Saturday, November 30, 2013

Government spent Rs 12 billion for second CA election

The government has spent Rs 12 billion, according to the preliminary estimation.
"The security agencies have spent Rs 6.5 billion, whereas Election Commission (EC) has spent Rs 5.5 billion making it a total of Rs 12 billion, according to the primary estimate," said finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi.
The government had allocated Rs 16 billion for the second Constitution Assembly (CA) election held on November 19.
The government had allocated Rs 8 billion each to securities agencies and Election Commission in the budget for the current fiscal year 2013-14.
Though the final expenditure will come in a week, the preliminary estimation showed that the securities agencies have spent almost all of their budget but the Election Commission has not been able to spend all the budget.
The former bureaucrat-led government that was formed with an aim to hold CA election has also planned local election within six months of the CA election.
"The government has allocated the budget also for the local election," he added.
The local bodies have been running on ad-hoc basis for the last one-and-a-half decade due to successive governments failure of holding election due to various reasons. Absence of elected local bodies have fuelled corruption in villages and districts, decreased accountability of the public purse and increased misuse of budget pushing development activities back.

Nepal to raise LDCs issues seriously: Koirala

Nepal will raise the development issues of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) seriously in the global trade regime's meeting, said commerce and supplies minister Shankar Prasad Koirala before flying to Bali to take part in the ninth Ministerial Conference of  World Trade Organisation (WTO) scheduled for December 3-6.
Nepal is the chair of the LDCs.
As the chair Nepal will raise three key issues – agriculture, trade facilitation and development of LDCs – in the meeting, he said, adding that Nepal will highlight the issues of duty-free quota-free market access, preferential rules of origin, and implementation of services waiver. "Likewise, the implantation of the past decision of developed nation to provide atleast 97 per cent – and maximum cent per cent – concession in the context of the duty-free quota-free is significant for the LDCs."
Likewise, various developed countries that import goods from LDCs have their own standards and criteria for Rules of Origin. "Nepal will lobby for a uniform and harmonised Rules of Origin for LDCs," he added.
The LDC group has drafted a new Rules of Origin formula.
The eighth WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva on December 2011 had decided on various issues including adoption of waiver to provide preferential treatment to services and services suppliers of LDC members, and Nepal will look into these issues and their implementation status.
Nepal became the 147th member of global trade reime in 2004.
However, there are 159 members in the WTO.

Recurrent, capital expenditure satisfactory: Finance Minister

The recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure are satisfactory by the end of fifth month of the current fiscal year, according to the finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala.
Addressing the 16th anniversary of Society of Economic Journalists-Nepal (Sejon) here today, he said that the overall macroeconomic indicators are better.
"There are no hurdles to accelerate capital expenditures for the elected government," he said, adding that the incumbent government was formed with a sole purpose of holding second Constituent Assembly (CA) election on November 19, which it has completedly successfully. "The government has, despite limited authority, tried to improve economy also."
The new elected government will be able to boost development activities, he added.
Central bank governor Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, on the occasion, said that post CA election, economic stability will be a key agenda.
Koirala, on the occasion also awarded three economic journalists – Shiva Satyal of Rajdhani vernacular daily, Lokmani Rai of Kantipur vernacular daily and Kamal Parajuli of Ujjalo 90 FM – with cash purse of Rs 25,000 each for their news and reporting.

Friday, November 29, 2013

4G is changing consumer mobile behaviour: Study

Consumer behaviour is evolving as a direct result of the launch of 4G mobile services, driven by faster download speeds and greater bandwidth, according to the results of the Orange Exposure 2013-14 report.
The annual study by TNS into media habits across UK, France and Spain, not only are 4G users consuming more content – 30 per cent of them in the UK regularly use their mobile to download video games, compared with 17 per cent of 3G users - they are also using more of the phone’s functionality like downloading video, and using geolocation for example – in France this is 25 per cent more than non-4G users.
The 2013 study takes an early look at the impact of 4G networks on consumer behavior also revealed that 4G users also demonstrate a growing acceptance of m-commerce, with 53 per cent using their mobile to pay for something in the last six months compared with 34 per cent of 3G mobile multimedia users.
The study also showed that mobile usage drives further research on other devices. "For example, 18 per cent in the UK said they used their mobile initially to check for information before conducting deeper research on another device." It also showed a growing trend in ‘showrooming’ – whereby consumers use their mobile to compare prices and read comparative reviews of products.
The study also showed the continued dominance of Android over iOS for the second year running, with almost half of all mobile devices Android across all three markets. Android also increased its share of the tablet market, driven in part by Samsung's continued success. "For example, 19 per cent of tablets in the UK are Samsung in 2013, up from six per cent in 2012. In France, Samsung controls almost one third of the tablet market, up from 13 per cent in 2012," it noted, adding that consumers are increasingly using apps to access the internet, rather than traditional browsers.

Government has no record of its own property across the country

Not much surprising, the government does not have proper records of its own property across the country.
"The government offices have been operating from the rented houses, despite its property across the country," complained the higher government officers during the second PEFA evaluation meeting here today.
In most of the districts, the government property has been misused, they reported the finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala.
The government must look into the matter seriously and utilise its property, they asked.
In response to their request the minister asked them to immediately start record keeping of the government property across the country.
"The Finance Ministry will help them wholeheartedly," he said, adding that the related agencies and officers must be made responsible and accountable for the preservation of government property.
The government has the property across the country but due to lack of proper records, individuals have been misusing the government property. There is no proper records of the government buildings either.
Chief secretary of the government blamed the chief regional administrator for the lack of preservation of the government property. "Its easy to blame others, but it’s the weakness of the administrators," he added.
On the occasion, the record of some 1,686 government offices across the country have also been presented. "Some 1,686 government offices occupy 90,630 ropani of land and owns 1,404 houses," reported Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability office (PEFA).
According to the Nepali legal system, the offspring have legal right of the property of their parents. But the government property across the country has no proper record and in most of the places people have already captured it.