Friday, July 27, 2018

Kathmandu to host Nepal-India Think Tank Summit

The Nepal-India Think Tank Summit 2018 is going to take place in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
Nepal Communist Party co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is inaugurating the summit jointly hosted by Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDA) and Nehru Memorial Museum Library, AIDIA CEO Sunil KC informed.
"India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s secretary general Ram Madhav is delivering a keynote speech," he said, adding that Nepal will – for the first time – address the need for greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among Nepali and Indian think tanks, as well as the particular problem of bridging the gap between think tanks and policymakers in the region. "The summit is proposed to become an annual feature and will be hosted alternatively each year in Nepal and India."
Nepal Council of World Affairs, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Nepal Economic Forum (NEF), Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Observer Research Foundations (ORF), Institute for Défense Studies and Analyses, Vivekananda International Foundation, Nepal Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS), Centre for International Security (CIS), Gateway House, Brookings India, and Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies will be participating in the summit.
“The aim of the summit is to support the networks and promote mutual understanding through institutional collaboration on resources sharing among think tanks of the two countries, to facilitate cooperation and knowledge-sharing among think tanks, and to reflect on the work of think tanks and the challenges they are facing,” KC added. "
Policymakers, government representatives, diplomatic missions, academicians, business sectors and media personnel will engage in open and rational discourse to draw meaningful conclusions and recommendations at the summit."

Government transfers Rs 3.66 b in last month of fiscal

The Finance Ministry has transferred Rs 3.66 billion – out of the annual budget to please the political cadres – from the government coffers in the last month of the fiscal year 2017-18.
The government has transferred Rs 1.66 billion to pay for conflict victims and their families. Home Ministry is going to distribute Rs 1.66 billion to ensure no duplication, according to a source at the Finance Ministry. 
Apart from dole out to the conflict victims, the government has transferred Rs 408.8 million for drinking water projects in Jhapa, Gulmi, Syangja, Taplejung and Bhojpur without any details. The budget –transferred without and justification – is top up to the budget the projects have already received.
Likewise, the government has transferred Rs 200 million to pay interest subsidy on the loans issued for agriculture and livestock sector as allocated amount through the budget. The government has also transferred Rs 180 million for embankment of Bagmati, Kamala, Khando and Lalbakaiya rivers and Rs 207 million for building infrastructure for 13th South Asian Game and 8th National Sports Competition, according to ministry officials.
Any transfer of the budget for the new project in the eleventh hour is the misuse of the taxpayer’s money, and the government has spent nearly a third of the budget in the last month – from Mid-June to Mid-July – of the fiscal year.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Government rolls back 13 per cent tax on internet fee

The government today rolled back its decision to raise internet fees by 13 per cent from 11 per cent.
This is the second time the government has rolled back its decision – announced in the budget for the current fiscal year – after West Seti. The government had – against the agreement between the Chinese company and Investment Board of Nepal – in the budget for the current fiscal year claimed to construct West Seti on its own. However, the Chinese government protested claiming that it is going to construct the hydropower project as the agreement has not yet been terminated. The government through the investment board – which has the Prime Minister as its chair – rolled back the decision to construct on its own and reassured China that the hydel project will be constructed by the Chinese company as according to the agreement.
Likewise, the government rolled back the decision to hike tax on internet fee after a meeting between the internet service providers and Ministry of Industry and Communications today.
The internet service providers will not charge additional 13 per cent tax levied by the Nepal Telecom (NT) now, according to the agreement. "They will pay the telecommunications service fee to the government from the amount they have been charging to the customers."
The agreement will be implemented for those customers, who have been taking the service only for home service. The corporate customers, however, still have to pay the 13 per cent tax, though the internet is not the end product and is a tool that could boost the productivity and also profit, which will be returned back to the government. The government will get more benefit, if it decreases the tax than increase.
The government earlier had formed a committee comprising internet service providers, Nepal Telecom (NT) and ministry officials.

Second wide body airbus of NAC lands at TIA

The second wide body Airbus A330-200 of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today morning. The airbus – which has been given a call sign 9N-ALZ, was brought to Kathmandu straight from France following nine hours' flight, and has landed at 9 am.
Tourism secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota and other high-ranking officials of NAC welcomed the airbus with a water canon salute.
The A330-200 jet with the registration mark 9N-ALZ has been named Makalu. The arrival of the new airbus has put the ailing national flag carrier in the company of long-haul airlines. Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the jet has a capacity of 274 passengers in two-class cabin configuration, including 18 in business class.
The NAC had brought its first long-range 274-seater-wide body airbus A330-200 jet in Kathmandu on June 28. With the two wide body airbus, the NAC is expected to regainits past glory and also the market share.
According to NAC, it would take at least three weeks to complete administrative formalities for the aircraft before it can make commercial flights. The national flag carrier plans to start the commercial flights by September.
The NAC has bought the two airbus with an investment of Rs 24 billion from a US-based brokerage firm AAR Corp.
NAC also said that it will use the new aircraft to operate flights to Australia, Japan, South Korea and Gulf countries as well as Europe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sebon halts issuance of new licences

