Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Unicef hands over health posts

Unicef has handed over a health post building in Malu of the Dolakha district. Deputy Executive Director of Unicef Fatoumata Ndiaye handed the building today after the three-year anniversary of the earthquake that struck Nepal. Ndiaye handed over the keys of the new facility to Health Post In-Charge Deependra Khadka.
This health post is the 43rd of 74 such facilities that Unicef is supporting to build after the devastating earthquakes in 2015, according to a press release issued by the Unicef. The earthquakes destroyed altogether 446 health facilities and administrative buildings and damaged 765 more.
"The 2015 earthquakes took a very serious toll on the health care system in the affected districts and also exposed children and people to additional health risks,” said Ndiaye during the health post handover ceremony. "The prefabricated health posts like the one we now have in Malu can last for a decade or more with proper maintenance and can withstand strong wind, fire and earthquakes as well as severe weather conditions, enabling children and the community to receive continuous care and services even in the aftermath of a disaster while more permanent facilities can be built over time," she added.
Unicef first supported the government of Nepal by providing medical service tents as well as essential drugs, instrument and equipment to respond to the urgent need of restoring health services immediately after the earthquakes, the release reads, adding that it is now supporting the Nepal to build back better by replacing 74 of the affected health facilities with prefabricated structures that are disaster-resistant.
"These health facilities are an example of Unicef's commitment towards enhancing the health and wellbeing of children and women in Nepal,” added Ndiaye.
"After the earthquake, the government of Nepal began providing immediate health care services from under medical tents at the 14 most earthquake-affected districts," state minister for Health and Population Padma Kumari Aryal said, adding that the government built temporary structures like the pre-fabs to ensure continuous services. "Of about 300 health facilities the government of Nepal has planned, 74 prefab structures are being built with Unicef."
The quality structures are expected to last a long time and thus help ensure continuous access of health services, she added.
The new health facilities also include birthing centers; fully furnished including medical equipment; and connected with water supply and power back-up systems with solar panels. In addition, the Unicef has also been working with local communities for their active engagement in the entire process of setting up the new facilities to ensure good utilisation and maintenance of the facilities.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

पूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकले न्याय पाउने

गोर्खा सत्याग्रह संघर्ष समितिसहितका आन्दोलनरत पक्षका प्रतिनिधिहरू यतिबेला नेपाल सरकारसँग छिटोभन्दा छिटो बेलायतसँग जीटुजी अर्थात् सरकार–सरकारबीचको वार्ताको मिति कुरेर बसिरहेका छन् । गोर्खा सत्याग्रह संघर्ष समितिसहितका आन्दोलनरत पक्षका प्रतिनिधिहरू यतिबेला नेपाल सरकारसँग छिटोभन्दा छिटो बेलायतसँग जीटुजी अर्थात् सरकार–सरकारबीचको वार्ताको मिति कुरेर बसिरहेका छन् । उनीहरूले यही साता प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओलीदेखि माओवादी केन्द्रका अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहाल प्रचण्डसँगमात्रै होइन, मंगलबार परराष्ट्रमन्त्री प्रदीप ज्ञवालीलाई पनि भेटेर नेपाल सरकारले यथाशिघ्र बेलायत सरकारसँग वार्ता गरी एकमुष्ट क्षतिपूर्ति करिब १२ खर्ब तथा वर्षेनी आउने करिब ३७ अर्बको पेन्सनको मुद्दा टुंग्याउन आग्रह गरेका छन् ।
शनिबार प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओली, सोमबार माओवादी केन्द्रका अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहाल तथा मंगलबार परराष्ट्रमन्त्री प्रदीप ज्ञवालीले पनि उनीहरूसँगको भेटमा सरकार गम्भिर रहेको बताएका छन् ।
भूपू गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको विभिन्न संगठनहरू एकजुट भएर बेलायतमा बनेको सत्याग्रह संघर्ष समितिका संयोजक कृष्णबहादुर राईले मंगलबारको भेटमा पनि परराष्ट्रमन्त्री ज्ञवालीले ३ महिनाभित्रै यो समस्याको समाधान हुने बताएको जानकारी दिए ।
सोमबार पेरिस डाँडामा भएको भेटमा माओवादी केन्द्रका अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहालले आफू प्रधानमन्त्री भएको बेलामा समस्या समाधान गर्न सबैभन्दा बढी तत्परता र क्रियाशीलता देखाएको स्मरण गराउँदै अहिले अनुकूल अवस्था रहेकोले समस्या समाधानको लागि आफूले सक्दो पहल गर्ने आश्वासन पनि दिएको राईले बताए ।“अहिले अनुकल समय छ, तपाईंहरूले प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई भेटिसक्नु भएछ, म प्रधानमन्त्रीसँग फेरि पनि व्यक्तिगत रुपमा समस्या समाधानमा थप सहयोग गर्न आग्रह गर्छु । परराष्ट्रमन्त्रीसँग पनि यस विषयमा कुरा गर्छु,” प्रतिनिधिमण्डलसँग पार्टी कार्यालय पेरिस डाँडामा भएको भेटमा अध्यक्ष प्रचण्डले भनेका थिए ।
यसैगरी, मंगलबार मन्त्री ज्ञवालीले पनि आफूले छिट्टै यो मुद्दा टुंग्याउने बताए । एकातिर भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकले १२ खर्ब हाराहारी क्षतिपूर्ति बेलायतले दिने दावी गरेका छन् भने अर्कोतिर बर्सेनि ३७ अर्ब पेन्सन पाउन लागेको उनीहरूको भनाइ छ । बेलायत सरकारले नेपाल सरकारसँग द्विपक्षीय वार्ता गर्न पत्रसमेत पठाइसकेको पनि उनीहरूको भनाइ छ ।
ब्रिटिस गोर्खाको तर्फबाट लगातार आन्दोलनपछि बेलायत सरकारले समिति नै गठन गरेर नेपाल सरकारसँग वार्ता गर्न तयार रहेको जानकारी नेपालको परराष्ट्र मन्त्रालयलाई गराएको छ । तर, नेपाल सरकारले वार्ताको लागि समिति गठन गरिसकेको भने छैन ।भूतपूर्व गोर्खाहरूले नेपालको एक आर्थिक वर्षको बजेट बराबरको रकम देश भित्रिने दाबी गरिहँदा परराष्ट्र मन्त्रालयले भने रकमको यकिन भइनसकेको बताएको छ । तर, भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकको आफ्नै गणनाअनुसार १२ खर्ब एकमुष्ट क्षतिपूर्ति पाउनुपर्ने देखिएकोले उक्त रकम नेपाल आउने पक्का रहेको राईले बताए । नेपाल सरकारले यस मुद्दालाई गम्भिरतापूर्वक लिने हो भने यो रकम एकमुष्ट नेपाल भित्रिने दावी उनको छ । उनका अनुसार गत वर्ष सेवानिवृत्त गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको समस्या अध्ययन गर्न बनेको त्रिपक्षीय प्राविधिक समितिले तयार पारेको अन्तिम प्रतिवेदनका अनुसार बेलायत सरकार पूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकलाई क्षतिपूर्ति दिन तयार भएको हो ।
भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकको लामो समयदेखिको बराबरीको हक तथा अधिकारको आन्दोलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै बेलायत सरकार क्षतिपूर्ति तिर्न राजी भएको उनले बताए । बेलायत सरकारको रक्षा मन्त्रालयअन्तर्गत आम्र्ड फोर्स मामिलामन्त्री लांककास्टरलाई गत वर्ष ४० पृष्ठ लामो प्रतिवेदन बुझाएपछि आफ्नो आन्दोलनले सफलताको बाटो टेकेको दावी गर्दै पूर्व गोर्खा राईले नेपाल सरकारले अब गम्भीर रूपमा वार्ता गरी क्षतिपूर्तिको मुद्दा टुंग्याउनुपर्ने बताए । गत वर्ष गोर्खा, नेपाली राजदूतावास र बेलायत सरकारबीच भएको त्रिपक्षीय वार्तामा पनि लांककास्टर सहभागी थिए ।
वार्तापछि लांककास्टरले गोर्खाहरूको समस्या बारेमा आफू गम्भीर भएको तथा उनीहरूको माग सम्बोधनको लागि पहल गर्ने बताएका थिए । गोर्खा भर्ती सुरु भएको २ सय वर्षपछि बेलायतले गोर्खाहरूलाई बिभेद गरेको भन्दै भूपू गोर्खाहरूले आन्दोलन गरेपछि बेलायत सरकार, नेपाली राजदूतावास र गोर्खाहरूबीच विभिन्न चरणमा वार्ता भएका थिए ।
बेलायतमा रहेका विभिन्न संघ संगठनले आन्दोलन जारी राखे पनि पूर्व गोर्खा सैनिक ज्ञानराज राईले ५ वर्षअघि तत्कालिन बेलायती प्रधानमन्त्री डेविड क्यामरुनको कार्यालयअगाडि आमरण अनसन बसेपछि बेलायत वार्ता गर्न तयार भएको थियो । आन्दोलनका क्रममा गैरआवासीय नेपालीका तर्फबाट तत्कालिन उपाध्यक्ष तथा हालका अध्यक्ष भवन भट्टलगायत विभिन्न संघ संगठन तथा व्यक्तिले गोर्खाको मागमा ऐक्यबद्धता जनाएको स्मरण गर्दै अब बल नेपाल सरकारको कोर्टमा रहेको राईले बताए । गोर्खा सैनिकले सन् १८१६ देखि प्रत्येक सैन्य मोर्चामा ब्रिटिस साम्राज्यको पक्षबाट लडाईं लड्दै १३ भिक्टोरिया क्रस, दुई जर्ज क्रससहित ६ हजार ५ सय ठूला तक्माहरू पाएका छन् । तर, हजारौंको संख्यामा तक्मा तथा बहादुरीका विभूषण पाएका गोर्खा बराबरी पेन्सन तथा अन्य सुविधाको विषयमा भने ठगिँदै आएका छन् । मन्त्री लांककास्टरले नै जीटुजी द्विपक्षीय वार्तामा चासो राखेका थिए ।
गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको रेजिमेन्ट बाँडफाँडलाई केन्द्रित गरेर गरिएको सम्झौतालाई बेलायतको ‘रोयल कोर्ट अफ जस्टिस’ले ३० सेप्टेम्बर २००८ मा अमानवीय, अन्यायपूर्ण र अवैधानिक ठहर गरिसकेपछि नेपाल र बेलायतबीच द्विपक्षीय सम्झौताको कुरा उठान भएको हो । बेलायतले एउटा सार्वभौम नागरिकको रूपमा गोर्खा सैनिकहरूलाई समानताको सिद्धान्तका आधारमा व्यवहार गर्ने जनाएको हो । त्यसो त गोर्खा भूतपूर्व सैनिक संघ (गेसो)को आन्दोलनपछि पेन्सनमा केही वृद्धि गरिए पनि भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकले गोरा सैनिकको तुलनामा धेरै गुणा कम पेन्सन पाइरहेका भन्दै ऐतिहासिक अन्यायसमेतको क्षर्तिपूर्ति हुने गरी पेन्सन दिइनुपर्नेमा अडिग थिए ।

