Nepal Today

Sunday, March 31, 2013

CARTER CAME BECAUSE CARTER CENTER WORKING ILLEGALLY IN NEPAL Kathmandu, 31 March: Former US President Jimmy Carter Saturday asked Chairman of interim election council Khil Raj Regmi to permit the body to minitor coming constituent elections, Chandra Shekhar Adhikari writes in Annaourna Post. The Center entered Nepal in 2064 [five years] ago to monitor the fist constituent assembly elections adnd worked without registering with government agencies. Carter is now in Nepal to give the center formal official status. nnnn. MAOIST CHIEF FOR MID-OCT POLL Kathmandu, 31 March: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Saturday that chances of a June election had lessened due to the reluctance of the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, The Kathmandu Post reports. The Maoist boss, who is said to be in favour of June polls, said that the date for the new Constituent Assembly election should be fixed soon after consultations with other political parties and the Election Commission. Addressing a Central Committee meeting, Dahal said that the party should propose a mid-October date for the polls—instead of November, an alternative prescribed by the 11-point agreement signed on March 13 in case an election on June 21 is impossible. Dahal said that on one hand the NC and the UML wanted to defer the polls while on the other there had not been sufficient preparations for a June election. “We should not protest against this government even if June polls are elusive, as the first party to propose the formation of such a government,” a leader quoted Dahal as telling the meeting. The CC meet decided to organise a month-long cadre orientation programme, focused on building the organisational base, across the country. Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist leaders Rekha Sharma, Krishna Dhoj Khadka and Kumar Dahal returned to the UCPN (Maoist) after 10 months of defection. The three leaders attended the UCPN (M) Central Committee meeting on Saturday. They alleged that the CPN-Maoist, led by Mohan Baidya, lacked a clear ideological line. The 98-member CC, elected by the seventh general convention last month, however, failed to extend its size owing to the disputes among the rival factions led by Dahal, Vice-chairmen Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha. The meeting, according to leaders, set criteria for aspiring CC members—performance and seniority, with priority for suppressed and marginalised community members. The convention decided to appoint 151 full CC members and alternative members as required. But the committee has failed to appoint new members due to factional disputes and an unexpectedly high number of aspirants. To settle the case, an office bearers’ meeting has been called on Sunday morning. Nnnn RESERVE BANK OF INDIA TO SET ASIDE ADDITIONAL RS..1 BILLION FOR NEPAL IN 2013 At a time when the country is facing acute crunch of Indian currency (IC) notes, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide additional IRs 1billion to Nepal for 2013. Until now, the Indian central bank had been making available IRs 4 billion per year. For this fiscal year, the RBI has already made available IRs 3 billion. The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has been demanding that the RBI make available IRs 6 billion per year, a senior NRB official said. Besides RBI, other major sources of IC notes for Nepal are Nepali migrant workers and Indian tourists, among others. Of late, the domestic market is facing an acute shortage IC notes due to factors such as rising trade deficit with India and informal cross-border trade. Increased cross-border smuggling, capital flight under various modes, including payment for insurance schemes, and increased demand for IC for travel, medical treatment and pilgrimage, have resulted in IC crunch in the domestic market. Under-invoicing of imported goods is another contributor to IC shortage. Traders say importers pay the actual price of undervalued imports in cash. According to them, they send the remaining payment through hundi after customs clearance in Nepal. Shortage of IC has also resulted in flourishing black market. The exchange rate has reached up to Rs 170 per IRs 100 in the black market. The NRB-fixed exchange rate is Rs 160 for IRs 100. Black marketers withdraw IC from ATMs in bordering Indian towns and sell them in the black market at high exchange rates. TO address this situation, NRB had lowered the limit of withdrawal from Indian ATMs to IRs 10,000 a day. Now, the limit has further been lowered to IRSs 5,000 per day following incidents of unauthorised ATM withdrawals by using fake debit cards. nnnn


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