The capital market regulator has halted the process of granting new licence to issue managers and share registrars citing the sufficient players in the market.
Issuing a statement, the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) has said that the board has halted the licensing process after analysing the market size and need of the companies. There are altogether six merchant bankers that provide services of issue manager, securities underwriting, share registration, portfolio management and institutional consultancy. Likewise, there are 10 companies in operation that provide services of issue manager, securities underwriting, share registration and portfolio management. One company is dedicated to share registration and portfolio management and seven companies are working in the areas of portfolio management, according to the Sebon.
Currently, there are seven firms in pipeline of taking approval from the board. Of them, five have sought the licence for merchant banking with aforementioned five services and one has applied for merchant banking with four services, except institutional consultancy, according to the board.
Sebon executive director Niraj Giri confirmed that the board has halted the licensing of new companies in the context of the regulators of financial sector – Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and Insurance Board (IB) – halting the new licensing of banks and financial institutions (BFIs) and insurance companies.
Earlier, the board had raised the capital of merchant bankers up to four folds and also expanded the areas of works to include institutional consultancy services in addition to issue manager, securities underwriting, share registration, portfolio management.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

समाजवादउन्मुख अर्थतन्त्र, डा. केसी र खुला बजार

नेपालमा महाभूकम्प गएको करिब एक वर्षपछि जिफन्टले होटल सोल्टीमा भूकम्पपछिको पुनर्निर्माणमा श्रमिकको भूमिकाबारे एउटा अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सम्मेलन आयोजना गरेको थियो । हाल प्रधानमन्त्री केपी ओलीका राजनीतिक सल्लाहकार तथा तत्कालीन जिफन्टका अध्यक्ष विष्णु रिमालको सक्रियतामा भएको उक्त एकदिने अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सम्मेलनपछि घोषणापत्र जारी गर्ने जानकारी कार्यक्रमको सुरुमै पत्रकारहरूलाई गराइएको थियो । पत्रकारहरू सम्मेलनको समापनपछि घोषणापत्र कुरिरहेका थिए । तर, करिब २ घण्टा कुर्दा पनि घोषणापत्र आएन । पत्रकारहरू कार्यालय फर्केर समाचार लेख्न हतार मान्दै कुरिरहेका थिए । केही पत्रकार साथीले किन ढिलो भइरहेको छ भन्दै जिफन्टका तत्कालीन अध्यक्ष विष्णु रिमाललाई खोज्न घोषणापत्र तयार भइरहेको स्थानमै पुगें । साथीहरूलाई ढिला भएको कुरा सुनेपछि रिमालले भन्नुभो : हाम्रो घोषणापत्रमा अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सहभागीहरूको चित्त बुझेन, हामीबीचको बाटो खोज्दै छौं । भएको के रहेछ भने घोषणापत्रमा जिफन्टले नेपाली श्रमिकको रोजगारी ग्यारेन्टी गर्न भूकम्पपछिको पुनर्निर्माणमा नेपाली श्रमिकमात्रै प्रयोग गरिने तथा नेपाली सामग्रीको मात्रै प्रयोग गरेर पुनर्निर्माण गर्नुपर्ने लेखेको रहेछ । तर, अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय सहभागीहरू भने यो वाक्य अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय कम्युनिस्ट आन्दोलनको विपरीत भएकाले त्यसमा नागरिकता तथा पुनर्निर्माणमा प्रयोग गरिने कुनै पनि उत्पादनको उद्गमको देश तोक्नु सिद्धान्ततः गलत हुने तर्क गरिरहेका रहेछन् । अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय गीत गाएर हुर्केका विभिन्न देशका कम्युनिस्ट सहभागीहरूका कारण घोषणापत्र जारी हुन ढिला भइरहेको रहेछ । तर, अन्त्यमा रिमालजीले जुक्ति निकाल्नुभयो र उक्त वाक्यमा सकेसम्म थपेर ‘सकेसम्म नेपाली श्रमिकलाई तथा सकेसम्म नेपाली सामग्रीको प्रयोग गरेर पुनर्निर्माण गर्नुपर्ने’ भनेर तीन घण्टा ढिला घोषणा पत्र जारी भयो ।
