Nepal Today

Thursday, June 27, 2013

PADDY TRANSPLANTATION COMPLETED OVER 15 PERCENT FARMLAND Kathmandu, 28 June: Paddy transplantation has been completed over 60 percent farmland in the Himalayan region, 30 percent in the hills and five percent in terai, according to Hemraj Regmi at agriculture ministry.. National Paddy Day is being observed Saturday. Paddy transplantation has been completed in 15 percent farmland Nationwide with good pre-monsoon showers.. The main official function will be held at a Bhaktapur village. on 15 Ashad. Transplantation of the staple crop will be complete in the Himalayan region in another one or two days. ’Transplantation will continue in the hills for another 15 days. A good paddy harvest propels the national economy. . Nnnn FRIDAY MORNING CAPITAL TEMPERATURE 25 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 28 June: Capital’s Friday morning temperature at 10 was 26 degrees Celsius. Mercury on a rainy day is expected to rise to 31 degrees Celsius. Rainfaall Thursday was 2.5mm. Nnnn MAJOR PARTIES ASK EC TO TAKE BACK ’HARSH’ ELECTION CODE Kathmandu, 28 June: The four major political parties have asked the Election Commission ( EC ) to withdraw some ‘harsh’ provisions in the election code of conduct that the EC has proposed for the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. The parties argue that the provisions may affect the elections scheduled for November 19, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post.. In discussions with election commissioners on Thursday, top leaders of the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) stood against the provisions, while they said the November polls must be held on the basis of the code of conduct prepared for the 2008 CA elections. UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC Vice President Ram Chandra Poudel, UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, who also heads the High Level Political Committee (HLPC), met the EC officials on poll preparations and the challenges involved. The top leaders said the new provisions will ‘worsen’ the election environment by inviting fresh dispute among the parties. The proposed code of conduct provisions say a person’s candidacy can be cancelled if s/he is found violating the election standards. The provisions also say candidates must disclose their property details before filing candidacy, while they have made collecting donations through the banking system and submitting the details to the EC after the elections mandatory. The code also bars wall-chalking, face painting, putting up banners and use of loudspeakers, helicopters and chartered planes during poll campaigns. “They (top leaders) were not happy with the provision of a candidate having to declare the property details and they feared that the code could widen the differences among the parties. “They, however, welcomed the increment in the election expenditure ceiling for individual candidates,” Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety said. This time around, the EC has allowed each candidate contesting under the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) electoral system to spend Rs 1 million in the poll campaign, while the ceiling in the 2008 elections was a maximum of Rs 459,500 for FPTP candidates and Rs 50,000 in the proportional representation system.The UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based parties have been opposing the election code from the very beginning, particularly the ban on the use of helicopters and the provision to disclose the property details. Responding to the concerns of the parties, the commissioners on Thursday told the leaders that the parties and the government are the final arbiters when it comes to endorsing the proposed code ‘formed to hold free and fair elections.’ So far, the EC has registered over 12 million of the estimated 15.4 million voters, while it is in the process of verifying applications filed by 139 political parties for registration. “Despite the provisions in the code of conduct , we found the election commission well prepared and committed to holding the November polls. We are fully satisfied with the preparations,” NC Vice-president Poudel said, emerging from the meeting. Nnnn FUEL PUMPS OPERATED BY ARMY, POLICE SEALED FOR CHEATING Kathmandu, 28 June: The government’s monitoring on fuel stations has shown even the pumps operated by the Nepal Army (NA) and the Nepal Police are involved in cheating customers, The Kathmandu Post reports.. A joint monitoring team of the government on Thursday sealed a diesel dispensing machine of Nepal Police’s Prahari Kalyan Kosh Petrol Pump in Naxal, Kathmandu, for providing customers with less amount of fuel than they pay for. The monitoring team comprised of officials from the Department of Commerce and Supply Management, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and Nepal Bureau of Standards Metrology (NBSM). “Out of five fuel pumps of Nepal Police, one diesel pump has been sealed as it was found dispensing 30 ml less fuel on every 5-litre sales,” said Hari Narayan Belbase, director of the Commerce Department. Earlier on Tuesday, Shakti Devi Petrol Pump operated by the army in Lagankhel, Lalitpur, was found selling less diesel and petrol than what customers pay for. The inspection team had prohibited the pump from fuel trading until the next notice. During the monitoring, the pump was found selling 50ml less diesel and 15-20ml less petrol on every 5-litre sales. The monitoring team on Thursday also inspected Sajha Petrol Pump (Pulchowk), SP International Ink (Pulchowk), NA’ Ripu Mardini Petrol Pump (Bhadrakali) and Trishakti Bhawani Fuel Centre of Harishiddhi (Lalitpur). The pumps were, however, found being operated under the government-set standards, according to the Commerce Department. The government bodies — Commerce Department, NBSM, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control — have increased the frequency of market monitoring after the CIAA instructed them to expedite monitoring to regulate the market effectively. On Tuesday alone, nine petrol pumps of the Kathmandu valley were inspected, out of which only two pumps — Valley Rikesh Suppliers of Gairigaun, Baba Oil Stores of Kalanki, and Jayashree Ganesh Oil Stores of Dhungeadda — were found clean. As per the monitoring report of the Commerce Department, Unique Fuel Centre (Balkumari) and Namaste Oil Store (Gwarko) had problems in calibration of their fuel dispensing machines and were instructed to correct them first to resume sales. On Wednesday, the inspection team had sealed Siddhartha Fuel Centre of Lokanthali, Bhaktapur. The Commerce Department said Siddhartha’s both petrol and diesel dispensing machines were less fuel than what customers pay for. “The pump was found selling 230-265 ml less petrol and 180-185 ml less diesel in sales of every 5 litres,” said Belbase. He said the pumps that were found cheating customers will face action as per the Nepal Standards Act. The Commerce Department is also planning to file a case based on the Consumer Rights Protection Act. Also on Thursday, a monitoring team coordinated by the Commerce Department on Thursday inspected Mayos noodles factory of Himalayan Snacks and Noodles located in Ugratara, Kavre. Compared to previous years, the government has increased market monitoring activities this year. However, the number of action taken and/or cases filed against the wrongdoers is very less, according to Consumer Rights activists. The government in the first 11 months of the fiscal year inspected around 900 businesses. “Only seven cases were filed in the court this year and that too were based on complaints not monitoring of the government,” said Jaggannath Mishra, a consumer rights activist. He stressed on the need for result-oriented inspection. nnnn


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