Nepal Today

Saturday, July 6, 2013



Kathmandu, 7 July: Only four of 12 dead passengers have been identified
when a bus plunged  25 meters off the road into Madi river breaking a
bridge railing at Damauli Saturday. .
There were an estimated 35 persons in the bus.
The bus driver was trying to save a girl who tried to cross the road.
Twelve persons were killed and eight were plucked out alive from the bus.


Kathmandu, 7 July: Capita[‘s Sunday morning temperature at seven was
20 degrees Celsius.
Mercury in the afternoon is expected to rise to 28 degrees Celsius.
Altogether 14mm was recorded Saturday.


Kathmandu, 7 July: National Development Council (NDC), the highest policy-level body in the country, has endorsed the much-awaited approach paper prepared for the development plan for next three years, incorporating the inputs from different stakeholders, Republica reports. .

The approach paper for the 13th development plan prepared by National Planning Commission (NPC) envisages, among others, upgrading Nepal to the status of developing county from existing Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2022-- achieving annual growth of six percent.
The NDC meeting chaired by the chairman of Interim Election Council, Khilaraj Regmi, passed the paper after two days of marathon discussion on the proposed plans and policies for the next three fiscal years with experts, leaders of political parties, top bureaucrats, among others stakeholders.

"The meeting passed the approach papers today (Saturday) after incorporating some suggestions from different stakeholders. The paper is expected to get cabinet´s endorsement within a week," Gopi Mainali, joint secretary at the NPC told Republica.
Chairman of Interim Election Council Regmi, who is also chair of NDC, said upcoming budget will be formulated in line with the programs planned in the approach paper.

"Policies and plans incorporated in the paper will show the course of development programs for next three years," Mainali added.
To meet the goal of graduating to the rank of developing nations by 2022, the three-year plan has set a target of attaining six percent economic growth rate per annum for the next three years.

However, experts say Nepal has to attend at least 7 percent annual growth to achieve the target. This year the government expects only 3.6 percent growth owing to low capital spending and the poor performance of agriculture sector.

To attain six percent growth rate, the plan has focused on agricultural growth rate of 4.5 percent per annum till 2015/16. It has also set a target of attaining 6.7 percent growth rate per annum in non-agricultural sector till 2015/16.
These growth rates are expected to trigger employment growth rate of 3.2 percent per annum till 2015/16, while reducing population living below the poverty line to 18 percent.

Effective mobilization of public sector, private sector and cooperatives are the major strategies to achieve the set targets.
Development of physical infrastructure, expansion of social services, enhancement of good governance in public and other sectors, inclusive and sustainable development are the other priorities.

Similarly, development of hydropower and energy sectors, commercialization and diversification of agricultural sector, enhancement of farm productivity and increased access to basic education and health services, drinking water and sanitation, are also among the programs incorporated the approach paper.
The plan has also given emphasis to development of road, other physical infrastructure, and tourism, industrial and trade sectors, along with conservation of natural resources and environment.

Plans to spend a total Rs 1.62 trillion till 2015/16 are formulated in the paper. Of this, Rs 960.69 billion rupees will be spent to cover recurrent expenses, while Rs 277.94 billion will be allocated for capital spending.
These expenses, according to the plan, would be met through estimated revenue collection of Rs 1.13 trillion in the three-year period, while the rest would be raised through domestic debt, and grants and loans from development partners.


Kathmandu, 7 July: With the Indian side expressing its inability to deliver Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as required by the Nepali side, the plan of the Election Commission to use EVMs in the forthcoming Constituent Assembly election has hit a snag, Gani Ansari writes in Republica..

Talking to Republica, Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety said that the Indian side has informed Nepal that it would not be able to deliver EVMs for the fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls scheduled for November 19.
“India could not test EVMs [with a maximum of 384 voting buttons] being developed there for its own needs. So, there is no possibility of using the EVMs in the upcoming CA polls,” Uprety said.

Nepal requires EVMs with more than 64 voting buttons. The existing EVMs developed in India have only 64 buttons, which means they can be used only for 64 parties or candidates.
Altogether 139 political parties have applied to register at the Election Commission (EC) for contesting the new CA poll.
According to Uprety, a high-level technical committee in India had been working to develop EVMs with a maximum of 384 voting buttons for the Indian general elections scheduled for 2014.

India had assured Nepal it would confirm by the last week of June whether or not it would be able to deliver EVMs for the CA poll. It had given the assurance during a meeting that Chief Election Commissioner Uprety had with his Indian counterpart, VS Sampath, in New Delhi on June 14.
Although the EC needs the upgraded EVMs only for voting under the proportional electoral system, as the number of political parties will exceed the existing number of voting buttons, the constitutional body will not use them even for first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting.

“We will use ballot papers for both electoral systems as it will be confusing for voters if EVMs are used for FPTP voting while ballot papers are used at the same polling booth for the proportional electoral system,” Uprety told Republica, adding, “It will be difficult from a managerial viewpoint also.”
Though two Nepali scientists have also developed an EVM, it is still being tested by the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk.

“We will conduct separate tests but there is no chance of any full-fledged use of Nepal-made EVMs,” the chief election commissioner said. He maintained that Nepali EVMs can be used in a subsequent election, even in elections for local bodies. “They can also be sold to another country in future,” Uprety maintained.
The EC was seeking 20,000 EVMs for the CA election. The constitutional body on May 28 had decided to use EVMs in 119 electoral constituencies in 23 districts.


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