Nepal Today

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

CHAIRMAN REGMI, UML DISCUSS ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Kathmandu, 15 May: nterim Election Council (IEC) chairman Khil Raj Regmi and CPN (UML) leaders have held discussions regarding creating environment conducive for the election by resolving the disputed issues related to the election through Consensus, RSS reports.. Chairman Regmi was accompanied by Minister for Home Affairs Madhav Ghimire who is also the coordinator of the Government Talks Team and other members of the talks team in the talks held at the Prime Minister's residence at Baluwatar. The UML was represented in the discussions by party chairman Jhalanath Khanal, vice-chairman Bamdev Gautam, secretary Bishnu Poudel and party leaders Bhim Rawal and Agni Kharel, among others. On Monday IEC chairman Regmi held talks with Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala regarding election-related matters. It is said Regmi will continue to hold such discussions with other political parties as well. Today's discussions with the UML leaders was focused on the provision in the main law related to the Constituent Assembly (CA) election of the threshold concerning the minimum votes that a party has to garner in order to be recognized as a political party by the Election Commission, the number of CA members to be elected through the proportional election system, party registration and the provision regarding debarring people convicted of crime from standing as candidates in the CA election, among others. The discussions was mainly focused on creating an environment conducive for the CA election by holding talks with the parties that are opposing the election and are in protest, and fixing the date for the election, it is learnt. In the discussions with the government officials, UML reiterated its earlier stance on the disputed issues of proposed ordinance related to the CA election. UML leader Rawal said that discussions were held on the way forward for organizing the election in a systematic manner and other issues like the number of proportional seats, threshold, party registration and objections raised in connection with the Election Act. He said that since the political parties have agreed to move forward in keeping with the 11-point understanding reached between the three major parties and the Madhesi Morcha and the 25-point ordinance related to removing the constitutional obstacles, the parties cannot backtrack from the 11-point deal. "To backtrack from the 11-point agreement means delaying the election process and the election itself, and raising new issues over the agreement regarding 240 as the number of proportional seats in the new CA is tantamount to take the entire process to retrogration and delaying the election," Rawal said. He added that the party was steadfast in its stance of maintaining the one per cent threshold. Rawal also said that they informed the government of the need of correcting the political appointments made by the erstwhile government that are likely to have negative impact on the fairness and credibility of the elections. They also agreed on the need of holding intensive talks with the parties opposed to the election to ensure the election and that it would be appropriate to fix the election date after making necessary amendments to the Election Act. The UML stressed on the need of taking the constitutional provisions as the basis while constituting the Constituency Delimitation Commission. RSS Nnnn NRB YES TO GOLD IMPORT Kathmandu, 15 May: The Nepal Rastra Bank has given a green signal to increase import ceiling of gold in response to the increased demand of the yellow metal in the domestic market, The Rising Nepal reports. Currently, the demand of gold in the domestic market is estimated to be around 45 kilograms per day while the central bank allows the import of only 15 kilogram a day. Due to a wide gap between demand and supply, customers are experiencing an acute shortage of gold and jewelries in local market. They are forced to pay higher prices when they are pressed to make purchases. Talking to The Rising Nepal, Gopal Kafle, deputy governor of NRB said that the central bank is working to increase ceiling of gold import. Though Kafle did not mention the new import ceiling, he, however, hinted that the ceiling may be increased by 5 kilogram a day. "We were not able to increase the import ceiling as per the market demand," Kafle said. We are ready to increase import ceiling but the gold entrepreneurs should improve the distribution channel of gold first so as to ensure the access of grass root level traders, he said. Meanwhile, price of gold increased by Rs. 100 in the domestic bullion market on Tuesday. The price of gold in domestic market has been declining continuously in the last three days. According to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FENEGOSIDA), the price of the precious yellow metal increased to Rs 51,700 per tola in the local market today. Gold was traded at Rs. 51600 on Monday and 51,900 on Sunday. Gold price fluctuation is attributed to unstable price in the international market. Tej Ratna Shakya, special member of FENEGOSIDA, said that increase in local price was due to increase in international market price. Gold price in the international market increased to US$ 1440 per ounce on Tuesday from US$ 1432 per ounce on Monday, he said. Nnnn KARNALI LIKELY TO FACE FOOD CRISIS Kathmandu, 15 May: Food deficit districts of Karnali zone are likely to face food crisis soon due mainly to the inability of the contractors to supply food in the Districts, The Rising Nepal reports.. Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), the state-owned food supplier, had hired contractors to supply needed food to all food deficit districts. However, when the contractors resorted to cartel, NFC food was yet to reach the poor of this zone. Again, destruction of roads and trails by rains and landslides also delayed the supply. According to the NFC officials, food grains are yet to reach in Humla, Dolpa and Mugu districts because of the monopoly of the contractors in transporting food to these districts. Indra Sitaula, Deputy General Manager of NFC, said that food crisis would occur soon in Humla, Dolpa and Mugu if the contractors continued to delay in supplying food to these districts. “Monopoly of the contractors as well as natural disaster has affected timely supply of food. We could not supply foods in these regions as per our target till now. So the people of the districts will face food crisis,” he said. Although the NFC was hurry up in food supply in time to the needy people, they cannot supply due to the syndicate of the contractors, he said. The corporation supplied food only 8,200 quintals, 7,035 quintals and 5,700 quintals in Humla, Dolpa and Muge till first week of May against it targets 11,400 quintals, 17,400 quintals and 14,400 quintals respectively. The corporation would not supply food as per the target by the end of the current fiscal year, he said and however, the corporation was effortful to supply foods as per the target in time. “We are facing difficulty to supply of foods in Dolpa due to inoperable of runway and ongoing construction of road. We have no alternative to supply food in Humla by air route that was the major caused to supply of food in time,” he said. He further said that the NFC has been planning to manage the tender procedures and call tender for transporting foods before one month to start the fiscal year. He said, “We have compelled to call tender more than three times to select the contractors due to their syndicate. But some times the contractors submit tender in high cost bid by there internal collaboration of them.” He said the contractors who go the tender for supplying foods, they do not come in agreement by sacrificing the tender amount resulted to call next tender that will take more time. The corporation has planned to supply a total of 143000 quintals of foods in 23 food deficit district nnnn


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