Nepal Today

Friday, May 24, 2013

BUDDHA JAYANTI BEING CELEBRATED Kathmandu, 25 May:: Saturday is being observed as 2557th. Buddha Jayamti. The Buddha was born Saturday in Lumbini 2557 years ago. Special prayers are being conducted at the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism. nnnn GOVT, MEETS REVENUE COLLECTION TARGET Kathmandu, 25 May: Government collected Rs 234.45 billion in revenue in 10 months of the current fiscal year 2012/13, the finance ministry said meeting a target to collect of Rs 226.05 billion. Revenue from taxable sources increased 27.47 percent. Rs 68.29 billion was collected in VAT in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year while Rs.52.12 billion was collected from non-taxble source. Rs 46.73 billion generated from customs duties, Rs 29.05 billion from excise duties,,Rs 4.02 billion from registration fees and Rs 3.90 billion from vehicle tax. Rs 30.34 billion was collected from other sources. NPC DEFEATS MUNAL CLUB Kathmandu, 25 May: Three Star play Deshbkakta Club in the first match Saturday in the Gurkha Cup while Nepal Army meets RCT in the second match at Dashrath Rangashala. Nepal Police Club (NPC) beat Munal Cluv of Jhapa 3-0 Friday. nnnn U-19 NATIONAL WOMEN’S CRICKET TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL SUNDAY Kathmandu, 25 May: Group B topper will meet Bhairahawa will Group A ]runner-up Nepalgunj in the semi-finals Sunday of the U-19 national cricket women ournament. Biratnagar plays Group A topper Janakpur in another semi-final match. nnnn INSURANCE BOARD CHIEF FACES FRAUD CHARGES Kathmandu, 25 May: Binod Aryal, the executive director of the Insurance Board, who took the lead in cleansing the virtually unruly insurance sector, appears to have landed in soup over insurance policy corruption and fraud, Rupak D. Sharma writes in Republica.. The management head of the insurance sector regulator has been charged of wielding influence to issue a directive for personal gains and demanding compensation for loss of jet ski by purchasing insurance policy after occurrence of the accident. These allegations were confirmed by multiple sources. Aryal, who entered the Insurance Board in the capacity of board director prior to landing on the seat of the executive director, is said to have used his board member´s influence to introduce a directive that allowed owners of insured but totally damaged construction and earth moving vehicles to demand hundred percent compensation. Prior to issuance of the directive, insurance companies used to deduct depreciation amount before settling claims related to fully damaged construction and earth moving vehicles. But after one of the excavators belonging to Aryal Construction -- a company promoted by Aryal -- was allegedly "burnt" and thus "completely damaged", Aryal took the matter to the regulator´s board and made necessary amendments to the law. "As a result, Aryal´s firm was able to collect approximately Rs 6.6 million from Shikhar Insurance, as against around Rs 5.1 million he would have collected if the changes to the legal provision were not made," a reliable source of the Insurance Board told Republica on condition of anonymity citing he is not authorized to talk to the media. As this case of policy corruption was unearthing, the Insurance Board also unveiled involvement of Aryal in a fraud case. This case was related to a company called Sumnima Hydro-transportation, in which Aryal was one of the promoters. In this case as well, the company had demanded compensation against total loss of a jet ski being operated in the Koshi River. Sources told Republica that the jet ski had actually sunk in the Koshi River. But Aryal´s company was said to have cited the cause of total damage as fire. "Whatever the cause of the accident, Aryal´s company had not insured the vehicle at the time when it was destroyed," the source said, revealing, "The policy was purchased from NLG Insurance only after the accident." This case came to the fore after Sumnima Hydro-transportation demanded advance payment of around Rs 2.3 million for the damage worth approximately Rs 10.5 million. As this case reached the Insurance Pool, which cover risks related to riots and malicious damage, it denied extending advance payment. Later, the Insurance Board approached Nepal Police to conduct investigation into the matter. Nepal Police then asked the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) to look into the matter, which later concluded that the case as a "sham". "We compared details collected by the police after the jet ski accident with the report prepared by the surveyor (a person hired by a insurance company to take stock of the extent of damage). Those two reports contrasted sharply," CIB Head Kesh Bahadur Shahi told Republica. "We, however, have no knowledge of people involved in this case. To find this out, the insurance sector regulator will have to make another request to (the head of) Nepal Police." Aryal, in the meantime, has denied charges leveled against him. "If I had committed mistake I would have been behind bars by now," he told Republica. The person, who waged war against unruly insurance companies and launched various reform measures in the insurance sector, also clarified he has already resigned from Sumnima Hydro-transportation but confirmed he is still with Aryal Construction. Dr Fatta Bahadur KC, chairman of the Insurance board, however, declined to make comments. "Investigations are under way. I´ll comment only after they are complete," he said. Nnnn NO PROGRESS IN PAY TALKS Kathmandu, 25 May: The tripartite negotiation among government, employers and employees on minimum salary of workers is not making any headway as both employees and employers continue to stick to their stance, Republica reports.. "Employees are not ready to compromise on their demand for minimum monthly wage of Rs 12,400, while employers are for increasing pay based on inflation and consumer market price,” a government official involved in the negotiation told Republica. Pashupati Murarka, vice president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said employers were not in a position to double the existing minimum monthly pay of Rs 6,200. "We are ready to increase the minimum wage by around 18 percent which would be a genuine increment based on calculation of inflation over the past two years," Murarka told Republica on Friday evening. Representatives of employers´ organization and trade unions are holding series of negotiation meetings in the presence of government officials since one month. Eleven trade unions affiliated to different political parties have been pushing for doubling the existing minimum wage. “The trade union representatives are showing no sign of compromise,” the official said. The negotiation meeting held on Friday concluded without any progress as both the parties - employers and employees - denied to