Nepal Today

Tuesday, August 6, 2013



Kathmandu, 6 Aug.:: Chairman of the Rastriya Prajatantra
Party (RPP)-Nepal, Kamal Thapa, has said that an environment should be forged for ensuring participation of all political parties in the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) by calling them for a meeting,
RSS reports from Iahari.
At a news conference organised at Itahari on Tuesday morning, Thapa said the High-Level Political Committee (HLPC) has no right to hold talks with other political parties and added that the President or the Chairman of the Interim Election Council should call the meeting to find out solution to all political differences.

Blaming the cross-party mechanism of four major parties and the Madhes-based parties for not being able to carry out any works adding excitement to the election environment, he said the party has been running election related programmes across the country focusing on the upcoming election.


The government has not been able to implement the e-bidding system in all development projects due to multilateral donors’ reluctance to adopt the existing system for projects they have funded, Prithvi Man Shrestha writes in The Kathmandu Post..
As the donors’ fund is an important part of the country’s development budget, their reluctance to adopt e-bidding system has affected the government ’s efforts to go for e-bidding, said government secretaries at an interaction here on Monday.
The World Bank (WB) has approved e-bidding only for national-level bidding, while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has “largely” been reluctant to adopt e-bidding for both national and international bidding under the current system, according to the secretaries. The ADB, however, had adopted the e-bidding system in its Sub-regional Transport Enhancement Project.
“As a result, we have not been able implement e-bidding in about 35 percent of our projects,” said Tulasi Prasad Situala, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management.
Kishor Thapa, secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development, said e-bidding is taking place only in government -funded projects.
As far as bilateral donors are concerned, Situala said they usually select contractors themselves for projects executed under grants, but e-bidding process is used for projects under loans.
The donors have been insisting that Nepal should go for e-bidding to avoid collusion, intimidation and coercion, but not under the existing e-bidding system. Both the WB and the ADB have cited “security concerns” for their reluctance to use the existing system.
A WB source said the existing e-bidding system in Nepal does not “guarantee basic technical security” for international bidding. “As confidentiality has to be maintained in international bidding, the existing system, which is prone to data compromise, may seriously affect competition during the bidding process,” the source said.
In an email response, the ADB said “several different departments are using different systems developed by local IT firms. However, there are some concerns on the security aspects of those systems.”
The two donors, however, have expressed commitment to go for e-bidding for projects they have financed after the “central portal e-submission system” developed by the Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) is completed.
“Once this is rolled out, ADB-assisted projects of the concerned infrastructure departments are expected to be implemented with the adoption of the said e-submission system developed by PPMO,” the ADB said.
The PPMO has already installed the system at a few government offices, including its own office and Civil Service Hospital, according to PPMO Secretary Dhan Bahadur Tamang. The PPMO plans to formally launch the system on August 19 coinciding with its anniversary.
“We are still seeing if there is any problem in the system. We will close all other existing e-bidding systems after it is proven problem-free,” said Tamang. The ADB has assisted the development of this system.
In June 2012, the government had amended the public procurement regulation including a mandatory provision for the use of PPMO’s “central portal e-submission system”.
E-bidding was first adopted in WB-financed projects under the Department of Roads in December 2007. The adoption of the system has reduced collusion among bidders which has created environment of competition during the bidding. “Our study has found that e-bidding has reduced the cost of the government by 20 percent,” said Sitaula.
Jathmandu, 6 Aug.: Nepali citizens working in international organisations and maintaining foreign currency accounts in Nepali banks can withdraw up to $10,000 at a time and up to $20,000 in a year to purchase authorised goods and for tourism, education and health, according a new central bank circular issued on Monday.
Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), however, has made it clear in the circular that they cannot use the facility for capital investment.
The central bank has also allowed Nepalis and foreigners who earn foreign currency and have foreign currency accounts to withdraw up to $10,000 in a year. “They can utilise this facility at one go or on instalment basis,” states the circular.
The NRB has also allowed foreigners, including tourists, to open accounts in Nepali banks and financial institutions, but the account will be valid only until their visa expiration date. “Such an account can extended based on the visa extension,” state the NRB. If foreigners residing in Nepal are willing to continue such accounts just to make payments, they can do so by updating their personal details with the BFIs.
If a foreigner intends to leave the country, the foreign currency in his/her account can be transferred to his/her account in the foreign bank by closing the account in Nepal.
“For this, the foreigner needs to produce documents verifying that s/he is leaving the country,” states the circular. The central bank has also included a clause that states if any person or an institution receives grants, donations or gift in foreign currency, they can open foreign currency accounts by revealing the source.
For doing so, individuals need to produce their personal identity cards, while institutions are subjected to present registration documents.'



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