Nepal Today

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CIAA COMMITTEES TO MONITOR MINISTRIES Kathmandu, 21 May:: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Monday formed a committee headed by CIAA Commissioner Keshav Baral to monitor the functioning and activities of government ministries, Republica reports.. Forming the monitoring committee, the anti-graft body instructed the chief secretary, the secretaries of the various ministries and the chiefs of the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department to ensure effective service delivery. The CIAA said the monitoring committee will start its work immediately. "The chief secretary drew the attention [of the secretaries and security chiefs stating] that corruption and indecision would not be acceptable to the CIAA," said a statement issued by CIAA Spokesman Krishna Prasad Dhungana. In this latest in a series of directions issued to government bodies, CIAA Chief Commissioner Lok Man Singh Karki instructed the top bureaucrats and security chiefs to make the state agencies action-oriented. "Stating that the bureaucracy has been widely criticized for not delivering timely service, the chief commissioner directed the secretaries to ensure that service is action-oriented, transparent, timely and pro-public," said the statement. Karki directed the secretaries to immediately end the tendency of creating hindrances in development projects and not properly coordinating among the ministries and government agencies concerned. Reminding the officials of their duty to work in coordination, and to take the right decision in time and in a transparent manner, Karki instructed them to formulate action plans for making their work more effective and to submit one copy to the office of the prime minister for implementation and one to the CIAA for monitoring. After being appointed CIAA chief on May 8, Karki has been regularly convening similar meetings of top government officials and instructing them to ensure prompt and effective service delivery. Officials at the CIAA informed that the commission is likely to convene a meeting of government ministers within the next couple of days. The commission on Sunday formed a five-member committee to study widespread complaints and reports about irregularities and inconsistencies on the part of officials and authorities involved in the road expansion drive in Kathmandu Valley. The five-member body is headed by Joint Attorney General Badri Prasad Gautam, who is deputed to the CIAA. The commission on Sunday also sought particulars from Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank, concerning reports that Nepali buyers are unable to purchase gold at the current weakening prices at a time when prices are headed downward in the international market also, and on ways to tackle the problem. Nnnn CHAUDHARY TO INVEST $75M IN SRI LANKA CEMENT KATHMANDU, May 20: Nepal´s first Forbes billionaire Binod Chaudhary, chairman of Chaudhary Group, is planning to set up cement plant in Jaffna, eastern Sri Lanka. Quoting a statement issued by Chaudhary´s office, Daily Mirror, a Sri Lanka-based English language newspaper, said in its online edition that Chaudhary submitted a proposal to the Sri Lankan government to set up a state-of-the-art cement plant in Jaffna Peninsula at a cost of US$75 million. The Daily Mirror also said Chaudhary´s investment, in projects underway and proposed, in Sri Lanka is estimated to have reached around $200 million. Chaudhary may have chosen Jaffna Peninsula to build a cement factory keeping in view the reconstruction and rehabilitation works going on in the region following resolution of decade-long separatist conflict spearheaded by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). “Even before Forbes placed Binod Chaudhary in its 2013 Annual Global Rich List, his love affair with Sri Lanka had begun with a foray into Colombo in the year 2000, when he acquired a substantial stake in the Taj Lanka Hotels, Sri Lanka,” the Daily Mirror said. Chaudhary´s company Cinnovation also entered into a joint venture with the Jetwing Group in the country where two of its signature properties, Jetwing Vil Uyana and Jetwing Sea have benefited with substantial investments. Chaudhary Group has also invested in a cement factory at Dambak Deurali in the Nepali district of Palpa. The factory can produce over 1,100 tons of cement per day. The leading Nepali business house has already invested in reputed international hotel chains including those promoted by Taj Group. Chaudhary Group, manufacturer of popular instant noodle brand Wai Wai, also has investments in banking, education and health sectors, among others. Nnnn POLICE ADMIT FAILURE TO ADMIT DONS Jathmandu, 21 May:: Now that the five notorious dons have been chargesheeted, the question that needs an answer is will they be sent to the clink. If what Nepal Police says is anything to go by, the answer is: Fat chance!, The Himalayan Times reports. Police admitted to THT that they were ‘unable to arrest and produce four of the five dons before Special Court’ as sought by the Department of Money Laundering Investigation, the agency that prosecuted Ganesh Lama, Parshuram Basnet, Chakre Milan, Dipak Manange and Abishekh Giri, charging them with laundering millions of rupees. “They are absconding so we could not arrest and produce them in court,” Keshav Adhikari, Spokesperson, Nepal Police said. “DMLI and we had carried out search operations separately before the case was filed, but we could not track them down,” said Adhikari. “The accused should have been brought to court when the chargesheet was filed against them,” Dhir Bahadur Chand, Registrar, Special Court, told THT. But that was not the case and the general public have already started asking questions why they have not been arrested yet. According to DMLI chargesheet, Lama faces charges of accumulating Rs 270.1 million, Basnet Rs 116.01 million, Manange Rs 147.03 million and Giri of amassing Rs 29.4 million without known legal sources. Chakre Milan is doing time in Dillibazaar Prison on charges of amassing Rs 78 million. Political patronisation? KATHMANDU: Reports of late have been rife that political patronisation of criminals have reached alarming propositions. Of the five gangsters who have been chargesheeted for amassing wealth through commission, extortion and other criminal activities, two are full-time party workers of the two influential political forces and are said to be close to former deputy prime ministers of the country. Ganesh Lama is a central committee member of Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic. He is said to have ‘cosy relations’ with MJF-D Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar. Similarly, Parshuram Basnet is a member of the CPN-UML and allegedly close to senior UML leader KP Sharma Oli, also a former deputy prime minister and home minister. Court issues summons The Special Court on Monday issued summons to the dons against whom the Department of Money Laundering Investigation has filed the chargesheet. “Notices have been issued in their names giving them 15 days to appear before the court,” Dhir Bahadur Chand, Registrar, Special Court, said. “They need to appear in court in person to defend their cases.” If the accused fail to appear in court within the given time frame, the court can proceed with the case and go ahead with its verdict. Once the verdict is passed, it is up to the law-enforcement agency to execute the verdict. Ironically, police have admitted to have failed to arrest the ‘absconding dons’. nnnn


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