Nepal Today

Monday, May 6, 2013

STOCK PRICES FALL CONTINUED Kathmandu, 6 May: Stock prices continued to fall Monday as a bearish trend set in. Stocks lost 7.12 points soon after trading opened. Nepse fell to 473.58 points one hour before trading was to close. Prices of commercial bank and hydro power shares fell. nnnn . CASH DIVIDEND OF GAURISHANKER DEVELOPMENT BANK CANCELLED Kathmandu, 6 May: Nepal Rashtra Bank has cancelled a 8 percent cash dividend announced by Gayrishanker development Bank. Nepse said this in a notice Monday. nnnn GIRL KILLED IN ACCIDENT Kathmandu, 6 May: A girl died after her bicycle was knocked by a Jeep at Prayagpur Chowk of Karjanha VDC along the East-West Highway on Sundaym RSS reports from Siraha. Rina Kumari Yadav, 15, of Rampurbirta VDC Ward No. 5 died after the jeep (Na 1 Cha 8441) heading for west from east knocked her last night, said Nareshraj Subedi at Area Police Office, Mirchaiya. The jeep driver is absconding after the incident while police took the jeep under police control. After the preliminary study, police said the vehicle met accident as it lost balance due to high speed. nnnn LEADERSHIP ROW MAY MAR NEFIN MEET Kathmandu, 6 May: The general convention of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nefin), slated through May 11-13 in Chitwan, is likely to be hit, thanks to the wrangling among leaders over the top post that is up for grabs, The Kathmandu Post reports. Parties, mainly the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, Federal Socialist Party Nepal (FSP-N) and the Social Democratic Party-Nepal (SDP-N), have locked horns over the issue of federalism and leadership of the Janajati organisation. Nefin holds significance for political parties due to its well-laid grassroots network across the country and the deepening row over the federalism issue. The umbrella organisation of 56 Janajati groups is predominantly occupied by members of the four parties. Chandra Bikram Rai, Nagendra Kumal, Nityananda Tajpuriya and Naresh Tamrakar are seen as frontline candidates for the post of the chairperson, leaders said. Kumal, backed by the NC, is seen as a possible candidate for the top post due to various reasons, Nefin leaders said. He is likely to be supported by members of minorities’ organisations and the CPN-UML. The UML has not yet fielded its candidate. Incumbent chairman Raj Kumar Lehki and former chairman Pasang Sherpa both have also supported Kumal. Both Lekhi and Sherpa were formerly associated with the UML, while they later formed their own parties. The possible challenge for Kumal will come from Rai, a central committee member of the FSP-N led by Ashok Rai. Although Ashok Rai and other leaders, including those from the UCPN-Maoist, are lobbying hard to garner support, there is little chance that the Janajati party—SDP-N, which is believed to have around 10 votes in the federation—will support them. The SDP-N was formed by leaders who refused to join the Ashok Rai-led party, citing ideological differences. Nefin leadership also has a Herculean task of determining whether to go for a multi-ethnicity-based federalism or a single-identity-based one. While a faction of incumbent Nefin leaders, including Ang Kaji Sherpa, are lobbying for an official position on single-identity-based federalism, another faction led by Raj Kumar Lekhi are in favour of the other form. Member organisations are also deeply divided on whether to give the leadership to an indigenous community with the largest population—known within Nefin as the Group-8 (G-8)—or someone from an indigenous minority. The G-8 consists of ethnic communities, most of them with more than 1 million population, including Tharu, Tamang, Sherpa, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Newar and Limbu. Marginalised and minority communities like Kumal, Baram, Satar, Helmu, Rampuri, Chepang and Kusunda have accused the G-8 of dominating the Nefin leadership ever since it was formed. Some leaders have said that some leaders, including some from the FSP-N, are lobbying to postpone the general assembly. Nnnn GOVT. CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE OIL PIPELINE PROJECT Kathmandu, 6 May: Finance Minister Shankar Koirala, who is in the Indian capital for the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank, told the Post on Sunday that the Nepal government has started considering other options as the construction process of the pipeline has been delayed although it was agreed, in principle, to be built by India and later transferred to Nepal under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) mode, Mahesh Acharya reports from New Delhi.. “We are working on two alternatives — first, Nepal and India build the parts of the pipeline that fall on their territories, and second, establishing an independent venture on agreement of both sides,” Minister Koirala said. Recently, there were reports in the Indian media that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has sent a note to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) cautioning it not to make any commitment to build the oil pipeline . However, in an irony to the recent development, it was actually the IOC that first proposed to build this pipeline in 1995. The proposed 40-km pipeline is crucial for Nepal as it is expected to reduce leakage considerably and address perennial problems of petro products’ unavailability. The project is expected to reduce fuel transportation costs by over 50 percent, besides reducing leakage and facilitating cleaner and cheaper supply. It will also water down the level of problems created by the owners of oil tankers who are indulged in serving their petty interests at the cost of the customers, ranging from frequent strikes to the demands for unnecessary commissions. Although the concept of the project was developed 17 years ago, it has not been realized so far. After a series of on-again, off-again discussions, NOC and IOC brought up the topic of the pipeline during the signing of a new petroleum supply agreement in April 2012. The move followed the High-Level Petroleum Sector Reform Committee’s recommendation to immediately start the project. The pipeline is estimated to cost Rs 1.60 billion excluding the cost of land acquisition. A pre-feasibility study done in 2004 and a technical study done in 2006 had determined that the project would be economically viable if it is operated unhindered for 20 years. nnnn


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