गत वर्ष सेवानिवृत्त गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको समस्या अध्यायन गर्न बनेको त्रिपक्षीय प्राविधिक समितिले तयार पारेको तथथा तीनै पक्षले हस्ताक्षर गरेको अन्तिम प्रतिवेदनले निम्न कुरा उल्लेख गरेको छ :
• २२ वर्ष नोकरी पूरा गरेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीले ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान दर्जाअनुसारको पूर्ण पेन्सन पाउनुपर्ने
• २१ वर्ष उमेरपछि १६ वर्ष नोकरी पूरा गरेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खा अफिसरले ब्रिटिस अफिसर समान दर्जा अनुसारको पूर्ण पेन्सन पाउनु पर्ने
• १५ वर्ष नोकरी पूरा गरेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीले ब्रिटिस सिपाहीले पाउने २२ वर्षको पेन्सनको अनुपातिक १५ वर्षको पेन्सन दर्जा अनुसारले पाउनुपर्ने
• अप्रेसनल ड्युटीमा मारिएका, मरेका र घाइते भएका ब्रिटिस गोर्खाले ब्रिटिस समान लिबरल र डीसएबिलिटी (घाइते) पेन्सन पाउनु पर्ने साथै अन्य पेन्सनहरू जस्तैः बिधवा, मेडिकलआदि सबैखाले पेन्सनहरू ब्रिटिस सिपाहीसमान पाउनुपर्ने
• सन् १९७५ अघि नोकरीबाट बर्खास्त गरिएकाहरूले क्षतिपूर्ति एकमुष्ट रकम पाउनुपर्ने
• सन् १९७५ पछि नोकरीबाट बर्खास्त गरिएकाहरूले ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान प्रिजर्भड पेन्सन पाउनु पर्ने
• ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीले बेलायतमा रहँदा नेसनल इन्स्योरेन्स (राष्ट्रिय बिमा) तिरेको र मलाया, हङकङ र नेपालमा रहँदा ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान तलब नदिएको हुँदा ‘स्टेट पेन्सन’ पाउनु पर्ने
• ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीको पेन्सन ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान तुरुन्त बनाउनु पर्ने
• ब्रिटिस गोर्खाहरूलाई ऐतिहसिक अन्याय भएको हुँदा अन्यायको क्षतिपूर्तिका लागि सद्भावना पेमेन्ट (गुडवील पेमेन्ट) दर्जा र नोकरीको अवधि अनुसार पाउनुपर्ने
• पेन्सन वा बर्खास्त भएका तर मरिसकेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खाका छोराछोरीहरूले सद्भावना पेमेन्ट (गुडवील पेमेन्ट) पाउनुपर्ने
• ब्रिटिस रक्षा मन्त्रालयले ब्रिटिस गोर्खाहरूको लागि मेडिकल सुबिधा इन्डियन गोर्खाहरूले नेपालमा पाएको समान मेडिकल सुविधा दिनुपर्ने
• ३० वर्ष भन्दामाथि उमेरका ब्रिटिस गोर्खाका छोराछोरी सबैलाई बेलायती आवासीय भिसा दिइनुपर्ने
• भूतपूर्व ब्रिटिस गोर्खा र परिवारलाई ९० दिन नेपाल बस्न पाउने सुविधा पाउनु पर्ने
• भूतपूर्व ब्रिटिस गोर्खाहरूले पाउने पेन्सन सुबिधा नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकमा जाने व्यवस्था मिलाउनुपर्ने

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Nepal keen to enhance connectivity with China under BRI : Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that he has requested China to construct the cross-border railway between the two neighbors under a grant.
Speaking at the airport, after returning home today wrapping up his five-day official visit to China, he said that Nepal has requested – during the bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi – the China to build the cross-border railway under the grant aid as a symbol of bilateral relations between the two neighbours. "Developing cross-border railways between Nepal and China is a priority for Nepal government," he added.
However, Nepal is open for discussion about possible investment model, he said, adding that there could be several investment models for the implementation of projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), apart from enhancing cross-border connectivity.
The Nepal-China cross border railway line – from Kerung on China-Nepal border to Kathmandu and to Pokhara and Lumbini on Nepal-India border – is estimated to cost up to $8 billion.
Both sides have reached an understanding to conduct a feasibility study and preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Nepal-China cross border Railway line at the earliest. The agreement has been made 'for attaining common prosperity by incorporating areas such as railway line, trading port, air transport, electricity and communication', according to the press communique issued by the Foreign Ministry.
Gyawali also said that both Kathmandu and Beijing have agreed to implement all the past agreements – including the agreements by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in 2016 and by the then Prime Minister Pushpa Kamala Dahal in 2017 – signed between Nepal and China.
The Transit and Transport Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on launching a joint feasibility study for a Nepal-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are the key documents signed during Oli visit. Likewise, the Dahal-led government had signed a MoU on cooperation on the BRI.
Introduced by China in 2013, the BRI refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting countries along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
He also said that both sides have shared common views on developing a Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Transport Network to develop dry ports, railways, roads, air connectivity, cross-border electricity transmission and information technology for better connectivity between the two neighbours and ensuring sustainable common development.
Apart from meeting his counterpart Wang, Gyawali had also called on Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan.
During his visit to China, Gyawali had also held meetings with provincial leaders in Chengdu and delivered a speech at a programme held in his honour at Sichuwan University before his arrival back home today.
Delivering a lecture on Nepal-China Relations and Development Projects in the Trans-Himalayan Region at Sichuwan University in Chengdu, Gyawali appreciated China’s efforts at forging co-operative links between the countries in the region and beyond under the framework of BRI, reads the Foreign Ministry statement.
"Chinese investors may utilise the investment opportunities in Nepal for mutual benefits,” he said, assuring that Nepal government is fully committed to providing security to Chinese investors.