budge from their stance. "We are ready to increase minimum wage as per the market situation," Murarka said. "The trade union leaders should understand the existing gloom in the industrial sector.” Meanwhile, representatives of both the employers and employees have raised the issue of social security for workers. "But both the employers and employees have their own demands on it as well,” Kewal Prasad Bhandari, executive director of the Social Security Fund (SSF), said. Highlighting the importance of social security schemes for decent labor market, Bhandari said both the employers and employees should understand each other. “Doubling of minimum wage might have negative effects in the economy as only around 300,000 workers will be benefited from the pay hike," Bhandari said. "This increment will pull the inflation up and other people working in the informal sector will suffer." The industrial sector of the country is already reeling under power shortage. Bhandari said minimum wage should be raised based on level of productivity of industrial enterprises. "The ongoing negotiation should conclude with an understanding to establish a more scientific system of increasing minimum wage every two years," added Bhandari. Two years ago, employers, trade unions and government officials had agreed to fix minimum monthly remuneration of worker at Rs 6200, including allowance of Rs 2,650, and daily wage at Rs 231. Nnnn GOVT. TO DEBAR TEACHERS FROM TAKING PARTY MEMBERSHIP Kathmandu, 25 May:: The government has decided to bar school teachers from having membership of any political party, a welcome move for students and guardians but a matter of discontent for teachers, Kokila KC writes in The Himalayan Times.. A secretary-level meeting called by the Ministry of Education recently decided to bar community school teachers’ from becoming members of political parties. It is learnt that the MoE will soon send a circular to this effect to all the district education offices across the country, asking teachers to sever ties with political parties. If teachers fail to comply, they will be liable to face action, according to the draft circular that meant for DEOs. The government decision has come in the wake of several complaints that school teachers were busy politicking and not teaching. The teachers’ unions, however, are not happy with the decision and have called it unacceptable. The Nepal Teachers’ Association is aligned to the Nepali Congress, the Nepal National Teachers’ Organisation is aligned to CPN-UML and the All Nepal Teachers’ Organisation is aligned to CPN-Maoist. The Nepal Teachers’ Union is a government recognised union comprising teachers from political parties. Mahashram Sharma, MoE spokesperson, told THT that the teachers, who get their salaries from the government, should not be affiliated to political parties. “The teachers’ should not have membership of political parties. He/She should be within the classroom teaching students and in discussions to improve quality of education rather than in programmes organised by political parties,” he said. There are 109,098 regular teachers and 38,811 teachers under relief quota in community schools across the country. Most of them are members of political parties. Many of them have been drawing salaries without taking any class. Some are on deputation to Kathmandu valley and district headquarters for years due to political reasons and never take their classes. Sharma added that they had been receiving complaints from the students and guardians that the teachers were more active in politics and students were not receiving quality education. “We are planning to add Teachers’ Code of Conduct in the Education Act and Regulations,” he said, adding, “Teachers’ Code of Conduct already restricts their membership in political parties.” A high-level officer in the MoE, who would be responsible for implementing the decision, said, “Its implementation is next to impossible.” Purna Joshi, vice president of Nepal Teachers’ Union said there was no teacher who is independent. “No one would agree to give up their membership of political parties.” He said, “Teachers were members of certain parties based on their political ideology and not for promotion, transfer and other purposes.” Guna Raj Lohani, president, ANTO, said prohibiting teachers’ affiliation to political parties was against the interim constitution of Nepal. He said, “All teachers have membership of political parties. It would be impossible to implement the decision.” Suprabhat Bhandari, president of the Guardians’ Association Nepal, welcomed the decision. He said the quality of education would improve if the decision was implemented. He added, “Teachers have voting right but no right to indulge in politics under the banner of a political party.” Nnnn SARLAHI DISTRICT COURT REFUSES BHATTARAI GOVT. DIRECTIVE TO WITHDRAW CRIMINAL CHARGE Karhmandu, 25 May: Sarlahi district court today [Friday] refused to abide by the erstwhile Baburam Bhattarai-led government’s decision to withdraw a murder case, stating that the decision was inappropriate, Shanker Shrestha writes in The Himalayan Times from Sarlahi.. A meeting of the Bhattarai-led Cabinet had taken the decision to withdraw the case on 4 October 2012. The case was filed by Rampukar Ray of Jamuniya VDC in Sarlahi by making Nepal government plaintiff and Krishnanandan Ray, Uday Ray, and Chetan Ray defendants. Ram Prasad Ray of Jamuniya VDC was killed in a shootout involving Krishnanandan Ray, Uday Ray and Chetan Ray on 18 August 2007. Ramprit Ray was injured in the incident. The shootout was triggered by a dispute at a relief distribution programme of the Nepal Red Cross Society. On 1 December 2011, the district court had sentenced Krishnanandan Ray for life and ordered confiscation of his property. The court did not give any verdict against Uday Ray and Chetan Ray, who are on the run, and had kept the case open. After the district court verdict, the case was registered at Janakpur Appellate Court. But the then Bhattarai-led government decided to withdraw the case on 4 October 2012. Bhattarai-led government even filed a plea to the district court through the office of district attorney to withdraw the case. A single bench of Judge Madhav Pokhrael today ruled that it was inappropriate to withdraw the case, as the matter was sub judice in the appellate court and the district police were looking for absconding Uday Ray and Chetan Ray and had placed them on the most wanted list. Dinesh Mishra, a district court employee, said the bench had decided to dismiss the then government’s decision and to proceed with prosecution of the accused. It may be mentioned that the Bhattarai-led government had decided to withdraw more than 600 cases of murder, dacoity and rape, saying that they were committed during 10-year Maoist insurgency. nnnn


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home