Nepal Today

Sunday, March 31, 2013

NEPAL HOSTS AFC U-14 FROM TUESDAY Kathmandu, 1 April: : Nepal will host the Group C qualifying matches of the AFC U-14 Championship at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu Tuesday. Nepal will play Bhutan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in Group C qualifiers. Uzbekistan and the Maldives, who were in the same group, have pulled out of the tournament. Teams have been dividedinto eight groups. Winners of all the groups will qualify for the final rounds. Nepal has selected a 20-memebr squad. ear Shrestha and Mrigendra Mishra as the coaches of the Nepali U-14 team. ANFA had announced a 20-member youth team on Saturday. Nepal will take on Afghanistan in the opening match of the qualifying round. The grouping is new and was announced by Asian Football Confederation to popularize the sport. Nnnn TIBET TEAM IN TOWN Kathmandu, 1 April: A delegation from Tibet headed by Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) arrived in Kathmandu Sunday to explore prospects for further cooperation wuth neighbouring. Niepal I trade and tourism.and trade. Liu Kin, deputy director general of the office, leads the team. Discussions are scheduled with officials of the foreign and local development ministries. nnnn MONDAY MORNING CAPITAL TEMPERATURE 11 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 1 April: Monday morning temperature in the capital is Expected to be 11 degrees Celsius. Mercury in the afternoon is expected to rise to 28 degrees Celsius. nnnn PROPOSED CHANGES IN ELECTION RULES MAKE ELECTION DIFICULT FOR FRINGE PARTIES Kathmandu, 1 April:: The proposed Elections to Constituent Assembly Ordinance prepared by the Election Commission that has made it tougher for the fringe parties to get a seat under the proportional representation system has raised the hackles of the fringe parties, Ram Kumar Kamat writes in The Himalayan Times. . Section 68 of the proposed ordinance requires a party to secure at least 1.5 per cent of the valid votes polled in the first past the post system to get one seat in the PR system. In the all-party meeting called by the Election Commission here today, small outfits demanded that the threshold should be reduced. Chairman of the Dalit Janajati Party, Bishwendra Paswan, told mediapersons that the fringe parties might boycott the elections if parties were required to poll so many votes for a seat in the PR system. “This is a gross injustice against fringe parties. This is a ploy to abolish fringe parties,” he said. He concluded that under the new proposal a fringe party that polls 1,49,999 votes in FPTP and loses may not get a PR seat, whereas in the last polls, a PR seat was guaranteed if a party polled 23,000 votes. Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety said they received some vital suggestions which would be reviewed tomorrow. “We will send the draft ordinance to the government by tomorrow,” he added. Asked whether the EC would reduce the threshold for the fringe parties, he said in democracies such thresholds are fixed up to 10 per cent and Nepal’s democracy was not fundamentally different from other democracies. “Our proposal could be altered by the government, the four-party mechanism and finally the President,” Uprety told mediapersons after the meeting. He said EC proposed the 1.5 per cent threshold with the view to consolidate like minded fringe parties. “This threshold will prevent fragmentation of small outfits and encourage alliance between those who share ideological affinities,” Uprety clarified. CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel said while the threshold could still be debated, it must be there. Even NC and CPN-UML did not support the fringe parties. Their other concerns • EC’s proposal to reveal the source of income for every expenditure of more than Rs 25,000 and details of party’s economic status at the time of registration of the candidacy. “The EC does not have a mechanism to measure the candidates’ expenses. If a candidate spends Rs 25,000 on party’s cadres’ meal, the EC does not have any mechanism to measure it,” Thapaliya said. • The raising of candidates’ deposit fee from Rs 3,000 to 5,000 under FPTP and from 10,000 to 25,000 under the PR system • Reduction of CA seats from 601 to 491 and the ratio of proportional representation. • The proposal to list Brahmin, Chhetri and Dashnami as ‘others’ Nnnn TASK FORCE TO NAME UCPN MAOIST CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS Kathmandu, 1 April: The Central Committee meeting of the Unified CPN-Maoist today Sunday] formed a six-member task force under the leadership of Krishna Bahadur Mahara to recommend the names of the Central Committee members in addition to the existing 98 members and three new entrants from the CPN-Maoist., TIka Pradhan writes in The Himalayan Times. The task force includes Girirajmani Pokhrel, Janardan Sharma, Devendra Poudel, Hisila Yami and Rekha Sharma. The party has adopted a unique way to select the Central Committee members. It will send the leaders to different parts of the country, where they will have to prove their qualification to excel in leading the organisation while training the cadres. Of the 240-member seventh national congress organising committee, 236 members were present during today’s meeting. The congress held at Hetauda has already endorsed the names of 98 Central Committee members and they will become full central members, including the new entrants from the CPN-M. According to Spokesman Agni Sapkota, the upcoming meeting of the Central Committee scheduled for May 15 