Nepal Today

Sunday, March 24, 2013

PRADEEP KUMAR SHRESTHA ELECTED Kathmandu, 25 March: Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, managing director of Panchayakanya Group,s has been elected as vice president of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI). He was elected at the 27th gathering of CACCI in Philippines. Shrestha is also the vice president of SAARC Chamber of Commerce. nnnn EDUCATION SECUITY CELL IN OFFING Kathmandu, 25 March: Following an increase in the cases of student involvement in criminal activities, the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range is mulling to set up a special security cell to respond to the security issues related to academic institutions in the capital, niRJANA Sharma writes in Republica.. The Higher Secondary School´s Association Nepal (HISSAN) and the MPR on Sunday reached an agreement to form the Education Security Cell to handle the issues related to students. A taskforce would be formed soon to finalize the structure and function of the Education Safety Cell, according to MPR Chief and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rana Bahadur Chand. Similarly, the taskforce will also decide the number of security personnel to be deployed under the police cell. Apart from responding to the cases related to the students and education institutions, the mechanism would also raise awareness about anti-social activities such as drug abuse, drunk driving, over-speeding, gang fights and robbery, among others. “The incidences of violence and drug abuse are disturbing the academic environment of the capital, which needs to be controlled immediately,” said Chand. A student of Xavier International College was killed in a scuffle with his friend triggered by a minor dispute at the New Heaven Restaurant, Putalisadak on March 17. “Those students who are entrapped in drug abuse will be sent to rehabilitation centers,” he added. Police data show that most of the fatalities in the motorcycle accident in the Kathmandu Valley due to over speeding involve plus two students. The security personnel have also been asked to detain students if they smoke in public places. The security cell would be instituted in the capital in first phase and then expanded to Lalitpur and Bhaktapur within a short period, said SSP Chand. HISSAN President Ramesh Silwal said that the security cell would firstly cover academic institutions located in Koteshwar, Baneshwar, Gaushala, Chabahil and Putalisadak areas and will gradually expand its reach to other areas of the capital within a few months. There are around 2000 private schools and colleges in the capital where around half a million students are studying, according to the data available at the District Education Office. The concept of education security cell has been introduced as per the assurance of the Ministry of Education (MoE) on March 4 to guarantee a peaceful environment to run private institutions. Nnnn CASES AT REVENUE TRIBUNAL SWELL Kathmandu, 25 March: The number of appeals against the decision of Inland Revenue Department (IRD) at the Revenue Tribunal has increased significantly over the couple of years as the government intensifies investigation against tax fraud cases, Republica reports. However, the rate of settlement of cases is comparatively low given the rise in the number of cases. Statistics of the tribunal shows it received 1,347 appeals until mid-March, including 745 appeals received in the last fiscal year. Of the total appeals, 730 are related to income tax, 451 related to VAT, 112 related to customs duty and 54 related to miscellaneous fraud cases. Similarly, of the 602 appeals filed over the first eight months of the current fiscal year, 316 were related to income tax, 206 to VAT, 41 to customs duty and 39 to miscellaneous frauds cases. Data shows average monthly cases registered at the tribunal has increased to 75 during review months of current fiscal year, up from 62 cases recorded during the preceding fiscal year. Revenue officials said number of revenue fraud cases is increasing after the government intensified revenue investigations over the last couple of years. “We have intensified investigations against revenue invaders and slapped fines and punishment on them accordingly,” Tanka Mani Sharma, director general of IRD, said. “Those who are not satisfied with our verdicts appeal against the decision at the tribunal.” Sharma said most of the revenue fraud cases were found in construction, trading, exports, imports and industrial sectors. The tribunal settled 250 cases over the first eight months of the current fiscal year. This means it is yet to settle 1,097 cases. Of the total cases settled during the review period, 149 were income related to tax, 61 to VAT, 36 to customs and four were related to others cases. A total of 581 cases related to income tax, 390 to VAT, 76 to customs duties and 50 miscellaneous cases are pending at the tribunal. A total of 596 cases are pending at the tribunal over the first eight months of 2012/13, up from 392 pending cases in 2011/12. “The number of cases pending at the tribunal is rising due to our limited resources and rise in the number of appeals over the past few years,” Bishnu Bishnu Aryal, registrar at the tribunal, told Republica Nnnn ELECTION DATE NOT UNTIL A WEEK Kathmandu, 