Nepal Today

Thursday, August 1, 2013



Kathmandu, 2 Aug.: Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala is scheduled to visit India on 4 August at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan
Singh, The Rising Nepal reports,.
It will be Koirala's first formal visit to India in his capacity as the party president.
Party general secretaries - Prakash Man Singh and Krishna Prasad Sitaula- and his aide Laxman Dhakal will accompany him during the visit.
Koirala is expected to meet with Singh, Congress - I chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party chief and other top government officials.
Koirala will also visit Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and meet with Nitish Kumar and Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Dhakal informed that the visit mainly aimed at cementing Nepal-India bilateral relations, and ensuring the success of the November 19 constituent assembly election, among others.

Earlier, UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, NC senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN-UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal visited India at the invitation of the Indian Prime Minister.


Kathmandu, 2 Aug: The government collected revenue of Rs. 296.01 billion during the last fiscal year 2012/13, The Rising Nepal reports/.
The revenue collection was 21.24 per cent higher than that of the previous year, which was Rs. 244.15 billion.
Similarly, the revenue collection was 102.21 per cent of its yearly target for the fiscal year 2012/13. The government had targeted to collect Rs. 289.60 billion revenue during the last fiscal year.
According to a report submitted at the yearly revenue review meeting of the government held Wednesday at Singhadurbar, the tax revenue covered 88 per cent of the total revenue collection while non-tax revenue contributed 12 per cent in the total.
The tax revenue and non tax revenue collection during the fiscal year 2012/13 stood at Rs. 259.61 billion and Rs. 36.65 billion respectively.
Within the tax revenue, the revenue collection from VAT stood at Rs. 83.5 billion. The amount was higher by 15.68 per cent compared to the previous year’s collection which was Rs. 72.18 billion.
Similarly, the revenue collection under the heading of excise duty stood at Rs. 36.66 billion during the last fiscal year. This amount is higher by 20.57 per cent than the previous year’s collection which was Rs. 30.41 billion.
Likewise, the revenue collection from the income tax during the last fiscal year increased by 28.06 per cent to 67.01 billion from 52.33 billion previous fiscal year.
Revenue collection on registration and vehicle tax stood at Rs. 10.26 billion during the fiscal year which was Rs. 7.79 billion in previous fiscal year.
According to the statistics the contribution of the VAT and Income tax had been increased in the last fiscal year while the contribution of custom duty had decreased.
Of the total revenue collection, the contribution of VAT and income tax stood at 29 per cent and 23 per cent respectively where as the custom duty contributed 20 per cent and excise duty 13 per cent and non tax revenue 12 per cent.
Addressing the yearly revenue review meeting, Finance Minister Shankar Prasad Koirala directed the government officials to work actively to meet revenue target of the current fiscal year by making required plans and programmes from their respective fields.

The operating profit of Everest Bank Limited has increased by 34.14 per cent to Rs. 2.4 billion during the fiscal year 2012/13.
This figure was based on provisional account presented by the bank management to the meeting of its board of directors held on Wednesday.
The operation profit of the bank was Rs.1.79 billion during the last fiscal year.
The board noted that the Bank has now joined the league of the largest banks in the country with total business in excess of Rs. 100 billion, a press statement issued by the bank stated.
The non-performing assent (NPA) of the bank has come down to 0.62 per cent from 0.84 per cent last year.

The continuing increase in the prices of petroleum products in the international market has badly affected the financial health of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the sole supplier of petroleum fuel in the country.

The NOC will have to bear a loss of additional Rs.1.15 billion in the month of August alone, according to the latest price structure received from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Thursday.

Earlier, the corporation faced losses of Rs. 921.4 million in July and Rs. 252.1 million in June.

In the face of increasing losses, the corporation has drawn the attention of the government to manage funds to cope with the problem.

According to Shiva Prasad Pudasaini, spokesperson at the NOC, the loss of the corporation would further increase this month due to increase in its prices in the international market.

“The corporation’s financial health would further worsen due to continued hikes in the prices of petroleum products in the international market. It shows that the government should think at the earliest about this situation,” he said.

According to the new price structure received from IOC, the corporation will face a loss of Rs. 524 per cylinder of cooking gas and Rs. 9.31 in per litre of diesel, Rs. 0.24 in per litre of petrol.

However, the corporation is earning profits of Rs. 6.54 in per litre of kerosene and Rs. 18 in per litre of aviation fuel.