पाउलान् त बेलायतबाट नेपालीले १२ खर्ब क्षतिपूर्ति ?

भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकले १२ खर्ब हाराहारी क्षतिपूर्ति बेलायतले दिने दावी गरेका छन् । उक्त रकम नेपालको आगामी आर्थिक वर्षको बजेट सिलिङबराबर हो । परराष्ट्र मन्त्रालयले रकमको यकिन भइनसकेको बताए पनि भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकको आफ्नै गणनाअनुसार १२ खर्ब एकमुष्ट क्षतिपूर्ति पाउनुपर्ने देखिएको हो ।
भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकको लामो समयदेखिको बराबरीको हक तथा अधिकारको आन्दोलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै बेलायत सरकार क्षतिपूर्ति तिर्न राजी भएको उनीहरूले दावी गरेका छन् । अधिकार प्राप्तिको लडाइँको फलस्वरूप भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकले क्षतिपूर्तिबापत एकमुष्ट रकम तथा बर्सेनि ३७ अर्ब पेन्सन पाउन लागेको उनीहरूको भनाइ छ ।
एकमुष्ट १२ खर्ब हाराहारी क्षतिपूर्ति दिने विषयमा बेलायत सरकार तयार भएकोले नेपालले छिट्टै द्विपक्षीय वार्ता गरी उक्त रकम दावी गरिहाल्नुपर्ने भूपू गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको विभिन्न संगठनहरू एकजुट भएर बेलायतमा बनेको सत्याग्रह संघर्ष समितिका संयोजक कृष्णबहादुर राईले बताए । बेलायत सरकारले नेपालसँग सरकारसंग द्विपक्षीय वार्ता गर्न पत्रसमेत पठाइसकेको पनि उनले बताए । यसैक्रममा प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओलीसँग शनिबार भएको भेटघाटमा प्रधानमन्त्रीले आफूलाई पनि यस विषयमा जानकारी भएको तथा १ महिनादेखि ३ महिनाभित्र सरकारले यो मुद्दा टुंग्याउने बताएको पनि उनले जानकारी दिए । “प्रधानमन्त्रीले उक्त रकम नेपालमा उत्पादनशील क्षेत्रमा खर्च गर्न पनि आग्रह गरेका छन्,” राईले बताए ।
बेलायत सरकारको रक्षा मन्त्रालयअन्तर्गत आम्र्ड फोर्स मामिलामन्त्री लांककास्टरलाई गत वर्ष ४० पृष्ठ लामो प्रतिवेदन बुझाएपछि आफ्नो आन्दोलनले सफलताको बाटो टेकेको दावी गर्दै पूर्व गोर्खा राईले नेपाल सरकारले अब गम्भीर रूपमा वार्ता गरी क्षतिपूर्तिको मुद्दा टुंग्याउनुपर्ने बताए । गत वर्ष गोर्खा, नेपाली राजदूतावास र बेलायत सरकारबीच भएको त्रिपक्षीय वार्तामा पनि लांककास्टर सहभागी थिए । वार्तापछि लांककास्टरले गोर्खाहरूको समस्या बारेमा आफू गम्भीर भएको तथा उनीहरूको माग सम्बोधनको लागि पहल गर्ने बताएका थिए ।
गोर्खा भर्ती सुरु भएको २ सय वर्षपछि बेलायतले गोर्खाहरूलाई बिभेद गरेको भन्दै भूपू गोर्खाहरूले आन्दोलन गरेपछि बेलायत सरकार, नेपाली राजदूतावास र गोर्खाहरूबीच विभिन्न चरणमा वार्ता भएका थिए । बेलायतमा रहेका विभिन्न संघ संगठनले आन्दोलन जारी राखेपनि पूर्व गोर्खा सैनिक ज्ञानराज राईले ५ वर्षअघि तत्कालिन बेलायती प्रधानमन्त्री डेविड क्यामरुनको कार्यालयअगाडि आमरण अनसन बसेपछि बेलायत वार्ता गर्न तयार भएको थियो । आन्दोलनका क्रममा गैरआवासीय नेपालीका तर्फबाट तत्कालिन उपाध्यक्ष तथा हालका अध्यक्ष भवन भट्टलगायतले गोर्खाको मागमा ऐक्यबद्धता जनाएको स्मरण गर्दै अब बल नेपाल सरकारको कोर्टमा रहेको राईले बताए ।
गोर्खा सैनिकले सन् १८१६ देखि प्रत्येक सैन्य मोर्चामा ब्रिटिस साम्राज्यको पक्षबाट लडाईं लड्दै १३ भिक्टोरिया क्रस, दुई जर्ज क्रससहित ६ हजार ५ सय ठूला तक्माहरू पाएका छन् । तर, हजारौंको संख्यामा तक्मा तथा बहादुरीका विभूषण पाएका गोर्खा बराबरी पेन्सन तथा अन्य सुविधाको विषयमा भने ठगिँदै आएका छन् ।
मन्त्री लांककास्टरले नै जीटुजी द्विपक्षीय वार्तामा चासो राखेका थिए । गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको रेजिमेन्ट बाँडफाँडलाई केन्द्रित गरेर गरिएको सम्झौतालाई बेलायतको ‘रोयल कोर्ट अफ जस्टिस’ले ३० सेप्टेम्बर २००८ मा अमानवीय, अन्यायपूर्ण र अवैधानिक ठहर गरिसकेपछि नेपाल र बेलायतबीच द्विपक्षीय सम्झौताको कुरा उठान भएको हो । बेलायतले एउटा सार्वभौम नागरिकको रूपमा गोर्खा सैनिकहरूलाई समानताको सिद्धान्तका आधारमा व्यवहार गर्ने जनाएको हो ।
त्यसो त गोर्खा भूतपूर्व सैनिक संघ (गेसो)को आन्दोलनपछि पेन्सनमा केही वृद्धि गरिए पनि भूतपूर्व गोर्खा सैनिकले गोरा सैनिकको तुलनामा धेरैगुणा कम पेन्सन पाइरहेका भन्दै ऐतिहासिक अन्यायसमेतको क्षर्तिपूर्ति हुने गरी पेन्सन दिइनुपर्नेमा अडिग थिए ।
गत वर्ष सेवानिवृत्त गोर्खा सैनिकहरूको समस्या अध्यायन गर्न बनेको त्रिपक्षीय प्राविधिक समितिले तयार पारेको अन्तिम प्रतिवेदनका अनुसार २२ वर्ष नोकरी पूरा गरेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीले ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान दर्जाअनुसारको पूर्ण पेन्सन पाउनुपर्ने, २१ वर्ष उमेरपछि १६ वर्ष नोकरी पूरा गरेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खा अफिसरले ब्रिटिस अफिसर समान दर्जा अनुसारको पूर्ण पेन्सन पाउनु पर्ने, १५ वर्ष नोकरी पूरा गरेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीले ब्रिटिस सिपाहीले पाउने २२ वर्षको पेन्सनको अनुपातिक १५ वर्षको पेन्सन दर्जा अनुसारले पाउनुपर्ने, अप्रेसनल ड्युटीमा मारिएका, मरेका र घाइते भएका ब्रिटिस गोर्खाले ब्रिटिस समान लिबरल र डीसएबिलिटी (घाइते) पेन्सन पाउनु पर्ने साथै अन्य पेन्सनहरू जस्तैः बिधवा, मेडिकलआदि सबैखाले पेन्सनहरू ब्रिटिस सिपाहीसमान पाउनुपर्ने, सन् १९७५ अघि नोकरीबाट बर्खास्त गरिएकाहरूले क्षतिपूर्ति एकमुष्ट रकम पाउनुपर्ने, सन् १९७५ पछि नोकरीबाट बर्खास्त गरिएकाहरूले ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान प्रिजर्भड पेन्सन पाउनु पर्ने, ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीले बेलायतमा रहदा नेसनल इन्स्योरेन्स (राष्ट्रिय बिमा) तिरेको र मलाया, हङकङ र नेपालमा रहँदा ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान तलब नदिएको हुँदा ‘स्टेट पेन्सन’ पाउनु पर्ने, ब्रिटिस गोर्खा सिपाहीको पेन्सन ब्रिटिस सिपाही समान तुरुन्त बनाउनु पर्ने, ब्रिटिस गोर्खाहरूलाई ऐतिहसिक अन्याय भएको हुँदा अन्यायको क्षतिपूर्तिका लागि सद्भावना पेमेन्ट (गुडवील पेमेन्ट) दर्जा र नोकरीको अवधि अनुसार पाउनुपर्ने, पेन्सन वा बर्खास्त भएका तर मरिसकेका ब्रिटिस गोर्खाका छोराछोरीहरूले सद्भावना पेमेन्ट (गुडवील पेमेन्ट) पाउनुपर्ने, ब्रिटिस रक्षा मन्त्रालयले ब्रिटिस गोर्खाहरूको लागि मेडिकल सुबिधा इन्डियन गोर्खाहरूले नेपालमा पाएको समान मेडिकल सुविधा दिनुपर्ने, ३० वर्ष भन्दामाथि उमेरका ब्रिटिस गोर्खाका छोराछोरी सबैलाई बेलायती आवासीय भिसा दिइनुपर्ने, भूतपूर्व ब्रिटिस गोर्खा र परिवारलाई ९० दिन नेपाल बस्न पाउने सुविधा पाउनु पर्ने तथा भूतपूर्व ब्रिटिस गोर्खाहरूले पाउने पेन्सन सुबिधा नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकमा जाने व्यवस्था मिलाउनु पर्नेलगायतका बुँदा प्रतिवेदनमा समेटिएका छन् ।
भूतपूर्व गोर्खाहरूले बेलायत सरकारबाट पाउने पेन्सन नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकमार्फत पाउनुपर्ने माग राख्दै हालसम्म गोर्खा सैनिकहरूले अवकास प्राप्त गरेपछि पाउने पेन्सन ‘भारतीय रिजर्भ बैंक’ मार्फत नेपाल पठाइने गरिएको छ । राईका अनुसार यसले गोर्खा सैनिकहरूलाईमात्र होइन मुलुकको अर्थतन्त्र र स्वाधिनतामा समेत आँच आउने काम गरेको छ । यो रकम सिधै नेपाल आउँदा देशको परिवत्र्य विदेशी मुद्रा संचितिमा पनि योगदान गर्ने गोर्खाहरूको तर्क छ ।

