Nepal Today

Friday, April 26, 2013

a football tourney by another name Kathmandu, 27 April: ANFA announced on Friday the Gurkha Cup Knockout Knockout Tournament in the capital May/June without specifying dates.. ANFA Chief Ganesh Thapa made the announcement. Gurkha Group will sponsor the tournament; the Group and ANFA signed a three-year sponsorship agreement Friday. ANFA President Thapa and Gurkha Group´s representative Prem Bahadur Bega signed the Memorandum of Understanding. Bega said the British Gurkha Cup. Has been renamed Gurkha Cup ‘to give the tournament a broader meaning’. Gurkha Group will provide ANFA Rs 2 million for the 2070 BS edition. The contribution will be increased 15 percent every year. nnnn CAPITAL’S MORNING TEMPERATURE 15 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 27 April: Capital’s Saturday morning temperature at seven was 15 degrees Celsius. Mercury is expected to rise to 30 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. Nnnn NO CHANGES IN ELECTION-RELATED PROVISIONS AMID PROTESTS OF PARTIES Kathmandu, 27 April: With a view to avoiding conflict with political parties and not get blamed for being unable to conduct new polls for the Constituent Assembly (CA), the Interim Election Council has hinted that it will move ahead without making any significant changes to existing election-related provisions, Gani ANsari writes in Republica.. Chairman of the Interim Election Council and Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi gave the hint at a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety and Commissioners Dolakh Bahadur Gurung, Rambhakta PB Thakur and Ila Sharma held at his resident at Baluwatar, Friday morning. Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav was not present as he is currently outside the capital. The new indication comes at a time when the UCPN (Maoist) and fringe political parties have been objecting to proposed provisions related to an eligibility threshold for seats under the proportional representation electoral system and candidates´ criminal background. Fringe political parties have also rejected the proposal to reduce the total numbers of CA seats from 601 to 491. As per the new proposal, the CA will have 240 seats each under the first passed the post (FPTP) system and the proportional representation electoral system, while 11 other members will be nominated. “We are being criticized even as we are trying to introduce a better system,” an EC commissioner quoted Regmi as saying at the meeting, adding, “What to do when the political parties are not ready to accept the proposed provisions?” The Election Commission (EC), in the ordinance on amending the Election of Members of the Constituent Assembly Act, 2013, has proposed that a political party must secure one percent of the total valid vote cast in the election to be eligible for seats under the proportional electoral system. Similarly, the constitutional body has proposed that persons convicted of criminal offenses or moral turpitude should be barred from filing candidacy and be allowed to contest elections only six years after completing the sentences handed down by the courts or any other judicial authority. Also, the EC has proposed that a candidate must make public his/her property details while filing candidacy. Though the government has already approved an ordinance on amending election-related acts and the ordinance on amending the Election Commission Act, 2013, it has failed to approve the ordinance for amending the Election of Members of the Constituent Assembly Act, 2013, as the political parties are sharply divided over provisions related to eligibility threshold for proportional representation seats, the candidates´ criminal background if any and making candidates´ property details public while filing candidacy. Regmi and the top EC officials also held discussions on wooing the agitating political parties, including the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, which has been saying that it will not sit for talks with the Interim Election Council as it is ´unconstitutional´. “The EC will hold talks with disgruntled political parties in a bid to bring them on board the election process,” said Commissioner Sharma. An alliance led by the CPN-Maoist and the Federal Democratic Forum, an alliance headed by the chairman of the Madhesi People´s Rights Forum, have been demanding that their concerns be addressed prior to the annoucement of poll dates. EC to register new parties The EC on Friday decided to register new political parties for the purpose of elections. According to Sharma, a meeting of the constitutional body decided to issue a call to political parties to get registered at the EC for election purposes. “The EC will issue a public notice in this regard by Sunday or Monday,” she added. Altogether 119 political parties are registered at the EC so far. According to the EC, 54 political parties had contested the CA elections held in 2008 and 25 parties were elected. Nnnn IBN NOT CERTAIN PRIVATE SECTOR CAN EXECUTE MEGA PROJECTS Kathmandu, 27 April: The Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) is not confident about the domestic private sector executing mega projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) model., Republica reports. "The Nepali private sector can form small ventures under PPP model, but it´s yet to grow and learn much in order to handle mega projects," Radesh Pant, chief executive officer of the IBN, said. Interacting with media persons here on Friday, Pant said domestic private sector has to change its ´mindset´. However, Pant didn´t elaborate what exactly he meant by ´change in mindset´. The IBN, which was formed more than one and half years ago to facilitate the implementation of large scale projects in the country, has a mandate to execute all its projects on the PPP model. The PPP model is an arrangement between the government and the private sector to execute different projects in the country. "The private sector and its suitability is important to take forward the PPP model in order to execute any project," Sanjay Poudyal, senior advisor at Centre for Inclusive Growth, said, presenting a paper on PPP model during the event. "The private sector should have capacity as well as expertise to deliver services in a competitive price to make the PPP model successful while executing projects." The IBN is currently handling 14 mega projects, including five large scale hydropower projects such as 650 MW Tamakoshi III, 900 MW Upper Karnali, 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi, 900 MW Arun III and 950 MW West Seti. The other infrastructure projects include Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track, Kathmandu Metro Railway, and project to upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport, among others. Meanwhile, private sector representatives have expressed dissatisfaction over the statement of IBN officials. "That´s not true," Pashupati Murarka, one of the vice presidents of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said, commenting on the statement of the IBN officials. "The domestic private sector is competent enough to execute mega projects under PPP model," Murarka told Republica over phone. “I can´t believe that such a statement can from IBN.” Similarly, Bhawani Rana, another vice president of the FNCCI, said the IBN should work toward creating a favorable environment for investment rather than making such statement. “Private sector is always ready to work in the PPP model if the government ensures investment friendly climate in the country," Rana added. nnnn


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