Nepal Today

Sunday, June 2, 2013

THREE STAR PLAYS APF IN GURKHA CUP Kathmandu, 3 June: In the last two matches of Group B Monday, RCT plays Deshbhakta Youth Club of Nawalparasi at Dashrath Rangashala. Three Star Club plays APF in the Gurkha Cup. nnnn MONDAY MORNING CAPITAL TEMPERATURE 19 DEGREES CELSIUS Kathmandu, 3 June: Monday temperature on a sunny morning at seven was 19 degrees Celsius in the capital. Mercury is expected to rise to 31 degrees Celsius in the afternoon. nnnn NEPAL INDIA AGREE OF INTELLIGENCE SHARING Kathmandu, 3 June: With a view to share intelligence information on ´real time´ basis to curb cross border crimes, Nepal and India have agreed to appoint nodal officers in their respective bordering districts, Kosh RajKoirala writes in Republica. The two sides reached an agreement to appoint one nodal officer each at the District Administration Office, Border Security Posts, and District Police Office in all bordering districts to share intelligence information with their counterparts on real time basis during the Home Secretary level meeting held in Kathmandu Saturday. The appointment of nodal officers is expected to effectively curb crime along the border, enabling police personnel on both sides of the border to act promptly. The day-long meeting discussed ways to curb cross border crimes, human trafficking, fake Indian currency smuggling, trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic substances along the Indo-Nepal border. "The meeting has given emphasis on effective coordination and exchange of information at ground level between Armed Police Force and its Indian counterpart Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) along the bordering districts," said a Nepali participant in the meeting. The meeting in which Home Secretary Nabin Ghimire led the Nepali team and his Indian counterpart R K Singh led the Indian team has agreed to hold Border District Coordination Committee (BDCC) meetings every three months on a regular basis and sort out the problems seen in the bordering areas at local level. Though the two sides had earlier reached an agreement to hold such meeting as and when required, the BDCC meeting has not taken place for several months. Among other things, the BDCC meeting will oversee if the border pillars are missing, maintain the pillars and take necessary measures to disallow encroachment in the ´no man´s land´. The misuse of mobile SIM cards by the service providers also surfaced as one of the important agenda items at the meeting as criminals are increasingly found using SIM cards for cross border criminal activities. Nepali participants said terrorist activities and ´religious fundamentalism´ along the border areas was one of the important concerns raised by the Indian side at the meeting. Both the sides have agreed to increase vigilance along the border and increase security cooperation to thwart any such untoward incidents in future, Nepali officials present in the meeting said. Indian side will also increase the number of SSB posts along the border to curb such activities. Indian side stressed the need to increase further surveillance and security cooperation to curb smuggling of fake Indian currency as Nepal shares open border with India. Indian side maintained that a strong and concerted action was needed as smugglers had increasingly chosen Nepal to pump in fake Indian currency in India market by misusing the open border. According to a press statement issued after the meeting, the Indian side has agreed to help enhance the capacity of Armed Police Force (APF), provide training to Nepal Police personnel, immigration and prison officials, and chief districts officers (CDOs). India will take Nepali CDOs to India on observation tours. The 13-member Indian delegation on Sunday left for the lake city of Pokhara and will return home on Monday. Earlier, Indian Home Secretary Singh also paid courtesy call to Minister for Home and Foreign Affairs Madhav Prasad Ghimire. Nnnn INDIAN TRANSSHIPMENT FACILITY FOR IMPORTS KATHMANDU, June 2: India has agreed to allow transshipment of third-country cargos via Kolkata and Haldia ports directly to Nepali border points through international shipping companies. Nepali officials had been demanding for the facility since 2005. At present, Nepali importers have to change the shipping companies to transport goods from Kolkata and Haldia ports before transporting to Nepali border points. More than 90 percent of country´s third-country imports reach Birgunj dry port through Kolkata or Haldia ports. “Indian side agreed to allow international shipping lines to take consignments up to Nepali customs points via Kolkata and Haldia ports during a recent meeting of customs officials of both countries in New Delhi,” Mukti Narayal Poudel, director general of Department of Customs, told Republica on Sunday. “Administrative and other hassles will come down significantly once the new facility is enforced.” Poudel also said the government would soon initiate the process to formulate the guidelines to implement the transshipment facility. “We will be in a position to immediately take advantage of the transshipment facility once related guidelines are formulated. We will initiate consultation with stakeholders in this regards,” Poudel said at an interaction on ´Trade Facilitation, Customs Modernization, International Commercial Terms (InCo Terms) and Nepal-India Railway Agreement´ organized here on Sunday. The program was organized by NITDB in collaboration with Nepal Freight Forwarders Association (NEFFA) and the European Economic, Trade, Commerce and Industries Association-Nepal. Nepal had first sought transshipment facility with India in 2005. During the meeting of trade officials of both countries held in Kolkata in 2012, India had agreed in principle to grant transshipment facility to Nepal in line with the international practice. “Once the facility is implemented, international shipping lines will have to deliver Nepal´s third-country imports up to Nepali customs points or dry ports. Nepali traders will not have to worry about shipping goods from Kolkata ports and Haldia ports to Nepal,” Sarad Bikram Rana, executive director of Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB), said. Elaborating on the provisions in Nepal-India Railway Service Agreement (RSA), Rana also said delay in review of Railway Service Agreement (RSA) with India has put the implementation of Letter of Exchange (LoE) for operationalizing different railway routes into uncertainty. Nepal has been failing to get Visakhapatnam port opened for its overseas trade after India demanded that Nepal accept its proposal for additional one time lock in Nepal-bound containers. Shyam Prasad Dahal, director of Department of Customs, highlighted the need for customs reforms in international trade facilitation. Presenting a working paper on Trade Facilitation through Customs Reform and Modernization (CRM), Dahal outlined the strategies included in CRM Action Plan 2013-2017. “By the end of 2017, we will fully modernize the customs administration as per the international standard so as to facilitate the international trade,” Dahal added. Rajan Sharma, president of NEFFA, shed light on significance of InCo Terms in international trade facilitation. Speaking on the occasion, Lal Mani Joshi, Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, stressed the need for sufficient human resources, infrastructure and transparency in customs offices for better trade facilitation. nnnn