Nepal Today

Thursday, March 14, 2013

STUDENTS APPEAR FOR COMPULSORY NEPALI IN SLC Kathmandu, 15 March: Students Friday morning began penning down answers on compulsory Nepali at examination centers nation-wide on the second day of this year’s SLC examinations. The annual tests continue for nine days. nnnn THREE STAR, NRT MEET Kathmandu, 15 March: Super league leader Three Star plays NRT Friday in the marty memorial A Division competition at Dashrath Rangashala. A Valley strike Thursday forced organizers to reschedule the match. nnnn FOREIGN INVESTORS AGAIN GETTINGFIVE-YEAR VISAS Kathmandu, 15 March: : The Government has restarted to issue five years business visa to the foreign investors under a new visa provision. The new visa provision came into effect after its approval from the Ministry of Industry on Wednesday, CP Khanal writes in The Rising Nepal. During past three years, the government had been issuing only one year business visa to foreign investors after a directive of the Commission on Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). Considering the adverse effects of the short term visa provision to investors, the Department of Industry (DoI) had prescribed for the introduction of new visa provision around six months ago. Under new visa provision, foreign investors meeting certain conditions will get business visa for five years, said Bipin Rajbhandari, director at the Foreign Investment Section of the DoI. As per the conditions in new visa provisions, individual foreign investors and companies need to meet at least one of the four criteria based on investment volume, revenue contribution, employment opportunities to Nepali nationals and export volume, Adhikari said. In order to meet investment criteria, investors are required to invest at least US$ 200,000 within three consecutive years through banking channels. An individual investor is entitled to one visa while companies will get two visas upon meeting the conditions. Companies with foreign investments can apply for one additional business visa upon additional investments of US$ 100,000. Similarly, investors need to employ at least 50 Nepali citizens to meet employment criteria. Likewise, foreign investment companies paying average Rs. 200,000 income tax to the government for last three consecutive years will meet the revenue criteria for getting five years’ business visa. The companies could apply business visa to additional one for each additional income tax payment of Rs. 100,000. In case of export volume criteria, companies exporting their products at least worth Rs. 20 million yearly for last three years will get the business visa for five year. As per the new provision, companies with foreign investments for less than three years needs to meet either the employment or Investment criteria while those operating for at least past three years suffices to meet any of the four criteria to get five year visa. In case of the mega projects with investments more than US$1 million for individual investors and the government would provide business visa to one investor prior to the operation of the business. Similarly, investment companies having foreign investments exceeding US$ 5 million will be provided visa facility for up to five persons prior to its operation. According to DoI, individual investors could not recommend their visa facility to their representative while companies could do so. The Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act has guaranteed the visa for the dependents of foreign investors getting business visa. The new provision has also provided rights to the DoI to scrap their visa at any time if they do not submit their tax clearance certificate and audit report annually to DoI and it found the business otherwise during its surprise inspection of business operating by foreign investors. nnnn


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