रिमालजी अहिले प्रधानमन्त्री केपी ओलीको सल्लाहकार हुनुहुन्छ र यो देशका गरिब जनताका लागि स्वास्थ्य तथा शिक्षामा पहुँचको कुरा लिएर डा गोबिन्द केसीले १५ औं पल्ट सत्याग्रह (अनशन) गर्नुभएको सोमबार २४ औं दिन हुन्छ । डा. केसीको माग र प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीको पार्टी नेकपा (नेकपा) को सिद्धान्तमा कत्ति पनि फरक छैन । किनकि नेकपाले आफ्नो चुनावी घोषणापत्रमै लेखेको छ, “स्वास्थ्यसम्बन्धी खोज तथा अनुसन्धानलाई प्रोत्साहन गरिनेछ । स्वास्थ्य शिक्षालाई नाफा कमाउने माध्यम बनाउन निरुत्साहित गरिनेछ ।’
ओली सरकारलाई सत्तारोहण गर्न प्राप्त बहुमत त्यही घोषणापत्रका आधारमा प्राप्त भएको हो भने त झन् समस्या हुँदै नहुनुपर्ने हो । राजनीतिक संस्कार तथा घोषणा पत्र नमान्ने हो भने पनि मिलाउन जान्ने र जुक्ति निकाल्न पोख्त राजनीतिक सल्लाहकार पनि हुनुहुन्छ, प्रधानमन्त्रीसँग । तर, एउटा निःस्वार्थ डाक्टर देशको संविधानले स्विकारेको समाजवादउन्मुख विचार तथा सत्तारूढ राजनीतिक दलको सिद्धान्त तथा घोषणापत्रमा लेखिएको ‘स्वास्थ्य शिक्षालाई नाफा कमाउने माध्यम बनाउन निरुत्साहित गरिनेछ’ भन्ने मान्यता बोकेर २४ दिनसम्म भोकै सत्याग्रह गरिरहनु परेको छ, अफसोच । नेपालका राजनीतिक दल विचार, सिद्धान्त वा केले सञ्चालन हुन्छन् ?
नेपाली कांग्रेसलाई विशेषतः २०४६ पछि उसले लिएको आर्थिक सुधार तथा उदार अर्थतन्त्र र खुला बजारको नीतिका कारण पुँजीवादी पार्टी भनिने गरिएको छ । कांग्रेसलाई लाग्दै आएको ठूलो आरोप पनि के हो भने उदार अर्थतन्त्र र खुला बजारको नाममा तत्कालीन अवस्थामा राज्यद्धारा सञ्चालित कल कारखाना निजीकरण गर्यो, कौडीको भाउमा बेचेर व्यापारी पोस्यो । त्यसैले निजीकरण गलत थियो र अब राज्यले त्यसलाई सुधार्छ भनेर हालका अर्थमन्त्रीले आफ्नो श्वेतपत्रमा उल्लेख पनि गर्नुभएको छ । गत महिना नेपाल उद्योग परिसंघको वार्षिकोत्सवमा प्रधानमन्त्री केपी ओलीले पनि निजीकरण हैन, निजी क्षेत्र भने सरकारलाई चाहिन्छ भनेर भाषण गर्नु भएको थियो । यदि चुरोट, जुत्ताजस्ता उत्पादन गर्ने संस्थानको निजीकरण गलत थियो भने शिक्षा तथा स्वास्थ्यजस्ता जनताको मौलिक हकका कुरामा निजीकरण चाहिन्छ कि चाहिन्न ?
यदि नेपाली कांग्रेसकै आर्थिक नीति नेकपा (नेकपा)ले पछ्याउने हो भने पनि ठिकै छ । दुई तिहाईले संबिधान संशोधन गरेर समाजवादउन्मुख अर्थतन्त्रको साटो खुला बजार अर्थतन्त्र राखे भैहाल्यो । आखिर शिक्षा (स्कुल तथा कलेज) अनि स्वास्थ्य (मेहिकल कलेजमा) धेरै लगानी गर्ने धेरै नेकपा (नेकपा) निकट नै छन् । तर, अझ त्यसमाथि पनि नेपालमा खुला बजार अर्थतन्त्रको बुझाइमा एकरूपता छैन । नहुनु स्वाभाविक हो, राज्यले गर्ने काम तथा निजी क्षेत्रको कामको बारेको बुझाइमा समेत एकरूपता नभएको अवस्थामा आआफ्ना राजनीतिक दर्शनअनुरूप व्याख्या हुनु स्वाभाविक हो, तर फेरि समस्या के हो भने नेपालका राजनीतिक दल विचार, सिद्धान्त वा केले सञ्चालन हुन्छन् ?
भर्खर रूसमा विश्वकप फुटबल खेल सकिएको छ । संसारभरिका अर्बौं मानिसले उक्त प्रतियोगिता चाखपूर्वक हेरे । मैदानमा दुई राष्ट्रका २२ जना खेलाडीले आ–आफ्ना प्रतिद्वन्द्वीलाई गोल गर्ने प्रयास गर्दा सारा विश्व नै उचालिन्थ्यो र जसले धेरै गोल गर्यो त्यही टिमको जित हुन्छ फुटबलमा, संसारभरका सबैलाई थाहा छ । अनि के पनि थाहा छ भने, मैदानमा २२ जना खेलाडीलाई एक जना रेफ्रीले नियमपूर्वक फुटबल खेल्न सघाउँछ । एक जना रेफ्रीले मैदानमा भएका २२ जनालाई खेलाडी मात्र होइन, मैदानबाहिरका खेल हेर्ने रंगशालाका हजारौं दर्शक तथा संसारभर टेलिभिजनमा खेल हेर्ने खेलप्रेमीलाई पनि खेलको आनन्द लिन नियममा बसेर खेल्न सघाउँछ । अब मान्नुस्, उक्त रेफ्री मैदानबाहिर बेन्चमा बसेर खेल खेलाए के हुन्छ ? किन ऊ २२ जना खेलाडीसँगसँगै मैदानमा सक्रियतापूर्वक पूरा खेल अवधिभरि नै दौडिरहन्छ ? अथवा मानौं, रेफ्रीसँग कुनै खेलाडीले खेल नियमभन्दा गलत खेले, चेतावनी दिएर फ्री किक हान्न दिने, पहेंलो कार्ड दिने वा रातो कार्ड दिने अधिकार नभए के हुन्छ ? हामी सबैलाई थाहा छ, त्यसपछि फुटबल खेल दंगामा परिणत हुन्छ, किनकि कुनै पनि खेलाडीले हातले बल समातेर गोल गरे कसले रोक्ने र नियमअनुसार खेल्न कसले लगाउने ? एउटा टिमले बदमासी गरेपछि अर्को टिमले