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

त्रिदेशीय आर्थिक करिडोरको प्रस्ताव

चीनले नेपाल र भारतसहितको त्रिदेशीय आर्थिक करिडोर निर्माणका लागि बहुआयामिक सञ्जाल विस्तार गर्न प्रस्ताव अघि सारेको छ । चीन भ्रमणमा रहेका परराष्ट्रमन्त्री प्रदीप ज्ञवालीसँगको भेटपछि बेइजिङमा पत्रकारलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै चिनियाँ विदेशमन्त्री वाङ यीले हिमालयपार सम्पर्क सञ्जाल बनाउने समझदारी भएको र त्यो तीन देशबीचको आर्थिक करिडोर बन्नसक्ने बताएका हुन् ।
“हामीलाई विश्वास छ राम्ररी विकास गरिएमा त्यस्तो सम्पर्क सन्जालले चीन, नेपाल र भारतलाई जोड्ने आर्थिक करिडोर बन्ने परिस्थिति सिर्जना गर्न सक्छ,” उनले भने, “यस्तोखालको सहकार्यले तीनै देशको विकास र समृद्धिमा योगदान गर्न सक्छ भन्ने हामीलाई आशा छ ।”
ज्ञवालीसँगको संयुक्त पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा वाङले नेपाल र चीनले यसअघि नै बेल्ट र रोड परियोजनामा हस्ताक्षर गरिसकेको स्मरण गर्दै यसमा कनेक्टिभीटीमा सहकार्य पनि एक अंश भएको बताए । बेल्ट र रोड परियोजनामा दुई देशलाई जलमार्ग, रेलमार्ग, राजमार्ग, हवाईमार्ग, उर्जा र सञ्चारबाट दुई देशलाई जोड्ने योजना समावेश रहेको छ । यस्तै, वाङले उक्त अवसरमा तिब्बत हुँदै नेपाल जोड्ने रेलमार्ग निर्माणाधिन रहेको पनि जानकारी दिए । संयुक्त पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा परराष्ट्रमन्त्री ज्ञवालीले भेटवार्तामा नेपाल र चीनबीच हिमालय पार रेल्वे निर्माणको सम्भाव्यता छिट्टै अध्ययनबारे छलफल भएको बताए ।
“व्यापार र परिवाहन सम्झौताको प्रोटोकल ड्राफ्ट गर्नका लागि छलफललाई तीव्रता दिने र यसलाई चाँडै तात्विक निष्कर्षमा पु¥याउने विषयमा पनि समझदारी भएको छ,” ज्ञवालीले भने ।
परराष्ट्र मन्त्रालयले जारी गरेको विज्ञप्तिमा नेपाल र चीन जोड्ने रेलमार्गका लागि केरुङ काठमाडौँ र काठमाडौं–पोखरा–लुम्बिनी रेलमार्गको सम्भाव्यता अध्ययन र डीपीआर तयार गर्ने विषयमा पनि दुई नेताबीच छलफल भएको जनाएको छ । साथै, वाङसँगको भेटमा मन्त्री ज्ञवालीले भविष्यमा दुई देशबीच थप नाकाहरू खुला गर्नुपर्ने र रसुवागढी–केरुङ र तातोपानी नाकाको स्तरोन्नति तथा तातोपानी नाका चाँडो खुलाउने विषयमा पनि कुराकानी भएको परराष्ट्र मन्त्रालयले जानकारी दिएको छ । यस्तै, दुई वर्षअघि प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओलीको चीन भ्रमणका क्रममा भएका सम्झौताको कार्यान्वयनको पनि भेटमा समीक्षा भएको पनि जनाएको छ । प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओलीको चीन भ्रमणको तयारीका लागि ज्ञवाली सोमबार ६ दिने चीन भ्रमणमा पुगेका हुन् ।

China proposes trilateral economic corridor including India

China has proposed both India and Nepal to form a trilateral economic corridor.
Calling on India to get involved in its connectivity projects with Nepal to support the landlocked country's development in a bid to downplay concerns over rivalry between the two Asian giants.
Addressing a joint press meet in Beijing – after meeting visiting Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today said that the trilateral economic corridor will help expand trans Himalayan connectivity.
Yi, who is also state councillor, on the occasion, said that the trans Himalayan connectivity will help create trilateral economic corridor.
Nepal largely depends on India for trade, which some of the Indian experts also explain as India’s sphere of influence apart from its security concerns. According to Indian experts, Nepal has increasingly been leaning towards northern neighbour especially since election last year that saw left alliance – popularly claimed as pro-Chinese – win the majority.
Since last few years, foreign direct investment (FDI) from China has also been exceeding compared to from India fuelling the Indian suspicion more.
Reminding the signing of Belt and Road Initiavities (BRI) last year between Nepal and China, Yi also called on both the countries to speed up their connectivity projects – from rail and road to aviation, communications and electricity – to create conditions that would be favourable for eventually building an economic corridor between China, Nepal and India.
BRI comprises of air, road, rail and communication connectivity apartfrom energy cooperation between Nepal and China, he said, informing that the railways is being under construction that will reach Nepal border. "Whether it’s China or India, our two countries shall be happy to see Nepal’s new development after its political transition."
Responding to the Chinese railway linking China-Nepal border Kerung and Kathmandu and Pokhara, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – last week during Prime Minister K P Oli's India visit – vows to connect Kathmandu to Raxual through Indian rail network to pursue ‘common destiny’.
On the occasion, Gyawali said that Beijing and Kathmandu had agreed to start work on a feasibility study to build a railway from the Tibetan border town of Kerung to Kathmandu, and from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Lumbini.
“We share common views on a trans Himalayas, multi-dimensional transport network in the long term,” he said, adding that Beijing and Kathmandu also agreed to deepen political trust. "I reiterated Nepal’s commitment to the one-China policy. We have the policy of non-interference in the internal relations of any other countries."
Gyawali earlier met vice president Wang Qishan at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing. According to a press release issued by Nepali Embassy in Beijing, Gyawali conveyed the greetings and best wishes of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and said that Nepal appreciates President Xi Jinping’s vision of ‘building a community of shared future for humanity,’ and supports China’s thrust on enhancing cooperation among nations under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Gyawali’s visit comes a little over a week after Oli travelled to New Delhi. He is on his first visit to Beijing after the government led by Oli came to power in February. Oli was supposed to visit China immediately after India but he rushed to India escaping The Boao Forum that has seen high profile participation from Nepal ever year. Thus, Gyawali’s visit is a precursor to Oli’s first visit to China after taking over the premiership. During his earlier tenure as premier in 2016, Oli had signed multiple deals with China to use Chinese roads and ports, aimed reducing landlocked Nepal’s dependence on India for trade and transit.
Beijing and Kathmandu also agreed to expedite the implementation of all agreements and understandings reached in the past, including those concluded during the visit of then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in March 2016 and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in March 2017.
According to the press note from Foreign Ministry, the two sides today agreed to establish a coordination and implementation mechanism for facilitating the effective implementation of the Chinese government-aided projects. They held discussions on achieving an enhanced level of bilateral co-operation in the development of infrastructure, transportation networks, trade, tourism and people-to-people relations under the BRInitiative, and agreed to identify projects for cooperation under the Initiative.
Discussion was also held on conducting the feasibility study and preparation of DPR of Nepal-China Cross Border Railway line from Kerung to Kathmandu, and Pokhara and Lumbini. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

