Nepal Today

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Kathmandu, 21 July: A plenum attended by 500 delegates will approve a
proposal Sunday morning to go for the 19 November second constituent assembly elections under the Chairman Prachanda.
The proposal in the UCPN Maoist was opposed by Genera; Secretary Bogati and
Vice-chairman Narayan Kazi Shrestha who resigned Saturday  like another Vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai earlier.
The Maoist leader proposed contesting election under his leadership until the vote.
The move was an attempt by the Maoist boss to retain an absolute control over
the party;
Other top leaders will work as central committee members.
The report Saturday was approved Saturday while discussing political and organizational proposal of the Maoist chief following power rivalry ahead of the polls.
The special plenum will conclude Sunday by approving Saturday’s  proposal,
Spokesman Agni Sapkota said.


Jathmandu, 21 July: The rising water level in Narayani  river in Nawalparasi has threatened  13 VDCs in Nawalparasi.
Residents of the vulnerable villages have ben moved to safer places.
Warning has been issued of inundation threats and an alert has been issued.
Floods killed three persons in Kailali where cholera has broken out..


Kathmandu, 21 July: Sunday morning’s temperature was 20 degrees Celsius in the capital.
Mercury is expected to rise to 26 degrees Celsius in the afternoon.

Kathmandu, 21 July: The eight-member taskforce formed to
recommend on Constituency delineation, discussed the issue
with members of the Constituency Delimitation Commission
(CDC) today [Saturday], The Himalayan Times reports..

CDC member Netra Dhital said political consensus was a must to resolve the issue of constituency delineation as the CDC’s hands were tied by conflicting provisions of the constitution. “Under the present circumstances, we can do justice neither to the hills nor the Tarai,” he added. Dhital said 24 of the 25 districts that had added constituencies in 2008 had recorded high growth in population in the last 10 years and those districts deserved more seats, but due to conflicting provisions in the constitution, the CDC was not in a position to increase constituencies in those districts.

“On the one hand, the constitution says Madhes will have constituencies in proportion to the percentage of the population and hill region will have constituencies in proportion to numerical growth of population,” he argued, “But we cannot reduce the 205 constituencies that existed in 1999 nor can we increase the 240 first-past-the-post electoral constituencies.”

Dhital said CDC was a technical body and could offer only technical solution but since constituency delineation was a political issue, any solution must be backed by parties to avert negative fallout.

“We told the task force that we could suggest several alternatives, but they would have to be backed by political parties. We have told them not to resort to stir over the delineation issue.” Dhital said, adding, political understanding had helped resolve the delineation issue in 2008 and the same spirit should prevail this time too.

The task force will hold its meeting in the next two days and submit its recommendation to the HLPC.

Madhesi parties have demanded 121 constituencies in Madhes in proportion to the region’s population, while some other parties have said that population alone should not serve as the basis for demarcation of electoral districts.

Kathmandu, 21 July: The Election Commission (EC) will train 280,000 people, including civil servants, school teachers, media persons and voter education volunteers, among others, from across the country for the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) scheduled for November 19, Gani Ansari writes in Republica.

According to Komal Dhamala, executive director of Electoral Education and Information Center (EEIC) at the Election Commission (EC), EEIC has proposed to conduct trainings and orientations from August 1.

As per the proposed program, there will be five tiers of orientations and trainings for them. The trainings and orientations will be conducted at central level, regional level, district level, Village Development Committee (VDCs) or municipal wards and at the polling locations.

Dhamala stated that trainings and orientations would be conducted for seven groups of “master trainers” at the central level. The groups will be related to security, media, polling, counting, election management, accounts and logistics and computer. Each group of “master trainers” will have 25 people, he added.

The “master trainers” will carry out trainings in development regions while those trained will move to the district and the local level to provide trainings. The central level and regional level training will carried out for 14 days.

Asked how the voter education program would be different from that of the 2008 CA election, the executive director of EEIC said technology has brought some changes in the program. “The EC will use glue digital display, sign boards, SMS and social networks for voter education,” said Dhamala, adding, “They were not used during the last CA election.”

According to the proposed program, EC will form Voter Education Polling Location Co-ordination Committee headed by head teacher of schools in each polling location across the country.

Dhamala informed that the constitutional body will endorse the proposed program on voter education within the next two or three days. EC has already approved a policy related to voter education for the CA polls.
Kathmandu, 21 July : The international development partners, which want to issue bonds in local currency to mobilize financial resources in the domestic market, have to remain under the amount limit, should be synced with the government´s calendar and should be project specific, as per the guideline that is likely to be submitted to the cabinet by mid-August, Bhojraj Paudel writes in Republica.
Ministry of Finance is working on submitting the guideline to the cabinet for approval by mid-August," Baikuntha Aryal, joint secretary at the ministry, told Repuiblica.

The MoF started developing the guideline after two development partners expressed their interests to issue bonds in local currency.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have expressed interest to issue such bonds in the Nepali market.

"All the development partners can go for issuing bonds in local currency once the government endorses the guideline," Aryal said.
Once the guideline is issued, international financial institutions with top credit ratings will be allowed to issue such bonds in Nepal. The amount thus collected will then be extended in the form of loans to the private sector for long-term investment in sectors ranging from infrastructure and agriculture.

The budget for the fiscal year 2013/14 has also made a provision to allow international development partners to issue bonds in local currency.
"For the long-term investment in large scale infrastructure projects, necessary arrangements will be made to issue bond in local currency for the international agencies that have high ranking credit rating," reads the budget.

The government has envisioned allowing development partners to issue project-specific bonds in local currency to ensure that the liquidity mopped up from the market is utilized for the development of significantly important projects in the country.

According to a source privy to the issue, the development partners are seeking to issue bonds in local currency in basket so that they can mobilize financial resources of the domestic market in the projects that have low risk and high returns.

"The MoF has already shared major points of the guideline with the ADB and IFC," a high-ranking official said, requesting anonymity. "Both the development partners have said that they would consider the government´s policy guidance."

Allowing international development partners to issue bond in local currency in basket might have negative impact on the national economy. "On top of that, no country allows international development partners to issue bond in local currency without amount limit," the official added.

The international development partners, mainly ADB and IFC, are closely watching how the government would come up with the policy to allow them to issue bond in local currency, as per a knowledgeable source close to a development partner.

However, the government believes better yields and guarantee that money invested in the bonds will be returned back will lure funds that have so far remained outside of the banking sector, which, according to estimates, stands at around Rs 20 billion.




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