Earlier, the corporation was making profits of Rs. 0.24 in per litre of petrol, Rs. 11.54 in per litre of kerosene and Rs. 22 in per litre of aviation fuel.

Similarly, NOC was making losses of Rs. 8.79 in per litre of diesel and Rs. 445.67 in per cylinder of cooking gas.

“We have already drawn the attention of the government regarding the mounting loss of the corporation. The corporation needs funds to ensure a regular supply of fuel in the country,” Pudasaini said

Talking to The Rising Nepal, he said that the government should either increase prices of fuel or provide financial assistance to cope with the widening losses.

 “The corporation is facing a loss even in petrol this month whereas it was making profit petrol in the previous months which helped to reduce its losses,” he said

The loss in the cooking gas is responsible for the worsening financial health of the corporation, he said.

NOC faced a loss of around Rs. 730 million per month in cooking gas alone, said Pudasaini.

He expected that the loss in cooking gas would be recovered after NOC starts selling it to the industrial users at the cost price.

After a long homework of the NOC, it has started supplying two-coloured cylinder- red and blue- with the view to sell cooking gas at cost price to industrial users to cover the losses.

 “We are preparing to provide gas at the subsidized prices to the household users," he said.  

Pudasaini said that piling loan interests are also contributing to further increase the corporation’s losses. NOC has to pay loan interests of around Rs. 180 million every month.

He said that accumulated loss of the corporation has reached Rs. 25 billion whereas total loans reached Rs.28 billion till now.


Kathmandu, 2 Aug.: Friday morning temperature in the capital was
21 degrees Celsius.
Temperature is expected to increase to 26 degrees Celsius in the afternoon/


Kathmandu, 2 Aug.:  A prominent political analyst has said that the claim of most of the Madhesh-based parties that they have geared up for the Constituent Assembly election should be taken with a pinch of salt, Republica reports..

“Madheshi parties have not shaped their campaign yet as they are still in search of the agendas for the election,” said political analyst CK Lal.

Lal opined that Madheshi parties were hesitant also because they could not keep the promises they had made to the people of the Tarai in the past.
“Madhesi people are disappointed with their leaders as they did not deliver on the promises such as ensuring their proportional representation in the state machinary, federalism and their recruitment in the national army, inter alias.

To sum, he added, “The Madhesi leaders don´t have the confidence to face the public.”
However, Madhesi parties have refuted Lal´s claim.

Sadbhavana Party (SP) Chairman Rajendra Mahato said that the party will launch ´people´s awareness campaign´ to the constituencies both in the Madhes and hills.
“We will announce our candidates for the poll before August 23,” said Manish Suman, SP General Secretary.

Vice-chairman of Madheshi People´s Right Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D) Rameshwor Raya Yadav said his party was going to hold comprehensive meet before August 23 in Biratnagar. “We are analyzing our strength and weakness minutely,” said Yadav, adding, “The issue of Muslim, social evils, federal issues, development and socials evils would be the agendas for election manifesto.”

MPRF-Nepal Secretary Ratneshwor Lal Kayasth reiterated that they will boycott the November polls if their demands were not met. “We are simultaneously preparing for the election and the protest,” said Kayasth, adding that they were in favor of meaningful CA polls.
Joint-Secretary of Tarai Madhesh Democratic Party (TMDP) Jitendra Sonal said they have started the first phase of ´election orientation program´ in Sarlahi, Mahottari and Dhanusha districts.


Kathmandu, 2Aug : Cartels adulteration, black marketeering, tax evasion, bribery and ‘donations’ to political parties to secure favors have long been associated with Nepali business people, Prabhakar Ghimere writes in Republica..

The supplies of even highly essential goods such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), water and petroleum have been frequently disrupted by business people to fulfill their interest even when it means paralyzing the daily life of the general populace.

Reports of wide-spread contamination in essential food items and even revelations of rampant adulteration in gold as well as manipulation of weighing machines sent shockwaves through the country raising questions about the sincerity of the business people and business ethics.

With people’s trust of business people reaching big lows, the business community came up with a code of conduct earlier this week as an attempt to mend negative perceptions about them.

The code of conduct seeks to make business people more responsible by upholding the interest of the consumers, society and nation.
The attitude shown by some sections of business community by challenging the law of the land in fulfilling business interest at the cost of consumers’ interests have made people and consumers´ rights groups express doubts about possibility of sincere implementation of the code of conduct.