after a month-long programme will finalise the CC members. Chief Secretary Hitraj Pande will present the party’s records of the state committees by April 7. Party will organise mass meetings and political trainings in different parts of the country regarding the election campaign and programmes and strengthening the party organisation. As per the schedule, party will hold mass meet of Newa and Tamsaling State Committees at Dharke in Dhading on April 6 and training on April 7, Magarat and Tamuwan State Committees will hold a mass meet on April 9 and training on April 10 at Baglung, Far Western Bureau will hold a mass meet on April 22 and training on April 23 at Bardiya, Eastern Bureau will hold a mass meet on May 1 and training on May 2 at Itahari and the Madhes Bureau will hold a mass meet on May 4 and training on May 5 at Sarlahi. Party had decided to form a collective production and distribution bureau for which a task force has been formed under the leadership of Girirajmani Pokhrel. The task force includes Shakti Basnet, Dharma Dutta Devkota and Dilli Khanal. Nnnn NEPAL ADVANCES TO WORKD T20 QUALIFIERS Kathmandu, 1 April:: Pursuing its World Cup dream, Nepali cricket team has inched closer to the World T20 Cup 2014 to be held in Bangladesh after advancing to the World T20 Qualifiers to be held in the UAE in November, thanks to its semifinal qualification in the ACC T20 Cup on Sunday, Mabin Kjatiwada writes in Republica.. Nepal registered the biggest ever T20 victory in terms of run margin against Singapore at the TU Cricket Ground on Sunday to secure berth in the World Cup Qualifiers for the second time in a row. The top 16 associate members of International Cricket Council (ICC) will compete in the qualifiers. Of them, the top six teams will qualify for the World T20 Cup. Nepal had finished seventh in the last edition of the qualifiers. Nepal elected to bat and put up a mammoth 210/5 in 20 overs as the middle-order batted brilliantly adding 133 runs in the last 10 overs. The 210-run total is the biggest T20 score by Nepal so far. Nepal´s previous biggest total in T20 was the 183 runs scored against Saudi Arabia in the last edition of the tournament in 2011 in Kathmandu. In reply, Singapore was all out for 89 runs in 15.1 overs as four Nepali spinners shared seven wickets to seal the 121-run victory. Nepal´s previous biggest win in terms of runs was the 95-run victory over Saudi Arabia in 2011, while the team´s biggest win in terms of wickets is the nine-wicket victory over Singapore in 2009. "It was a team effort and I´m happy, but we still have a long way to go," said Nepali captain Paras Khadka, who was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his 44 runs off 25 balls. Following the win, Nepal reached the semifinals of the ACC T20 Cup as the runner-up of Group A, where Hong Kong is at the top of the table with four victories in the group stage. Hong Kong had defeated Nepal by six wickets in the group stage. Nepal will take on the UAE in the semifinal on Tuesday while Hong Kong will lock horns with Afghanistan. UAE has topped Group B with four wins while Afghanistan is the runner-up with three victories. Nepal and Hong Kong secured tickets to the World T20 Qualifiers as semifinalists. Afghanistan by virtue of its ODI status and the UAE as the host have already booked their berths in the qualifiers. Nnnn NO FINANCIAL CRUNCH FOR NAIONAL PRIDE PROJECTS Kathmandu, 1 April: Though the upcoming full-fledged budget won´t make any change in major economic policies, Finance Minister Shankar Prasad Koirala has said current expenditure and national pride projects won´t face shortage of funds, Republica reports.. “Holding a free and fair election is our main target. But we will arrange sufficient budget for the implementation of national pride projects and regular expenses of urgent nature,” Koirala told an interaction organized by Society of Economic Journalists-Nepal (SEJON) on Sunday. Koirala also said the government will allocate around Rs 10 billion, including Rs 2 billion for security purposes, for the proposed general election. “Holding general election, promoting good governance and accelerating economic activities in the country are among the top priority programs of the government,” he added. At a time when trade deficit is increasing alarmingly due to slow export growth, Koirala stressed the need to transform import-based economy into industry-based. “It´s high time we took the initiative to bring down widening trade deficit by adopting industry-based economy and thus enhancing our supply capacity,” Koirala, who also looks after Commerce and Supplies, and Industry portfolios, said. He also indicated that the government would increase cash incentive for exporters through the budget for the next fiscal year. The government has been offering cash incentive of as much as 2-4 percent of the total export volume to exporters depending on the degree of value addition in the exported products. Koirala also said the government had already initiated the process of formulating budget to boost capital expenditure for the upcoming fiscal year. At a time when labor unrest is deterring investors from putting their money in Nepal, Koirala said the government was seriously about creating environment conducive for investment. “We have to lure foreign and domestic investments to boost economic activities,” he added. He also said minimizing corruption under his ministries is also among his top priorities. “I have zero tolerance policy when it comes to corruption,” he added. Nnnn


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