India positive about purchasing surplus power from all projects of Nepal

India is positive on buying surplus power form Nepal though it had earlier decided to purchase electricity produced from those projects which will have Indian investment.
During a meeting between energy secretaries of Nepal and India in New Delhi, it has shown positive interest responding to the Nepal’s request for revision on the decision, informed Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) spokesperson Prabal Adhikari. "During the meeting, India also informed that it was reviewing its inter-country electricity trade guideline and rules."
Nepal, at present, imports electricity from India during the dry season but it is going to produce surplus power in the monsoon, after the completion of projects that are under construction.
Currently, projects with a capacity of 1,594 megawatt (MW) are under-construction in Nepal, whereas projects with 6,000 MW capacity are in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, the Indian team led by power secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla also informed Nepali team led by energy secretary Anup Upadhyaya that India’s electricity system would get balanced, if Nepal implemented the proposed energy banking system. "However, launching this system requires a lot of study on both sides."
The meeting has principally agreed to establish energy banking system. Nepal has proposed for the system and the Indian authorities have agreed. The Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA) will hold discussions with the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar governments on how this concept can be taken forward.
Similarly, Nepal-India energy secretary level talks – also called the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) meeting that concluded today – agreed to finalise the construction modality of a new 400 kV Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line within three months.
The meeting has also agreed to authorise the preparation of the construction modality of the cross-border transmission line to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Central Electricity Authority of India (CEA).
Nepal has, on the occasion, proposed that both countries take the initiative to individually construct the transmission lines that fall in their respective territories and the meeting also urged the technical committee to recommend the funding modality to the JSC.

Monday, April 16, 2018

प्रतिदिन ६५८ नयाँ रोजगारी आवश्यक

सरकारले प्रतिदिन ६ सय ५८ नयाँ रोजागारी सिर्जना गर्नुपर्ने विश्व बैंकको एक प्रतिवेदनले औंल्याएको छ । विश्व बैंकले नेपालको श्रम बजारमा प्रतिमहिना ३५ हजार जनशक्ति थपिने गरेको भन्दै सरकारले रोजगारी दिनको लागि वार्षिक २ लाख ४० हजार नयाँ रोजगारी सिर्जना हुनुपर्ने जनाएको छ । अर्थात नेपाल सरकारले प्रतिदिन ६ सय ५८ नयाँ रोजगारी सिर्जना गर्नुपर्ने चुनौती देखिन्छ ।
विश्व बैकले सोमबार प्रकाशन गरेको ‘रोजागारीबिनाको वृद्धि’ प्रतिवेदनअनुसार विश्वका विकसित मुलुकले झैं उच्च रोजगारी सिर्र्जना गर्न आर्थिक वृद्धिलेमात्र पुग्दैन । सन् २०२५ सम्ममा मासिक रूपमा दक्षिण एशियाका १८ लाख युवा काम गर्ने उमेरमा परिपक्व हँुदै जाने र यस क्षेत्रमा आर्थिक वृद्धिदरको कारण रोजगारी सिर्जनादर राम्रो भएको टिप्पणी पनि विश्व बैंकको छ । तर काम गर्ने उमेर समूहका युवाको जनसंख्या अत्यधिक रूपमा बढिरहेको परिप्रेक्ष्यमा आर्थिक वृद्धिलेमात्र रोजगारी सिर्जना गर्न मद्दत गर्न नसक्ने पनि प्रतिवेदनको सार छ ।
प्रतिवेदनले चालू आर्थिक वर्षमा नेपालको आर्थिक वृद्धिदरसमेत खुम्चने प्रक्षेपण गरेको छ । चालू आवमा मुलुकको आर्थिक वृद्धि ४.६ प्रतिशतमा सीमित हुने बैंकले जनाएको छ । विश्व बैकको प्रतिवेदनले ४.६ प्रतिशतमा आर्थिक वृद्धिदर रहने बताए पनि हालै एसियाली विकास बैंक (एडीबी)ले भने गतसाता वृद्धिदर ४.९ प्रतिशतसम्म पुग्ने अनुमान गरेको थियो । सरकारले बजेटमा ७.२ प्रतिशतको आर्थिक वृद्धि गर्ने लक्ष्य लिएको थियो । तर, बजेटको मध्यावधी समीक्षा गर्दै गत महिना अर्थमन्त्री डा. युवराज खतिवडाले चालू आवमा ६ प्रतिशतसम्म आर्थिक वृद्धि हुने प्रक्षेपण गरेका थिए ।
विश्व बैंकले पनि गत आर्थिक वर्ष नेपालले ७.५ प्रतिशत आर्थिक वृद्धि हासिल गर्न सफल भए पनि चालू आवमा भने तराईमा गएको बाढी, रेमिट्यान्स भित्रिने क्रममा आएको सुस्तता र कर्जाको व्याजदरमा भएको वृद्धिको प्रभावले घट्ने उल्लेख गरेको छ । साथै, नेपालको आगामी आर्थिक वर्ष तथा त्यसपछि पनि लगातार आर्थिक वृद्धिदर थप घटेर क्रमशः ४.५ र ४.२ प्रतिशतमा सीमित हुने विश्व बैंकले प्रक्षेपण गरेको छ ।
समग्रमा दक्षिण एशियाको आर्थिक वृद्धिदर ६.९ प्रतिशत हुने विश्व बैंकको प्रक्षेपण छ । यो वृद्धिदर बढेर आगामी वर्ष भने वृद्धिदर ७.१ प्रतिशत पुग्नेछ । तर, दक्षिण एशियामा आर्थिक वृद्धिदर दाँज्दा बंगलादेश र भारत अगाडि छन् भने नेपाल पुछारबाट दोस्रोमा छ । विश्व बैंकको प्रक्षेपणअनुसार बंगलादेश र भारतमा क्रमशः ७.३ र ६.५ प्रतिशतको आर्थिक वृद्धि रहने छ भने पाकिस्तान, भुटान र माल्दिभ्सको क्रमशः ५.८, ५.४ र ५.५ प्रतिशत आर्थिक वृद्धि हुनेछ । यस्तै, श्रीलंका र अफगानिस्तानको आर्थिक वृद्धि क्रमशः ४.८ र २.२ प्रतिशत हुनेछ । दक्षिण एसियाका ८ देशमा नेपालभन्दा कम आर्थिक वृद्धिदर गर्ने देश अफगानिस्तानमात्र छ ।

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Nepal needs to create 658 new jobs per day