पनि खेल जित्न पक्कै बदमासी गर्छ, अनि मैदानमा खोलाडीबीच झगडा हुन्छ । त्यो झगडा खेल हेर्ने दर्शकमा पनि सर्छ र अन्ततोगत्वा आफ्नै घरमा टिभी हेरिरहेका हामीजस्ता दर्शकले पनि रिसले आफ्नै टिभी फोर्ने सम्भावना रहन्छ । खुला बजार पनि फुटबल खेल जस्तै हो, मैदानमा खेलाडीहरू खेल्छन् अर्थात् विभिन्न कम्पनीहरू कानूनअनुसार बजारमा प्रवेश गर्छन् र खेल्छन् । सबै खेलाडीका उद्देश्य गोल गर्नु भएझैं प्रत्येक कम्पनी वा व्यवसायीको उद्देश्य पनि नाफा कमाउनु नै हो । तर, त्यसको लागि नियमपूर्वक खेल खेलाउने रेफ्री चाहिन्छ । हो, त्यो रेफ्री भनेको नियामक निकाय हो । तर, उपभोक्ता तथा कम्पनी दुवैको हित संरक्षण गर्न, फुटबलमा रेफ्री जति स्वतन्त्र छ, त्यत्तिकै स्वतन्त्र नियामक निकायको आवश्यकता पर्दछ । नेपाली कांग्रेसले तत्कालीन अवस्थामा बजार खुला गरेपछि बजारमा नियमपूर्वक खेल खेलाउन चाहिने अत्यावस्यक रेफ्री अर्थात् स्वतन्त्र तथा अधिकारप्राप्त नियामक निकाय बनाउन ढिला गर्यो, अर्थात् संस्थागत नियामक निकाय भएन । कुरा यत्ति हो । उदाहरणका लागि हाल नेपालमा तुलनात्मक रूपमा सबैभन्दा पारदर्शी तथा बलियो नियमनकारी निकायका कारण बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाहरूलाई विश्वासिलो मानिन्छ । नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकले बजार तथा अर्थतन्त्रको आकारअनुसार बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्था धेरै भए, घटाउनुपर्छ भन्यो, सबैले मानेर घटाउनतिर लागे । किनकि २०५८ सालमा नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंक ऐन आएपछि केन्द्रीय बैंक बलियो तथा स्वायत्त नियामक निकायका रूपमा आयो । त्यसैको कारण आज कुनै पनि नेपालीलाई नेपालका बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाप्रति विश्वास बढेर गएको छ । तर, त्यही लहरमा धितोपत्र बोर्ड, बिमा समिति वा नेपाल दूरसञ्चार प्राधिकरणजस्ता विभिन्न क्षेत्रका नियामक निकायलाई अधिकारसम्पन्न तथा स्वायत्त बनाउन नसक्नु र नियमन बलियो पार्न नसक्नु कांग्रेसको कमजोरी थियो र हो । तर, खुला बजार गलत थिएन र होइन । किनकि आज जसरी अर्थतन्त्रको आकार बढेको छ, त्यसमा खुला बजार नीतिकै कारण निजी क्षेत्रले गरेका लगानी नै प्रमुख हो भन्न हिचकिचाउनु पर्दैन । बलियो नियमनकारी निकाय भए बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाहरूझैं बजारको आवश्यकताका आधारमा संख्या वा पहुँचका आधारमा देशभित्र यो भूगोलमा कम्पनी खोल भन्न सकिने रहेछ नि । नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकको गभर्नरबाट अवकाश प्राप्त डा. युवराज खतिवडा अर्थमन्त्री हुनुहुन्छ, सोधे भइगो ।
त्यस्तै, शिक्षा तथा स्वास्थ्यका क्षेत्रमा पनि अधिकारसम्पन्न तथा स्वायत्त नियमनकारी निकाय भएको भए अहिले प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीलाई आफ्नो राजनीतिक दलको सिद्धान्त वा संविधानमा लेखिएको समाजवादउन्मुख अर्थतन्त्रले झस्काउँदैन थियो होला । हुन त संविधान लेखनकै क्रममा निजी क्षेत्रले समाजवादउन्मुख अर्थतन्त्र संविधानमा नहाल्न र खुला बजार नै राख्न अनुरोध नगरेको होइन पनि । तर, संविधानमा लेखिसकेपछि, संविधान नमान्ने वा त्यसको भावनाविपरीत जाँदा त्यसको परिणाम भविष्यमा संविधान नमान्ने प्रणाली बसे के हुन्छ, सबैले गम्भीर भएर सोच्नु आवश्यक छ । इतिहास साक्षी छ, तत्कालीन परिवेशमा स्वर्गीय प्रधानमन्त्री गिरिजाप्रसाद कोइरालाले आफनो बहुमतप्राप्त सरकार पाँच वर्ष नचलाएर लगातार तत्कालीन एमालेको विरोधपछि दुईतिहाइको लोभमा संसद् विघटन गरेपछि नेपालमा कुनै पनि सरकार तीन वर्ष चलेनन् । सुरुदेखि नै संविधान मिच्दै जाने हो भने नेपालको समृद्धिको यात्रा फेरि पनि अलमलिने निश्चित छ । त्यसैले तुरुन्तै निर्णय गरौ, उत्पादनमूलक उद्योगहरू निजी क्षेत्रलाई चलाउन छोडिदिऊँ र स्वास्थ्य र शिक्षाजस्ता जनताका मौलिक हकलाई बजारीकरण हुन नदिऊँ । नत्र नेपालका प्रधानमन्त्री वा वरिष्ठ राजनीतिज्ञ नेपाली जनताले सरकारलाई तिरेको कर खर्च गरेर विदेशी अस्पताल चहार्ने स्थितिको अन्त्य त हुन्न नै, गरिब तथा सामान्य नेपाली जनताको पहुँचबाट स्वास्थ्य तथा शिक्षा धेरै टाढा हुने निश्चित नै छ । त्यसपछि गरिब तथा निमुखाका लागि राजनीति गरेको दाबी पनि कसरी गर्ने ? प्रश्न सोध्न त पाइन्छ नि !

