Nepal Today

Monday, July 15, 2013


Kathmandu, 16 July: The HLPM of four parties is sending a letter to
CPN Maoist Tuesday inviting it for talks to discuss demands for a roundtable conference hile pushing five main demands.
The party said Monday it won’t sit for talks separately with government or the HLPM behind the administration without 32 other parties.
Kathmandu, 16 July: Maoist Vice-chairman Narayan Kazi Shrestha said
the meeting of office bearers of UCPN Maoist will give final shape to a report to be presented at a plenum meeting 19 July>
Chairman Prachanda has suggested four options to resolve differences.
Kathmandu, 16 July: Shrawan ShangraNti is being observed Tuesday.
Married  women fast and worship Lord Shiva every Tuesday iof the month.
Demon is offered fruits to keep at bay skin diseases.
The day marks the beginning of shorter days and longer nights.
Departed family members are remembered.
Kathmandu, 16 July: As the constituency delimitation issue deepens due to ‘constitutional ambiguities’, major political parties are delving on three
possible options, Kamal Dev Bhattarai. Pranab Kharel write in The Kthmandu Post..
The first option they are mulling is to keep all the 240 constituencies unchanged, the second one is to go for fresh delimitation of all the constituencies, while the third option being deliberated is to amend the constitution to add more constituencies.
Leaders say that all the three options have their own limitations, which need to be worked out. As per the first option, leaders privy to the developments say that any change needs to be made by keeping in mind the Supreme Court verdict that said constituencies can be delineated in line with the 2011 census.
As for the second option, leaders say it would take at least three months for the fresh delineation, which could affect the Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for November 19.
On the third option, leaders say the constitution needs to be amended, while they add that this may not be possible, given the disagreement among the parties .
“Also, if we go for an amendment to the constitution, the number of constituencies will exceed 601,” a senior leader told the Post.
On Sunday, members of the Constituency Delimitation Commission (CDC) apprised the party leaders of the ‘constitutional hurdles’ in re-delineating the constituencies.
One suggestion from the commission was to add 25 more seats.
And, even the political parties appear to be at a loss when it comes to resolving the issue. While Madhes-centric parties have called for increasing the number of seats in line with the population growth, non-Madhesi parties , such as the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and even the UCPN (Maoist), don’t want any changes in the number of constituencies. “There was a proposal to add more constituencies, but we are not for that,” NC Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel said on Monday.
UCPN (Maoist) Vice-Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha admitted that constituency delimitation has become a ‘complicated process.’ “We are engaged in multi-level dialogue, including with the government, to find a way out,” he said.
Even the Chairman of the Interim Election Government, Khil Raj Regmi, has told leaders to take a call on the matter soon. “The commission cannot work with its present mandate. Therefore, take a decision on what exactly you all want to do,” a source quoted Regmi as telling leaders of the top parties on Monday.
Article 63 (3A) of the constitution calls for increasing the number of constituencies in line with the population of the Madhes and the population growth. However, Article 154 (8) prohibits reducing the number of seats below 205.
The only possible re-working can be done to the 35 constituencies that were added to the then 205 after the Madhes uprising of 2007. However, CDC members say that nothing much can be done even in these 35 constituencies as all, except Kavre, have seen the population go up in the 2011 census report.
“The 240 constituencies were set by keeping in mind the census of 2001. But with the new census report in place, adjusting the competing demands is not possible as the number of constituencies cannot exceed 240,” CDC member Dambar Chemjong said.
Kathmandu, 16 July: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has urged Janajati organisations to exert pressure on other parties to increase the ratio of proportional seats in the upcoming Constituent Assembly election, The Kathmandu Post writes..
During a meeting with representatives of Janajati organisations on Monday, Dahal said his party would ‘readily support’ any protest launched to secure the rights of the indigenous nationalities. Nagendra Kumal, chairman of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, said Dahal expressed his support to all the demands of the Janajati community.
“Our party is always for the rights of the Janajati community and we want the proportional representation seats increased,” Kumal quoted Dahal as saying.
Claiming that his party could not do much to increase the ratio of proportional seats due to opposition from other parties, Dahal said the UCPN (Maoist) would back the decision if the Janajati community decided to hit the streets for the cause.
A joint delegation of the National Indigenous Women Association, the Association of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists and the Nepal Janajati Students’ Association had submitted a
letter to the party demanding upholding the number of proportional seats of the first CA.
“Our demand is that the political parties should keep the ratio of the direct and proportional seats as in the past CA,” said Kumal.
Other demands of the community include ratification of all the Janajati-related international treaties signed by the government, extension of the voter registration date, targeted budget disbursement though Janajati groups and permission to install a Buddha idol at the Kakre Bihar in Surkhet.
Resignation no bar for party work, says Bhattarai
UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai has said he will continue to play a leadership role in the party even after tendering his resignation as a vice-chairman. He said it was not necessary to hold a position to work for the party.
Talking to a delegation from the party-affiliated All Nepal National Indepen-dent Students’ Union (Revo-lutionary) on Monday, Bhattarai said he would continue to engage in the party and its activities despite his resignation. The student union had urged him to take back his resignation.

Kathmandu, 15 July: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced measures late on Monday to curb the rupee's decline by tightening liquidity and making it costlier for banks to access funds from the central bank, Reuters reports from Mumbai..

The RBI raised the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and Bank Rate each by 200 basis points to 10.25 percent, capped the amount up to which banks can borrow or lend under its daily liquidity window and announced a sale of government securities through an open market operation.

The RBI said total funds available under its repo window will be capped at 1 percent of banks' deposits - roughly 750 billion rupees - from Wednesday. It announced a 120 billion rupee sale of government bonds for Thursday.

The central bank does not set a target for the rupee, which hit a record low of 61.21 to the dollar last week, but it does take measures to manage volatility.

"These will come at a heavy cost to the economy as short-end rates will rise and that will make borrowing costlier and affect growth if these measures continue for long," said A. Prasanna, economist at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership.

Bond dealers said short-end rates including interbank call money, 3-month certificates of deposit and one-year overnight indexed swap rates will go up by 100-150 basis points following the increase in the MSF rate and liquidity tightening steps. Government bond yields will rise 25-30 basis points, they said.

The MSF is the rate at which banks can borrow from the RBI at an elevated rate against government securities during times of tight cash. The bank rate is linked to the MSF.

Market participants said the measures will give near-term support to the rupee.

"This could lead to some increased dollar inflows as overall interest rates in the economy will rise, but it could be temporary - that is, as long as these steps are effective," said a dealer at a foreign bank, requesting anonymity.

The RBI said countries with large current account deficits such as India have been particularly hit by capital outflows triggered by market expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could alter its loose monetary policy.

"The exchange rate pressure also evidences that the demand for foreign currency has increased vis-a-vis that of the rupee in part because of the improving domestic liquidity situation," the RBI said in the statement.


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