Nepal needs to create some 658 jobs every day, according to a World Bank report published today.
Every month, the working age population increases by 35,000 people and Nepal must create 240,000 jobs a year to maintain its employment rate, the twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus (SAEF) report reveals.
However, Nepal has secured the top spot in job creation in South Asia, with employment rate hovering around 68 per cent, the World Bank report, 'Jobless Growth', further reads, adding that it means 32 per cent of the country’s working-age population – people aged 15 to 64 – is either unemployed or voluntarily inactive, which is the lowest in South Asia.
"It has made Nepal an exception, as its employment rate is higher than that of many other countries with a similar income level," it adds.
But the domestic labour market sees entry of at least 512,000 youths annually, according to the Economic Survey published by the Finance Ministry.
Due to lack of employment opportunities back home, most of the youths are forced to find the 'dirty, difficult and dangerous' jobs in Malaysia and Gulf countries, though the outflow of Nepali migrant workers has started to drop since last two fiscal years forcing the country to create more jobs back home.
South Asian countries, including Nepal, offers an opportunity for faster economic growth, because there would be more working people, the World Bank report adds. "But to reap the benefits of this ‘demographic dividend’, sufficient new jobs need to be created."
In the short term, growth can boost employment rates as greater labour demand pulls people out of unemployment and inactivity. Growth can also lead to better jobs, for example when farm employment is replaced by work in factories and offices.
The report also argues that growth alone will not be enough to attain the higher employment rates enjoyed by other developing countries, especially among women.
In Nepal, one percentage point of economic growth increases the employment rate by roughly 0.045 percentage points, which is pretty low compared to other countries, the report reads, adding that growth, however, may not always lead to job creation. "In the long term, growth could reduce employment rates. As countries become richer and living standards improve, families can afford to keep their children longer in school, the ill and the disabled can stay home, and women may withdraw from the labour force."
"More than 1.8 million young people will reach working age every month in South Asia through 2025 and the good news is that economic growth is creating jobs in the region,” said the World Bank South Asia Region chief economist Martin Rama. "But providing opportunities to these young entrants while attracting more women into the labour market will require generating even more jobs for every point of economic growth."
While the number of working age people is increasing, the fraction of working-age people, who are at work has declined in most countries in South Asia based on employment data analysed from 2005 to 2015, the report reads, adding that some decline was to be expected as higher incomes allow households to prioritise education, health and other commitments. "But the fall in employment rates in South Asia has been much faster than in East Asia and it has been particularly strong in India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, especially for women, the report shows. With declining employment rates, the region is foregoing some of its potential demographic dividend."
To arrest further declines in employment rates, South Asian countries would need to create 11.7 million jobs a year, which is feasible if the current growth momentum of the region is sustained, it suggests. But if South Asia wants to increase employment rates to the levels seen in other regions with similar income levels, it would need to create many more jobs. The focus should also be on better jobs, as regular wage employment remains the exception more than the norm.
Likewise, the report has also estimated economic growth lower than the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and of course Nepal government. The ADB had last week revised the economic growth to 4.9 per cent for the current fiscal year from earlier estimation of 4.7 percent, whereas the government had – in the mid-term budgetary review – revised the economic growth rate downwards to 6 per cent from the earlier projection of 6.5 per cent.
Nepal has seen an economic recovery after disruptions from earthquakes and a trade blockade but growth is expected to slow from 7.5 per cent in fiscal year 2016-17 to 4.6 per cent in 2017-18 due to the heaviest floods in decades combined with slow recovery of exports, slowdown in remittances, and an increase in lending rates, the report reads, adding that Nepal is the second country from bottom in terms of low economic growth in the region.
However, South Asia has regained its lead as the fastest growing region in the world, supported by recovery in India. With the right mix of policies and reforms, growth is expected to accelerate to 6.9 per cent in 2018 and 7.1 per cent next year.
"Growth is important, but even very high growth will alone not be enough to increase South Asia’s employment rate”, the report author Robert Beyer said, adding that policies and actions are needed to make growth more labour-intensive, and especially to create the kinds of jobs that can encourage greater labour force participation by women.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

