishermen have been residing at the riverside of Koshi at Khimti, Rajgaun, Tekanpur, Manthali, Mungitar, Kunauri, Chisapani, Jakhanitar, Gaikhura,Odarey,Lubhu, Kothpey, Sitkha, Pujighat, Seleghat, Nawaghat, Hardenighat, Birtaghar, Kolanjorghat, Dhaneyghat and Dapkhaghat. A local intellectual Jhamak Kadel said the water level in Tamakhosi has been plummeting for the past four-five years. But the trend of decreasing water level of Tamakoshi is more unusual this year than the earlier, he added. Dil Bahadur Shrestha, a farmer of Mungitar, said if this trend would continue further, then a day will come when Tamakoshi will turn into a small rivulet. The locals could easily cross the river on their foot from different places situated between Devitar to Tribenighat, a stretch 35 kilometers long. nnnn. COUNTRY PASSING THROUGH DARK PHASE SAYS MADHAV KUMAR NEPAL Kathmandu, 27 Feb. CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal Tuesday said that the country's politics was passing through dark days. Speaking at the 13th general convention of the Tulasi Lal Memorial Academy here, he said that the country had become the victim of the Maoist’s denial to other forces. “The UCPN-Maoist is conspiring to get the ordinances endorsed in the name of removing the constitutional and legal obstacles, instead of focusing on the formation of the government,” said Nepal, adding that it was the same UCPN-Maoist party that had been making public that the court and the army were the hurdles to capturing power. He termed the consensus to form the government under the chief justice, instead of finding one from within the party, was a dangerous conspiracy to weaken democracy. On a separate note, Nepal said that Tulasi Lal’s contribution was invaluable in expanding the communist party organization and inspiring the movement for the capital-based poor farmers, who were working in the Terai region. “Tulasi Lal was always of the view that the country could only attain prosperity through the modernization and commercialization of agriculture,” he said, stressing on the need to inscribe the historical incident of farmer’s revolution. Speaking on the occasion, chairman of the Academy Keshab Badal demanded the party should place the photograph of Tulasi Lal, along with the photographs of Manamohan Adhikari and Madan Bhandari. Gopal Shakya, vice-chairman of the Academy, spoke about the contribution of Tulasi Lal to Nepali communist movement. Diwas Amatya, joint-secretary of the Academy, presented the annual report while Mohan Raj Shrestha presented the economic and account report at the programme. Nnnn POULTRY SECTOR BEING OPENED FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: The government has initiated process for opening the poultry sector for foreign direct investment (FDI). The Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act (FITTA)-1992 has barred foreign investment in 23 sectors, including the poultry sector, Ashok Thapa writes in The Kathmandu Post.. Industry Minister Anil Kumar Jha tabled this proposal at the Cabinet on Tuesday. A week ago, a meeting of the Industrial Promotion Board (IPB), which is led by Jha, had directed the ministry to prepare the proposal. Dhruba Raj Rajbanshi, member secretary of IPB, said the decision was taken so as to bring in improved breed, modern technology, generate employment in the country’s poultry sector, and to enhance the quality of meat products. According to Rajbanshi, the decision was taken as per the request of poultry entrepreneurs and business associations like the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries. “Once approved from the Cabinet, the country could attract a significant amount of FDI in the poultry sector, making the sector more competitive and professional.” The government plans to allow foreign companies to invest in the poultry sector in joint-venture model, with a maximum of 75 percent stake. “Foreign investors will be allowed to begin poultry farming, provided they keep at least 200,000 chicks in a lot with a minimum investment of Rs 500 million,” he said, adding the government will introduce a strict standard in this regard. Local poultry entrepreneurs, however, are divided over opening the sector to FDI. Some welcomed the move, while others criticised. Narayan Hari Khatri, first vice president of Nepal Poultry Association, said FDI in poultry would ruin the local poultry industry and displace local entrepreneurs from the business . “Allowing FDI in the sector will affect around 80,000 households directly employed in the country’s poultry sector,” he said. Khatri said the association has submitted a memorandum to the Industry Ministry to roll back the decision. Khatri also accused the government of taking the decision without holding wider consultations with them. However, Anand Bagaria, managing director of Nimbus Group that deals in animal feed, welcomed the government move, provided the government focuses on introducing modern technology and large-scale investment. According to Bagaria, the government should also focus on opening up other related business areas like food processing and effective distribution system for value addition in the traditional poultry business . According to the association, there are around 10,000 small/big poultry farms in the country. Around Rs 32 billion has been invested into the sector, which has annual turnover of around Rs 60 billion. According to a Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) study, Chitwan district is the largest producer of chicken meat in the country, with a share of 35 percent. The district is also the largest egg producer, accounting for 60 percent of the total production. Nnnn NTA SEEKS SERVICE ROLL-OUT PLANS Kathmandu, 27 Feb.: The government has decided to seek service roll-out plans from three companies applying for the unified licence, Ramesh Shrestha writes in The Kathmandu Post. United Telecom Limited (UTL), Smart Telecom and STM Telecom have applied for the unified licence that allows operation of multiple telecom services, including cellular mobile under a single permit. A meeting of the Nepal Telecom munications Authority (NTA) board held on Tuesday decided to ask the companies submit their roll-out plan and the situation of the service they are currently offering, according to the NTA. “We will soon write to the companies to provide detailed information based on the decision of the board,” said NTA Spokesperson Kailash Prasad Neupane. Under the unified licence provision, telecom companies can provide telecom services — local telephone, domestic trunk telephone, international long distance and cellular mobile telephone service — across the country. The three companies have applied for the new licence mainly for GSM mobile service. An NTA official said the roll-out plans from the companies would show how the services would be expanded if they are issued the licence. UTL and Smart Telecom had applied for the licence in September and November last year respectively. While, STM Telecom applied last Friday. The Ministry of Information and Communications based on the recommendation of the NTA had introduced the unified licensing regime in May last year. The new licence provision is targeted at offering level playing field to small telecom companies and helping them expand their services nationwide. Neupane said as part of preparation to issue the licence, NTA is re-verifying the criteria for Smart Telecom. He added the authority, based on the application of STM Telecom, will also check if the latter was eligible for assigning new licence. To get the licence, telecom companies have to accomplish the task of expanding service in designated rural areas of the country as mentioned in their existing licence. However, NTA’s decision issue the unified licence to all small telecom companies is being criticised, terming the regime against the Telecommunication Act 1997. Two separate writ petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of the provision. nnnn


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