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Shivam Cement to go public on July 29

Shivam Cement is floating an initial public offering (IPO) of 880,000 shares priced at Rs300 apiece – Rs 100 face value plus Rs 200 premium – for locals of Makwanpur district from July 29, in the first phase.
The company also plans to issue another 4,400,000 shares to the general public at Rs 400 per unit. ICRA Nepal has assigned a Grade 3 rating to the IPO of Shivam Cement, according to the Siddhartha Capital, the issue manager for the Shivam Cement IPO.
Shivam Cement is the first manufacturing company from the private sector to issue public shares after a decade, according to the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) that has revised its share registration and issuance regulations last year to attract real sector companies to go public. Sebon – the capital market regulator – has approved the IPO of Shivam Cement last month.
According to the new SEBON rule, companies are required to offer only 10 per cent of their shares to the general public. The budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 has stated that companies wishing to go public would get a 15 per cent income tax rebate. Likewise, the budget for the current fiscal year 2018-19 also stated that manufacturing companies with a paid-up capital of Rs1 billion or more will have to go public.
The domestic share market is highly dominated by banks and financial institutions (BFIs), with some 80 per cent of the total listed shares in the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse).
The entry of the manufacturing company is the BFIs-dominated share market will help the Nepse to expand.
Promoted by the Sharda Group, Shivam Cement owns 30 per cent of Hongshi-Shivam Cement, a Nepal-China joint venture company.

Gautam Buddha Int'l Airport to start test flight from January

The much awaited completion of Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa is going to start test flight in January.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the much-delayed upgradation of the Gautam Buddha Airport has seen 50 per cent of physical progress and it is going to open by January 2019. "The 50 per cent physical progress that the project has achieved is out of 70 per cent of the overall civil works," the CAAN confirmed.
The remaining package involves installation of Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (ANS) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, CAAN director general Sanjiv Gautam informed, adding that the airport has achieved better-than-expected result last month.
After the first phase of upgradation, the airport’s handling capacity will be increased to 760,000 passengers annually, and will be Nepal’s second international airport, which will also serve as an alternate international air transport to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the only international airport in the country.
Due to the progress in June, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) – the financer of the project that has remained out of the project since December last year – is expected to rejoin the project soon.
The ADB had pulled back from the project after the projects' initial deadline ended in December 2017, due to its slow progress. Of the total project cost, the ADB has provided $58.50 million ($42.75 in loans and $15.75 million in grants), the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has provided a $15 million loan and CAAN will bear the rest of the cost as counterpart funding.
The CAAN awarded the Rs 6.22-billion Gautam Buddha International Airport upgradation contract to China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Airport Construction Group in November 2013. It was initially slated to be ready in December 2017. But shortages of fuel and building materials due to the blockade 2015 delayed the upgradation works by six months, and its operation deadline was revised to June 2018.
The final base laying works of 3,000-metre-long and 45-metre-wide runway will be completed by this month-end, Gautam said, adding that it will be blacktopped by September. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

SC issues interim order against Monetary Policy

The Supreme Court today issued an interim order against the implementation of Monetary Policy 2018-19.
The central bank has brought Monetary Policy for the current fiscal year. But advocate Swagat Nepal has filed a writ against the policy arguing that the provision allowing banks to obtain loans in Indian currency should be removed.
A joint bench of acting chief justice Deepak Raj Joshi, justice Om Prakash Mishra, justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana, justice Kedar Prasad Chalise and justice Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada issued the interim order and asked the central bank to provide clarification within a week and appear for a discussion on July 27.
The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has on Wednesday brought Monetary Policy allowing banks to borrow in Indian currency and convertible foreign currencies up to 25 per cent of their core capital. Assuming that the banking industry currently has a combined core capital of Rs 320 billion, the Monetary Policy move will allow the banks to obtain loans amounting up to Rs 80 billion from the foreign sector.
The central bank allowed commercial banks to borrow in convertible currency from foreign banks based on the authority provided by the Foreign Exchange (Regulation) Act 1962 in April. The central bank has allowed banks to borrow in Indian currency too as there was no risk of fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Though, the central bank’s move was aimed at easing the shortage of loanable funds by injecting liquidity in the market, the writ petitioner claimed it to be against Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Act.
Advocate Nepal has argued that the Monetary Policy provision violates NRB’s Act to Provide for Enhancement of the Circulation of Nepalese Currency 1957. He pleaded that the new provision could bring instability in interest rates besides other problems, if India demonetises its currency like last year.
According to Nepal, it also violates the norms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that allows maintaining Special Drawing Rights (SDR) only in currencies such as the US dollar, pound sterling, euro, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.
The central bank though has claimed that the provision could help ease the shortage of Indian currency (IC) – that is in high demand for trading with India as it is the major source of imports for Nepal – Nepal argued that it would deplete the US dollar reserve that is needed to buy IC.