समृद्धिको आधार वर्ष : नयाँ वर्ष २०७५

राजनीतिक क्रान्तिको पटाक्षेपपछि आर्थिक क्रान्ति सफल पार्न अर्थतन्त्रले ठूलै नीतिगत सुधार र दृढ इच्छाशक्तिसहितको राजनीतिक संकल्प र सुशासनको प्रतिक्षा गरिरहेको छ । बितेको वर्ष २०७४ मा नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रले एउटा लय भने समातेको छ । आर्थिक परिसूचकका आधारमा निष्पक्ष भएर हेर्ने हो भने भलै त्यो गति सुस्त छ, तर लयविहिन भने छैन ।
राजनीतिक स्थिरताको प्रत्याभूतिसहित झन्डै दुईतिहाई बहुमतप्राप्त प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओलीको सरकारले साँच्चिकै समृद्धिको जग बसाल्ने हो भने २०७५ ऐतिहासिक वर्षको रूपमा इतिहासमा लेखिनेछ । २०४६ को राजनीतिक परिवर्तनपछिको सरकारले ल्याएको आर्थिक सुधारले जसरी नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रको आयतन विस्तारमा ठूलो भूमिका खेल्यो र अर्थतन्त्रलाई चलायमान बनाउने काम गर्यो, त्यसैगरि समृद्धिको सपनालाई यथार्थमा परिणत गर्ने अवसर यसपटक ओली सरकारलाई जुटाइदिएको छ ।
अर्थतन्त्रको वृद्धिलाई चलायमान गराउन सबैलाई थाहा भएकै हो, पूर्वाधार र कानुनी सुधार आवश्यक छ । तर, नीतिगत तथा कानुनी सुधारमार्फत आर्थिक क्राान्तिको जग बसाल्नलाई वर्तमान सरकारले के गर्नु पर्छ त रु वरिष्ठ अर्थविद् रामेश्वर खनाल भन्छन्, “यो सरकारले तीनवटा काम गरिदिए हुन्थ्यो, सार्वजनिक निकायहरूमा हाम्रो नजिकको मान्छे चाहिन्छ नभनेर असल, इमानदार मान्छे खटाउने र परिणाम प्रति उत्तरदायी बनाउने, दोस्रो रणनीतिक महत्वका सड़क, प्रसारणलाइन र अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय विमानस्थल निर्माणमा लगानी बढाउने तथा तेस्रो, व्यवसाय प्रारम्भ र बिघटन गर्दा लाग्ने समय तथा लागत कम गर्न कानुनी तथा प्रक्रियागत सुधार गर्ने ।”
सुन्दा सरल लाग्ने यी सुझाव कार्यान्वयनमा वर्तमान सरकार कत्तिको गम्भीरताका साथ खट्छ त्यसले ओली सरकारकोमात्र होइन नेपालकै भविष्य निर्धारण गर्नेछ । तर, समयले ओली सरकारलाई एउटा अवसर भने जुटाइदिएको छ, कठोरतापूर्वक सार्वजनिक निकायहरूमा हाम्रो नजिकको मान्छे चाहिन्छ नभनेर असल, इमानदार मान्छे खटाउने र परिणाम प्रति उत्तरदायी बनाउने ।
राष्ट्रिय योजना आयोगका पूर्वउपाध्यक्ष डा। स्वर्णीम वाग्ले भन्छन्, “ओली सरकार राष्ट्रको हितमा अप्रिय निर्णय गर्न तयार हुनुपर्छ ।” उनका अनुसार अहिले सरकारसँग जुन जनमत छ, त्यो तीव्र आर्थिक विकासका लागि अति राम्रो उपयुक्त अवसर पनि हो । एउटा अवसर नेपाल अति पिछडिएको अवस्थामा तत्कालिन प्रधानमन्त्री वीपी कोइरालालाई आएको थियो । “१७ महिनाको छोटो समयमा वीपीले जुन काम गरे, हालसम्मको कुनै सरकारले दोहोराउन सकेका छैनन्,” वाग्ले भन्छन् ।
त्यसपछि राजा महेन्द्रले अवसर पाए । वीपी कोइरालाकै पूर्वाधारको एजेन्डालाई निरन्तरता दिएर महेन्द्र अघि बढेको वाग्लेको विश्लेषण छ । तर, त्यो राजनीतिक रूपमा अलोकतान्त्रिक व्यवस्था भएकाले उनले पाउनेसम्मको जस भने पाएनन् । त्यसपछि २०४८ सालमा सीमित म्यान्डेटमा गिरिजाप्रसाद कोइरालाले एउटा अवसर पाए । गिरिजाप्रसादको तीन वर्षे कार्यकालमा उनले नेपाललाई आर्थिक सुधारको बाटोमा लगे । वाग्ले २०४८ सालको आर्थिक सुधारले नै मुलुकलाई आजसम्म धानेको दावी गर्दछन् ।
अहिले ओलीको सरकारलाई केन्द्रमा मात्रै होइन स्थानीय, प्रदेश र संघ तीनवटै सरकारमा करिबकरिब दुईतिहाइको म्यान्डेट छ । त्यो म्यान्डेट जनताले राजनीतिक स्थिरतासहितको विकास तथा समृद्धिका लागि दिएका हुन् । त्यसैले नै अहिले अर्थतन्त्रको विकासका लागि अत्यन्त अनुकूल समय पनि भनिएको हो । यस्तो हेभी म्यान्डेट भएका बेला सरकारको पहिलो काम जनतामा सरकारप्रतिको विश्वासको पुनर्जागरण गर्नु हो भन्ने वाग्लेको बुझाइ छ ।
मनौवैज्ञानिक रूपमा कर्मचारीतन्त्र पनि खत्तम, नेताहरू पनि भ्रष्ट भन्ने निराशाको वातावरण भएको बेला हेभी म्यान्डेटसहितका ओलीको पहिलो काम जनताका निराशालाई आशामा परिणत गरेर समृद्धिको जग बसाल्नु हो ।
जब समाजमा आशाको संचार हुन्छ त्यसपछि जोखिम मोलेर लगानी गर्न आएका सही लगानीकर्तालाई प्रतिफल दिने गरी सुधारका काम अघि बढाउनु दोस्रो काम सरकारको हुने उनी बताउँछन् । वाग्लेका अनुसार तत्काल चुनाव पनि नहुने र जनमत पनि पाइसकेको अवस्थामा ओली सरकारले केही अप्रिय निर्णय लिएर कठोरतापूर्वक अर्थतन्त्रलाई सही दिशातिर डोराउन आवश्यक छ । पहिला ८÷९ महिना आयु भएका सरकाका लागि अप्रिय निर्णय लिन गाह्रो थियो तर अब संरचनागत परिवर्तनजस्ता निर्णय, जुन अप्रिय पनि हुन सक्छन्, लिन वर्ष २०७५ उपयुक्त वर्ष भएर आएको छ ।
अस्थिर सरकार हुँदा नियमनकानुनहरूमा खेल्ने स्वार्थी समूहलाई पन्छाएर साँच्चिकै राष्ट्रहित र अर्थतन्त्रलाई दिगो वृद्धि गर्ने गरी रिफर्मलाई अघि बढाउनुपर्ने वाग्लेको धारणा छ ।
उनी पनि खनाल झैं पूर्वाधार, सार्वजनिक वित्तका साथै नियमनकारी नियमहरूमा आफ्नो पार्टीका कार्यकर्ता तथा व्यवसायीको हितभन्दा निर्मततापूर्वक राष्ट्रलाई हित हुने गरी रिफर्म गर्नुपर्ने बताउँछन् । कोही रिसाउलान् भनेर नडराइ ओली सरकारले राष्ट्रको हितमा पूर्वाधार, सार्वजनिक वित्त र नियमनकारी कानुनहरूमा निर्ममतापूर्वक संरचनागत सुधार गर्ने आशा पनि वाग्लेको छ ।
प्रादेशिक सम्भावनाका दृष्टिले सबै नै प्रदेशहरूका आआफ्ना विशेषताहरूमात्र छैनन् अथाह सम्भावनाका खानी पनि छन् । त्यसैले वर्ष २०७५मा साँच्चिकै संघीय नेपालको आर्थिक समृद्धिको आधार वर्ष बनाउने हो भने पूर्वाधार तथा नीतिगत सुधारपछि शिक्षा र स्वास्थ्य तथा क्षमता, रोजगारी र सामाजिक सुरक्षालाई एकीकृत ढाँचाबाट अघि बढाउनु आवश्यक छ ।
सुदूर पश्चिमको हजारौं बिघा खेतियोग्य जमिन सिंचित गर्ने सिक्टा सिंचाई आयोजना लगभग सम्पन्न हुने स्थितीमा छ, मेलाम्चीको पानी दशैंसम्ममा काठमाडौं आउने पक्का भइसक्यो, माथिल्लो तामाकोशि पनि २०७५भित्रै राष्ट्रिय प्रशारणमा जोडिदै छ, अर्थात अर्थतन्त्रमा केहि त भइरहेको छ, निराशा तथा कुण्ठामात्र देख्न र बोल्न छोडेर २०७५लाई आशा र समृद्धिको आधार वर्ष मान्ने धेरै कारण छन् ।
त्यसैले यो वर्ष संघीय समृद्धिको अनन्त यात्राले शिखर चुमोस्, नयाँ वर्षको शुभकामना ।।।

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Strong trade growth rests on policy choices

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) anticipates merchandise trade volume growth of 4.4 per cent in 2018, as measured by the average of exports and imports, roughly matching the 4.7 per cent increase recorded for 2017.
The growth is expected to moderate to 4 per cent in 2019, below the average rate of 4.8 per cent since 1990 but still firmly above the post-crisis average of 3 per cent. However, there are signs that escalating trade tensions may already be affecting business confidence and investment decisions, which could compromise the current outlook.
"The strong trade growth that we are seeing today will be vital for continued economic growth and recovery and to support job creation," WTO director-general Roberto Azevêdo said adding that this important progress could however be quickly undermined, if governments resort to restrictive trade policies, especially in a tit-for-tat process that could lead to an unmanageable escalation. "A cycle of retaliation is the last thing the world economy needs. The pressing trade problems confronting WTO members is best tackled through collective action."
Trade volume growth in 2017 – the strongest since 2011 – was driven mainly by cyclical factors, particularly increased investment and consumption expenditure. Looking at the situation in value terms, growth rates in current US dollars in 2017 (10.7 per cent for merchandise exports, 7.4 per cent for commercial services exports) were even stronger, reflecting both increasing quantities and rising prices. Merchandise trade volume growth in 2017 may also have been inflated somewhat by the weakness of trade over the previous two years, which provided a lower base for the current expansion.
Asia had the fastest trade volume growth of any region in 2017 on both the export side (6.7 per cent) and the import side (9.6 per cent) following two years of tepid expansion
Asia was responsible for much of the recovery of world merchandise trade in 2017 on both the export and import sides. On the export side, Asia contributed 2.3 percentage points to global growth of 4.5 per cent in the latest year, or 51 per cent of the total increase. Asia also added 2.9 percentage points to world import growth of 4.8, or 60 per cent of the overall increase.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ADB projects economy to grow by 4.9 per cent

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revised the economic growth projection slightly upwards to 4.9 per cent from earlier 4.7 per cent in the current fiscal year.
In its 'Macro-Economic Update Report' released in Kathmandu today, the multilateral lender projected 4.9 per cent growth – though the government in its mid-term budgetary review – has lowered the economic groth forecast to 6 per cent from the forecast of 6.5 per cent. In the last fiscal years, the country had witnessed economic growth of 6.9 per cent.
In the coming fiscal year 2018-19, the country’s growth is expected to improve to 5.5 per cent along with the completion of the country’s highest capacity 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, which is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next fiscal year.
It is going to be added to the national grid soon, ending the country’s reliance on power import at least during the rainy season, wheresas according to the preliminary data of the Ministry of Agricultural, Land Management and Cooperatives, paddy production will fall to 5.1 million tonnes, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from a year earlier in the current fiscal year. However, the production of other summer crops is expected to increase this year compared to the previous year.
"Production of summer crops like maize and millet is expected to increase in fiscal year 2017-18 compared to the previous fiscal year while the industrial grow rate is estimated to go down," ADB country director for Nepal Makhtor Khamudkhanov, on the occasion, said.
The Macroeconomic Update also sheds light on the importance of agricultural commercialisation in Nepal and the need for its effective implementation by addressing legal, institutional, financial and infrastructural barriers.
With about one-third share of GDP, agriculture continues to provide livelihood to two-thirds of the country's population, but mostly at a subsistence level," reads the statement.
The report stressed that commercialised agriculture via contract and cooperative farming methods can be one of the major sources of revenue generation for the country if practiced on a wider scale.
The report further reads that even with increased capacity utilisation of industries, industrial growth is set to be lowering in 2018 from the high rate in 2017, due to low investment in the manufacturing sub-sector for years owing to political instability and structural bottlenecks.
"Substantive growth in government expenditures and moderate upticks in investment would drive growth in current fiscal year and government expenditures have increased significantly this fiscal year partly for local, provincial and parliamentary elections," he added.
According to principal economist of the ADB Nepal Resident Mission Sharad Bhandari, "the country requires massive investment in sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure, among others, to cope with the existing bottlenecks to leap forward towards higher growth trajectory.
"Low investment is the major constraint to achieving the desired growth target," he said, adding that the service sector will, however, remain buoyant given the expansion of wholesale and retail trade, financial intermediation and travel and tourism sub-sectors.
"We are happy that Nepal received nearly a million tourists last year, cheering the service sector, but this is not enough looking at the potential Nepal possesses,” Bhandari said, adding that this is one area that can improve things in Nepal. "Amid concerns about ballooning imports, imports were likely to increase considering the level of investment in infrastructure like roads, hydropower, cement plants and hotels."
Average annual inflation is expected to rise moderately to 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal year from 4.5 per cent in the last fiscal year 2016-17. "This is below the inflation target of 7 per cent set by the budget – in the fiscal policy – and the central bank – in its monetary policy – for the current fiscal year.
Likewise, revenue collection has increased by about 21 per cent year-on-year in the first seven months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last fiscal year.
On the demand side, substantive growth in government expenditure and a moderate uptick in investment will drive growth. The construction needs, particularly for establishing provincial and local governments, the acceleration of post-earthquake reconstruction, and planned disbursement of relief grants to earthquake victims will induce growth, the report reads, adding that the government’s expenditures have increased significantly this fiscal year partly for local, provincial and parliamentary elections. "Additionally, the government has apportioned a fiscal transfer of Rs 232.2 billion – about 8 per ent of GDP – to the local and provincial governments.