“In a country like ours where business people are frequently violating even the sovereign laws, it would be quick to be optimistic that they will abide by the newly released business code of conduct, which is not a law but something they would follow on their own free will only on ethical grounds,” said Jyoti Baniya, the general secretary of Consumers´ Rights Protection Forum.

Different business organizations have already individually said they will use the code of conduct to self-regulate themselves but the implementation part was very weak.
“In contradiction to their commitment to respect consumers´ rights, business people are not even putting price lists in shops. If business people maintain double standards, we can´t expect this code of conduct will ensure the rights of consumers,” added Baniya.

The National Business Initiative (NBI) had supported the process of formulating the code of conduct which has been taken ownership by more than three dozen business associations representing Nepal´s private sector.

After all, the spontaneous initiation by business people to improve the business modus operandi is a welcome step.
It has raised the hopes among the people that ethical values will be restored in the country at a time when the government mechanism has failed to safeguard the interest of the people as some unscrupulous businessmen are ruling the roost.

Commitments in cooperating with the government by timely payment of taxes, considering the environmental impact, responsibility toward consumers, upholding the spirit of market competition, maintaining good labor relations and playing a role in reducing corruption in the country no doubt would help in the self-purification process among business people -- if implemented.

It is an umbrella code of conduct ever being unveiled in the country even though different business associations have already put in place their individual codes of conduct.
Business people are more optimistic about implementing the code of conduct. As it has been owned by representative bodies of business people including the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, implementation of it is expected to be easier.

“To end the negative perception against the business community associating them with black marketeering, bribery and unethical business activities, a common code of conduct has been issued to mend the behavior by the business people themselves,” said Surendra Bir Malakar, NBI general secretary.

NBI has also made arrangements for effective implementation of the code of conduct, mechanisms have also been set up.
“We will go as far as recommending revoking operating licenses of those business outlets that violate the code of conduct and draw increasing complaints from consumers,” Malakar added.

As the past record has it, bringing out a code of conduct is not the end task.
Sincerity of the business community and a business-friendly environment in the country can play a critical role for effective implementation of the code of conduct.
Saroj Pandey, the coordinator of the code of conduct campaign, said the newly-formulated code of conduct could not be implemented without the support of political parties and the government.

“Political parties should shun the politics of strike and extortion, and the government should improve transparency in revenue collection to pave the way for a cleaner business environment,” said Pandey.

Rampant extortion and forced ‘donation’ demands from political parties as well as other different groups, and the opaque system of revenue collection have discourage business people from believing in fair practices.

The dominance of the informal economy in the country has been hampering fair business practices too.
The code of conduct has put consumers at high priority recognizing their rights and concept of open and liberal economic principles. Sincerity, transparency and responsible business practices are the key areas which are highly emphasized by the code of conduct.

The code has also made attempts to make government and political parties more responsible and denounced influencing of government officials and political leaders by giving them under-the-table ‘donations’.

"We will not provide any kind of donation, gift or do any form of favor for any political leader or party to secure gains from them,” says the code of conduct.
The business code of conduct has set ethics in six different areas such as consumer protection, tax and financial accountability, labor, environment, anti-corruption, and competition and market protection.

Similarly, the code of conduct also states that the business community would not support monopoly and unhealthy business practices.
"We will be mindful of ´the sovereignty of consumers´," reads the code of conduct.

Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar, a vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said the entire business community is ready to follow the code of conduct for fair and good practices in the business sector.
“The time has come for us to change the way we operate our business. For long-term success, there is no alternative than fair practice in our business,” Rajkarnikar said.

Recognizing the ‘sovereignty of consumers’ the code of conduct has expressed commitment to uphold the rights of consumers which includes the rights of consumers´ safety and consumer education and facility of multiple choices in the market through competition among suppliers.

At a time when cartels, syndicate and unfair dealings are rife in the market this code will support in making the business people more responsible.
“We uphold the business norms that we must not bribe, give gifts, donations and presents directly or indirectly for our advantage,” says the code of conduct.
However, the high dependence of political parties on the business people for their party and individual funds and the nexus of government officials with some entrepreneurs are still big challenges.

“Code of conduct or even laws can do nothing to bring business people into adopting fair practices if their intention is wrong,” said Baniya.



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