25 March: The Election Commission is likely to take another week to suggest a date for fresh Constituent Assembly polls after assessing the time needed to complete voter registration, persuade those opposing polls to be a part of the election process and weather conditions at the time of polling, Prakash Acharya writes in The Himalayan Times. . EC’s first meeting after chief election commissioner and four commissioners were appointed today decided to assess the technicalities involved to conduct polls and hold discussions with political parties to assess the political atmosphere before suggesting the poll date. “It will take at least a week for the commission to come up with the poll date,” said the EC sources. The 11-point agreement reached among the four major political forces on March 13 had recommended that the polls should be held by June 21. Newly appointed Chief Election Commissioner Nilakantha Uprety said the commission would suggest the poll date after assessing the poll related activities and the government’s preparedness for creating appropriate atmosphere for the polls. “We know our destination but we have many challenges ahead and the commission will meet them as it has got an experienced team of commissioners,” Uprety said. Khil Raj Regmi-led interim election government has already said it would announce the poll date only after consulting the EC. “I have already said the polls should be conducted between May 19 and June 4. Time is running out and it may be difficult to hold the polls in June due to adverse weather conditions. The commission will take into account all the factors before recommending an appropriate date,” Uprety said. He said the commission would also try to persuade the political parties, who had been saying they would not participate in the polls, to be a part of election process. EC finally gets full shape President Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday appointed commissioners of the Election Commission as per the Constitutional Council’s March 21 recommendation and the CC’s clarification on the constitutionality of the appointment of three former commissioners. Following the appointment, Acting Chief Justice Damodar Prasad Sharma administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chief Election Commissioner Nilakantha Uprety at the President’s Office in Shital Niwas in the presence of President Yadav. Uprety then administered the oath of office and secrecy to commissioners Dolakh Bahadur Gurung, Ayodhi Prasad Yadav, Rambhakta Prasad Bishwakarma Thakur and Ila Sharma at Shital Niwas itself. Uprety, Gurung and Yadav are former commissioners, while Sharma and Thakur are first timers. Vice-president Paramananda Jha, Chairman of Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi, ministers and other high-ranking officials were present on the occasion. Nnnn DRIVE TO DISCOURAGE UNDERAGE DISCO FREQUENTERS Kathmandu, 25 March: After two years hiatus, police have again launched a drive to sweep underage boys and girls from entering discotheques and book its operators in the Capital, the Himalayan Times reports.. On Friday, plainclothes cops raided Durbar Marg-based Platinum Club and Planet Bollywood Pop & Lounge and arrested their operators Bijaya Lama and Pravin Maharjan, respectively, and 14 students, including girls. DSP Chakra Bahadur Singh said they were held for allowing school and Plus Two students under 18 years to enter the clubs. They were later handed over to their guardians on the condition that they would shun discotheques in future. In latest raids on three discos in the Capital, police had rounded up 51 underage disco-goers from Platinum Club, Insomnia Disco and Ventena Club. Of them, most were students who had appeared in SLC exams. “Guardians were summoned at the police station to receive their children,” said DSP Singh, adding that allowing children aged under 18 years in discotheques is a violation of the code of conduct set by the local administration to regulate the entertainment centres. According to Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, the drive is being launched with the conclusion of SLC exams as students were found to be indulging in illegal activities after their exams in the previous years. The initiative will continue for an indefinite period, the officials added. Police had launched such a campaign targeting the underage disco-goers in 2010 and 2011. On March 23, 2011, Metropolitan Police Sector Janasewa and Durbar Marg carried out daylight raids on Babylon Discotheque in Sundhara and Insomnia Disco in Durbar Marg and rounded up 71 teenage girls and boys for allegedly indulging in immoral activities. Most of the detained were students who had appeared in SLC exams. Around 300 teenage boys and girls in school uniform, who were partying there after bunking classes, were arrested from Babylone Disco in 2010. SSP Rana Bahadur Chand said the recent raids were carried out after guardians lodged repeated complaints that discotheques were becoming a meeting point for their children to indulge in smoking and drinking. Police had already reached an agreement with discotheque owners to bar underage boys and girls from the entertainment facilities with the intent of indulging in immoral activities. nnnn


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