Majority tea farmers borrow from cooperatives, pay higher interest

Tea farmers prefer local cooperative organisations despite of their higher interest rates, according to a report.
As the villagers do not have access to the commercial banks, majority of tea farmers prefer local cooperative organisations to borrow and also on higher interest rates, according to study conducted by Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in association with Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB).
Among the farmers, who have taken loans, some 48.3 per cent have borrowed from cooperatives, some 23.6 per cent from banks and financial institutions and some 14.6 per cent from Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), the report reads, adding that some 3.9 per cent have taken personal loans whereas 9.6 per cent of tea farmers have taken loan from ‘other’ sources for their business.
Indeed, the data shows only few farmers are taking bank loans,” said executive director of NTCDB Shashikanta Gautam unveiling the report. Loan certainly plays a huge role in expanding business, he added.
Although tea has been considered one of the most competitive products of the country, most of the tea farmers are uninterested in expanding their business. "Only five per cent of tea farmers are taking loans to expand their business," the survey further reads, "more than half of the tea farmers were satisfied with their income and business."
According to the report, there are 9,236 tea gardens in country that produce over 2.2 million tonnes of tea every year. "Tea industry provides direct and indirect employment to more than 300,000 people."
The report also shows that 82 per cent of farmers have been cultivating tea on less than one hectare of land while only 0.8 per cent of farmers are cultivating tea on more than 20 hectares of land. "Commercial tea farming is being carried out on 12,065 hectares of land across the country in 14 districts – Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Bhojpur, Dhankuta, Terhathum, Panchthar, Ilam, Jhapa, Morang, Dolkha, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Lalitpur, and Ramechhap – with a total yield of 100 million tonnes of green leaves annually. Of them Ilam, Jhapa, Panchthar, Dhankuta and Tehrathum are the top five districts in terms of commercial tea production."
Every year, the country exports tea to other countries worth around Rs 3 billion. A total of 18,180 farmers are involved in tea farming directly or indirectly – some 9,374 are male while 8,807 are female. The farmers are collectively earning up to Rs 1.76 billion annually.
The report also revealed that tea farmers have been unable to get reasonable price. The tea farmers across the country are deprived of a reasonable price for their produce due to lack of proper price fixation mechanism, resulting in sluggish growth of the tea industry in the country, it reports.
Currently, tea price is fixed through consensus between farmers and factory owners.
The board has tried to fix minimum price of tea in 2015 but could not be implemented after both farmers and factory owners remained at odds over the rate.
He said that it is necessary to fix the minimum support price for tea every year as the Tea and Coffee Development Board Act, 1993 does not allow it to set base price for tea. "We are authorised only to recommend the support price for tea, while government has been giving less priority to address problems being witnessed in the tea industry," Gautam added.
The report has also highlighted the need to identify and explore potential markets for Nepali tea, subsidise tea farmers in green leaves, fertilisers and machinery, ensure availability of farming technologies at the local level and irrigation facilities and ensure availability of loans to tea farmers at a reasonable interest rate.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