Asia's workers will benefit from new technologies but government action is also needed

Technological advances have transformed the two billion worker Asian labour market, helping create 30 million jobs annually in industry and services over the last 25 years, drive increases in productivity and wages, and reduce poverty, according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
New research on how technology affects jobs, the subject of the special theme chapter in the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018 report, points out that while some of the region’s jobs will be eliminated through automation, countervailing forces will more than compensate against job losses. ADO is ADB’s flagship economic publication.
"ADB’s latest research shows that, on the whole, countries in Asia will fare well as new technology is introduced into the workplace, improving productivity, lowering production costs, and raising demand,” ADB’s chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada said, adding that policymakers will need to pursue education reforms that promote lifelong learning, maintain labour market flexibility, strengthen social protection systems, and reduce income inequality to ensure that everyone can benefit from new technologies.
ADB research shows that even in the face of advances in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence, there are compelling reasons to be optimistic about the region’s job prospects. New technologies often automate only some tasks of a job, not the whole. Moreover, job automation goes ahead only where it is both technically and economically feasible.
Perhaps most importantly, rising demand – itself the result of the productivity benefits that new technologies bring – offsets job displacement driven by automation and contributes to the creation of new professions. ADB’s analysis of employment changes in 12 economies in developing Asia from 2005 to 2015 strongly supports the idea that rising domestic demand more than compensates for job losses associated with technological advances. Further, analysis of a broad array of data shows that many new job titles have arisen in ICT, and new types of jobs will arise in healthcare and education, as well as in finance, insurance, and real estate.
The report acknowledges that advances in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence pose challenges for workers. Jobs that require repetitive, routine tasks and workers who do not have the education or training to move easily to other occupations, may face slow growth in wages. This would exacerbate income inequality in the region. Indeed, the ADB report finds that jobs that are intensive in cognitive tasks, social interactions, and the use of ICT – jobs that tend to be held by the better educated and better paid – expanded 2.6 percentage points faster than total employment annually over the last 10 years.
Moreover, average real wages for these jobs increased faster than for routine or manual jobs.
As the report highlights, policymakers will have to be proactive if the benefits of new technologies are to be shared widely across workers and society. Governments will need to respond to the risk of workers being left behind by ensuring that they are protected from the downside of new technologies and able to take advantage of new opportunities. This will require coordinated action on skills development, labor regulation, social protection, and income redistribution.
Significantly, new technologies can help deliver solutions in many of these areas. Adaptive learning technology, an educational method that uses computer algorithms designed to adjust to individual students, has enhanced learning outcomes in schools; governments should use and promote their adoption. Similarly, technological advances in biometric identification can improve how social protection programmes function by reducing costs, overcoming implementation challenges in sophisticated unemployment benefit systems, and enabling the tracking of job-placement services. At the same time, governments also need to ensure that the development of new technologies take place in ways that benefit people and protect their rights and privacy, by, for example, protecting personal data.
ADB – based in Manila – is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, 48 from the region.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Nepal won't back track from open market policy, PM assures Indian investors

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is on a three-day state visit to India, has tried to assure the Indian investors that the incumbent left alliance government will not back track from the open market policy. Calling the Indian business fraternity to invest in Nepal, Oli expressed his commitment to an open market policy, allaying the doubts that the left government would retreat from its open economy. “There is no plan to backtrack from the open market policy," he said, adding that his government is committed to policy stability too.
During an interaction with representatives of Indian business community at the India-Nepal Business Forum meet organised by Ministry of External Affairs of India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), in New Delhi on the first day of his visit today, Oli also committed security to their investment.
"Indian investors are investing in various countries across the world," he said, asking them why not they come to the neighbouring Nepal as it is a lucrative destination for Indian businessmen.
He urged Indian businesses to invest in Nepal and participate in the Himalayan republic's efforts to become a middle income country by the year 2030.
In New Delhi on his first trip abroad after taking over as prime minister in February at the head of a leftist coalition government, Oli listed infrastructure, tourism, power, agriculture and information technology as areas that hold opportunities for foreign investors.
Seeking investments from Indian businesses, he said that Nepal offers investment friendly environment and incentives for industries.
Saying that his government is committed to make transparent and corruption-free administration, the visiting premier said that all the sectors are open for investment.
The prime minister also said that investment in any sector in Nepal is highly profitable. "Investors always look for market," he said, "Look at Nepal's position. For us, market is not a problem but production is a problem. It is lying between two vibrant economic powers with huge population of the world, India and China. That assures you of a promising market of 2.5 billion people."
Oli also urged Indian businesspersons to seize the business opportunity in Nepal, stating that their next door neighbor is a ‘virgin land’ for investment.
He also informed that Nepal enjoys duty free access to European markets. "Nepal offers attractive incentives compared to other countries," Oli said, "We have reduced tariffs, simplified tax regimes. Nepal is planning to establish SEZ in the cities bordering India with incentives for industries, including liberal labour laws."
He also informed them that foreign companies register in Nepal can purchase, own and sell land and there is no discrimination between nationl and foreign investors. "We are discussing the new version of bilateral investment agreement with India," he added.
At the programme, chief executive of Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) Maha Prasad Adhikari apprised Indian entrepreneurs of reforms in policy, laws and initiatives taken by the IBN to attract the foreign investment.
Likewise, the visiting Nepali businessmen, on the occasion, outlined investment sector of Nepal and said that the present time is the best and favourable for investment in terms of returns.
Federation of Nepali Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) president Bhawani Rana, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CII) president Hari Bhakta Sharma and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) president Rajesh Kaji Shrestha backed PM Oli’s claims and spoke on the changed political scenario of Nepal which, after almost two decades of political instability, is now conducive for business and investment.
Seeking investments from Indian businesses they also said that Nepal offered investor-friendly environment and incentives for industries.
Rana, on the occasion, said that Nepal’s private sector was looking forward to share the prosperity from India’s economic development by fully utilizing the close and traditional ties for mutual benefit. "One of the areas we always look forward to from India is investment in Nepal, and promotion of trade synergies,” she said, adding, "As Nepal is marching towards the path of economic development and prosperity, in order to reduce the widening trade gap between us, we seek greater Indian investments in Nepal, to help us in our path toward sustainable economic development."
Highlighting that the Indian companies have started expanding their investment in Nepal, she urged her Indian counterparts to grab the vital opportunity, while Nepal needs a massive investment and the government is also very eager to welcome foreign investment.
On the occasion, Indian entrepreneurs put forth their queries over necessary policy system and environment for foreign investment in Nepal.
Oli has reached New Delhi on Friday morning on invitation of his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, for a three-day state visit.