Nepal Today

Saturday, June 15, 2013

MINISTRY WRITES OFF LOAN FOR OIL IMPORT Kathmandu, 16 June: The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) has written off Rs 12 billion loan to Nepal Oil Corporaion (NOC) for import of pOL products through a ministerial decision. Finance Minister Shanker Koirala, who also minister for commerce and supplies, said this Saturday at a function in the capital. The MoCS has informed the finance ministry. nnnn. JAPAN WELCOMES ELECTION Kathmandu, 16 June: Japanese embassy has welcomed proposed 19 November elections. “The Embassy of Japan hopes that the election and its process will be held peacefully, in a free and fair manner and without any further delay in a spirit of cooperation of all the stakeholders. The government and people of Japan are ready to assist Nepal’s effort to this end,” a statement said. Nnnn DEFECTIONS INCREASE IN MADESH Kathmandu, 16 June: With the second Constituent Assembly election announced, defections in Madhes-centric parties, which are already taking the matter seriously, are likely to increase, Pranab Kharel writes in The Kathmandu Post. . Party leaders of various ranks are in talks with four Mashes-centric parties—Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik), Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, Sadbhawana Party, and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal. According to a Sadbhawana Party leader who did not want to be named, those in talks include Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Ganatantrik General Secretary Iqbal Ahmed Shah and former lawmakers Karima Begum, Sanjay Shah and Satrughan Mahato. Also included is Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party-Nepal leader Dan Bahadur Chaudhary. Armed outfit members such as Kautilya Sharma and Bhagat Singh have also been invited to join. Sharma’s father Ram Ashis has defected to Sadbhawana from the TMLP-N. The party is said to be in talks with former Inspector General of Police Pradeep Shumsher Rana. The MJF-L, led by Bijaya Gachhadar, got Govinda Chaudhary, Chanda Chaudhary, Urmila Mahato and Arbinda Shah from the TMLP-N. “We are holdings talks at different levels and intend to bring as many people as possible,” said Rameshwor Ray Yadav, senior vice-chairman of the MJF-L. Even the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party has been holding talks with leaders including Anil Jha of Sanghiya Sadbhawana Party and Ram Naresh Ray of Rastriya Sadbhawana Party. According to TMLP Joint General-secretary Jitendra Sonar, the party is considering talks with former bureaucrats. This effort is aimed at showing the parties’ numerical strength, in view of the call of their constituencies to go to the polls as a “unified force”. The move may be significant considering that Madhes has emerged as an important political constituency where every major party is vying for a strong foothold. UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has announced that he will contest election from the southern plains. The Maoist party has also approached some Madhes-centric parties for electoral alliance. Madhes figured prominently in the Mahasamiti meeting of the Nepali Congress in April in Triveni. “The Madhes-centric parties need to come up with substantive issues and not focus merely on poaching cadres. Only then can there be meaningful talk of unity among the Madhesi parties,” observed analyst Dipendra Jha. nnnn SECOND CLARIFICATION SOUGHT BY INSURANCE BOARD FROM ARYAL Kathmandu, 15 June: The Insurance Board (IB) has sought clarification from its Executive Director Binod Aryal for the second time in 10 days on why he should not be sacked from the board as he is facing charge of policy corruption and Fraud, The Kathmandu Post writes.. After finding his previous clarification “unsatisfactory”, the board on June 13 gave him three days to submit his clarification. This has increased the possibility of his sacking from the board. The insurance sector regulator had earlier sought Aryal’s clarification on June 4. Aryal has been charged of getting appointed as executive director of the IB by hiding his disqualification, getting involved in businesses against the IB Employee Bylaw, and abusing his authority to take undue advantage from insurance companies. Mentioning that he was neither attending the office, nor was he reachable at his home, the board on June 14 made public a notice on its website seeking his clarification. The board has informed him in the notice that he has also been sent the letter in his email. As per the vacancy notice published on February 4, 2012, a serving director, official or employee of any institution could not apply for the post of executive director at IB. The qualification criteria were set as per the IB Employee Bylaw. However, Aryal was found involved in two companies—Aryal Construction Trading and Consultancy and Bristi Tours and Travels—as director. Aryal also faces the charge of taking undue advantage of his position by forcing an insurer to pay for the damage caused by an accident to an excavator owned by Aryal Construction Trading and Consultancy. In the letter, he board has said Aryal forced the insurer for his benefits after he became IB’s executive director. The board said it was not satisfied by Aryal’s previous clarification on these issues. In his clarification, Aryal had said the decision of his appointment was taken as per IB’s Employee Service Bylaw 2011 and the regular does not have the authority to seek clarification on the matter later, according to IB’s letter. But the IB has argued that it only came to know about Aryal’s disqualification after his appointment. nnnn


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