स्वीस बैंक, कालो धन र लगानीको वातावरण

स्विट्जरल्यान्डका बैंकहरूमा नेपालीको निक्षेप बढेको छ । स्वीस नेसनल बैंक (एसएनबी) ले गत साता सार्वजनिक गरेको २०१७ को वार्षिक प्रतिवेदनका अनुसार सन् २००८ मा त्यहाँका बैंकमा करिब ९ अर्ब (८ करोड ६२ लाख स्वीस फ्य्रांक) बराबरको नेपाली रुपैयाँ रहेकोमा १० वर्षमा चार गुनाजति बढेर करिब ३३ अर्ब (३२ करोड २८ लाख स्वीस फ्य्रांक) पुगेको छ । नेपालमा स्वीस बैंकको प्रसंग आउनासाथ कालोधनसँग जोडेर चर्चा गरिए पनि स्वीस बैंकमा रहेको सबै निक्षेप कालो धन भने हुँदैन ।
एकातिर नेपालका बैंकमा लगानीयोग्य रकमको अभाव प्रत्येक वर्ष दोहोरिइरहँदा निक्षेपकर्ताका परिचय नखुलेको स्वीस बैंकको पैसाले गैरकानुनी आर्जनको रकम हुन सक्ने प्रशस्त आधार भने दिएको छ । गोपनीयताकै कारण स्वीस बैंक संसारभरको कालोधन जम्मा हुने बैंकको रूपमा परिचित भएकाले पनि विश्वभरबाट कमिसन तथा भ्रष्टाचारजन्य क्रियाकलापलगायतबाट आर्जित गैरकानुनी आर्जन तथा कर छल्नका लागि स्वीस बैंकमा रकम जम्मा गर्ने होड चल्ने गर्छ ।
अवैध सम्पत्तिको त कुरै छोडौं, नेपाली कानुनअनुसार वैध रकम पनि नेपाली नागरिकले नेपाल राष्ट्र बैंकलाई जानकारी नगराई विदेशी बैंकमा राखेको प्रमाणित भए जरिवानासहित कैद सजाय हुने कानुनी व्यवस्था छ, तर पनि स्विट्जरल्यान्डको केन्द्रीय बैंकका अनुसार स्वीस बैंकमा अवैध ढंगले आर्जित गरि लुकाएर पैसा राख्ने विश्वका २०० मुलुकमा नेपाल १०९ औं नम्बरमा छ ।
पञ्चायतकालका अन्तिम वर्षहरूमा नेपालका सडकमा पम्फादेवीको नामका धेरै नारा लगाइन्थे । तत्कालीन राज्यशक्तिको केन्द्रमा रहेकी एक महिला पात्रलाई नेपालीको सम्पत्ति अवैध रूपमा स्वीस बैंकमा लगेर आफ्नो नाममा राखेको भन्दै सडकदेखि सदनसम्म नारा लगाउनेहरूमध्ये धेरैजना हाल मन्त्री भैसकेका छन्, तर ती महिलापात्र विस्मृतिमा पुगिसकेको अवस्थामा आज सत्ता जनताको हातमा छ र स्वीस बैंकमा बर्सेनि अबैध सम्पत्ति बढिरहेको छ । कसको हो त त्यो सम्पत्ति ? प्रश्न सरल छ तर उत्तर जटिल ।
नेपालजस्ता अति कम विकसित मुलुकदेखि अमेरिकाजस्ता विकसित राष्ट्रहरूका विशेषतः विभिन्न नेता, व्यवसायी, कलाकारलगायतकाले अकुत सम्पत्ति स्वीस बैंकमा थुपार्ने विषय नौलो नभए पनि पछिल्ला दिनमा यस्ता अकुत सम्पत्ति स्वीस बैंकमा थुपार्ने क्रम बढिरहेको तथ्यांकले देखाएकाले अवैध सम्पत्ति कानुनी रूपमा लुकाउन स्वीस बैंक प्रयोग बढिरहेको स्पष्ट छ । झन् नेपालजस्ता अल्पविकसित तथा कानुनलाई बटारेर आफ्नो स्वार्थमा प्रयोग गरिने सकिने देशहरूबाट अकुत सम्पत्ति थुपारिनु नौलो विषय नभए पनि यसले देशमा व्यावसायिक वातावरण नभएको तथा राजनीतिक दलका नेता भ्रष्टाचारको आहालमा चुर्लुम्म डुबेको सहजै अनुमान लगाउन सकिन्छ ।
कमिसन तथा भ्रष्टाचारजन्य क्रियाकलापबाट आर्जित धन देशभित्रै राख्दा कुनै असल र स्वच्छ छविको नेताको उदयले कानुनी रूपमै जफत हुने र कारबाहीमा परिने खतरा मोल्न नचाहेर स्वाभाविक रूपमा गोपनीयता कायम रहने विदेशी बैंकमा थुपार्नु नौलो कुरा रहेन । तर, एक दृढ निश्चयी तथा साँचो अर्थमा राष्ट्रवादी नेतृत्वको सरकार कुनै दिन यस देशमा बनेछ भने संविधान र कानुनअनुसार कारबाही त हुन्छ नै । विदेशको त कुरै छोडौं, पछिल्ला एक दशकमा नेपालभित्रै पनि धेरै असम्भवझैं लाग्ने घटनाहरू सम्भव भइसकेका छन् । यस्तै, गत साताको मलेसियाको घटना नेपालको सन्दर्भमा एउटा गतिलो उदाहरण हुनसक्छ । मलेसियाका पूर्वप्रधानमन्त्री नाजिव रज्जाक गत साता पक्राउ परे । भ्रष्टाचार अनुसन्धान गर्ने निकायले उनलाई मंगलबार पक्राउ गरेको थियो । सरकार भ्रष्टाचारमा लिप्त भएपछि गत महिनामात्र मलेसियामा ९२ वर्षीय महाथिर महोम्मद फेरि प्रधानमन्त्री चुनिएका थिए । महाथिरले निर्वाचनमा आफ्नै पार्टीका नाजिवलाई पराजित गर्दै प्रधानमन्त्रीमा निर्वाचित भएका हुन् । मलेसियामा बढ्दो भ्रष्टाचारसँगै महाथिरले आफ्नै पार्टीका नाजिवविरुद्ध नयाँ पार्टी स्थापना गरी आन्दोलन छेडेका थिए ।
मलेसिया स्वीस बैंकमा धेरै रकम जम्मा गर्ने देशको सूचीमा पाँचौ स्थानमा रहेको छ । यस्तै, स्वीस बैंकमा धेरै रकम आउने देशमा पहिलो नम्बरमा चीन पर्छ । चीनपछि रूसबाट धेरै रकम आउने गरेको स्वीस बैंकको प्रतिवेदनले देखाएको छ । त्यसपछि धेरै रकम आउने देशमा मेक्सिको तेस्रो र छिमेकी भारत चौथो स्थानमा छ ।
संयुक्त राष्ट्रसंघको तथ्यांकअनुसार विकासशील देशबाट मात्रै वार्षिक १ खर्ब डलर रकम स्वीस बैंकमा जम्मा हुने गर्छ । पछिल्ला १० वर्षमा विकासशील देशबाट बाहिरिएको रकम ती देशहरूले प्राप्त गर्ने आर्थिक सहयोग र प्रत्यक्ष वैदेशिक लगानी भन्दा धेरै रहेको पनि राष्ट्रसंघले जनाएको छ ।
अर्थात्, जुन देशमा भ्रष्टाचार धेरै छ, लगानीको वातावरण छैन र सत्ताको आडमा अकुत सम्पत्ति कमाउन सकिन्छ त्यस्ता गैरकानुनी आर्जन सहजै नक्कली कम्पनीको नामबाट ट्याक्स हेभेन देशका कम्पनीमार्फत स्वीस बैंकमा जम्मा गरिन्छ । यसको अर्थ विकसित देशबाट स्वीस बैंकमा पैसा जम्मा हुँदै न भन्न खोजिएको होइन, तर प्रतिवेदन सरसर्ती हेर्दा अविकसित अवस्थामा रहेका देशहरूबाट यस्तो अवैध रकम गैरकानुनी रूपमा बाहिरिने क्रम बढिरहेको देखिन्छ ।
नेपाललगायतका विकासशील देशहरूमा स्वीस बैंकमा पैसा पुर्याउन ‘हवाला कन्ट्र्याक्टर’ अर्थात् ‘मध्यस्थ ठेकेदार’ रहेका हुन्छन् । भारतीय पत्रिकाहरूका अनुसार, भारतमा यस्ता ठेकेदारहरूले केही कमिशन लिएर जुन देशमा जुन व्यक्तिको बैंक खातामा पैसा पठाउन चाहेको हो त्यस खातामा पैसा पुर्याउने काम गर्छन् । यस्ता ‘मध्यस्थ ठेकेदार’हरू नेपालजस्ता देशमा पनि जोसुकै सत्तामा रहे पनि निरन्तर सत्ताकै वरिपरि भेटिनु अचम्म होइन ।
यसरी अवैध रूपमा कालोधनलाई लुकाउन वा सेतो बनाउन धेरैजसो राजनीतिक व्यक्तिलाई आवश्यक पर्छ । किनकि स्रोत नखुलेका कमिसन वा भ्रष्टाचारजन्य क्रियाकलापबाट आर्जित अकुत धन देशभित्रै राख्दा कुनै पनि दिन सत्ताको उलटफेरमा गुम्न सक्ने खतरा रहेकोले पछिल्ला वर्षहरूमा अकुत सम्पत्ति देश बाहिर राख्ने चलन चलेको बढेको देखिन्छ ।
अर्को, व्यवसायीहरू पनि स्वीस बैंकमा अकुत सम्पत्ति राख्ने गरेको बताउँछन्, तर जसरी २०४६ सालपछि बनेका कुनै पनि सरकारले पम्फादेवीको स्वीस बैंकको सम्पत्तिका बारेमा कुनै प्रमाण प्रस्तुत गर्न सकेनन्, त्यस्तै व्यवसायीले स्वीस बैंकमा पैसा राख्ने बजार हल्ला पनि जनतालाई झुक्याउन वा पपुलिस्ट हुन मात्रै चलाइएका हुन् भनेर किन नभन्ने ।
२०५२ सालदेखि नेपालमा सुरु भएको माओवादी द्वन्द्वले सयौंको संख्यामा नेपाली उद्योगमा मजदुरलाई शोषण गरेको नाममा आफ्नो राजनीतिक स्वार्थ पूरा गर्न ताला लगाउनेदेखि आगो लगाउनेसम्म गरे । उद्योगी–व्यवसायीहरू त्यसपछि कम जोखिम भएको व्यापारतिर लागे, उद्योग खोल्न छोडे । हैन भने नेपालमा कुनै समय प्रतिष्ठित घरानाबीच उद्योग खोल्ने होडबाजी नै चलेको थियो । केही उग्र विचारधारा बोक्ने दलका कार्यकर्ताहरूले दोषरोपण गरेझैं उद्योगी–व्यवसायीले मानौं कर छलेका नै रहेछन् भने पनि यदि देशमा औद्योगिक वातावारण छ भने उक्त पैसाबाट उद्योगीले फेरि अर्को उद्योग खोल्छ र रोजगारी सिर्जना गर्छ ।
तर राजनीतिक प्राणीले भने अवैध रूपमा कमाएको सम्पत्ति देखाउन पनि नमिल्ने र नेपालभित्रका बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थामा राख्न पनि नमिल्ने कारणले विदेश पलायन गर्ने गर्छ । नियमित लोडसेडिड, लगातारको मजदुरको आन्दोलन, महँगो तर चाहिएझैं योग्यता तथा सीपविहीन कामदार, नियमितझैं नेपालबन्दजस्ता कारणले पछिल्लो एक दशकमा नेपालमा औद्योगिक वातावरण थिएन, उद्योगधन्दा बढेका थिएनन्, युवाहरू रोजगारीको लागि खाडी तथा मलेसिया पलायन भइरहेको थिए, तर उच्च राजनीतिक नेतृत्वको सम्पत्ति भने बढि नै रहेको थियो र बढिरहेको थियो— स्वीस बैंकमा पछिल्लो एक दशकमा नेपालीको निक्षेप चार गुनाले, घामझैं झर्लङ्ग छैन र ?
यस्तै, देशभित्रै पनि कालो धनलाई सेतो बनाउन सम्पत्ति शुद्धीकरणमार्फत दायर भएका मुद्दामा सरकार धमाधम हार्दै गइरहेको छ र सानादेखि ठूला डन फटाफट अदालतबाट शुद्धीकरण हुँदै निस्किरहेका छन् । अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय दबाबले गर्दा नेपालले जबर्जस्ती ल्याउनुपरेको सम्पत्ति शुद्धीकरण ऐन, कानुन तथा विभागको हालत के छ, त्यो पनि सबैलाई थाहा छ ।
यसै सन्दर्भमा, केही वर्षअघि कालो धनबारे संसद्को अर्थसमितिले यसबारेमा छलफल पनि चलाएको थियो । तत्कालीन संसदीय समितिका सदस्यहरू हाल मन्त्री भइसक्नुभएको छ ।
नेपालमा आजका प्रगतिशील तथा प्रजातन्त्रप्रेमी सबै राजनीतिक दलका कार्यकर्ताले पञ्चायतलाई गाली गर्दा भन्ने सबैभन्दा प्रचलित एउटा शब्द थियो, ‘प्रतिक्रियावादी राज्यसत्ता’ । करिब ७ दशक लामो राजनीतिक संक्रमण सकिएर स्थिर सरकार बनेपछि नेपालीको आशा अब आर्थिक क्रान्ति हुन्छ र समृद्ध नेपाल बन्छ भन्ने अझै छ । तर, सरकारका पछिल्ला गतिविधि हेर्दा प्रगतिशील राजनीतिक दलको सरकार पनि प्रतिक्रियावादी हुन लागेको त होइन भन्ने ठूलो आशंका उठेको छ । दशकौंदेखि बालुवाटारको प्रतिक्रियामात्र सुनेका र भोगेका तर क्रिया नदेखेका नेपालीका लागि करिब दुईतिहाइको बहुमतको सरकारले केही क्रिया गर्ला, देशमा काम गरेर खाने वातावरण बन्ला, देशभित्रै रोजगारी सिर्जना होला भन्ने आस गर्नु अपराध त होइन होला । तर, सरकार समृद्धिका गफ मात्रै गर्ने, समृद्धिका लागि गर्नुपर्ने अत्यावश्यक व्यावाायिक वातावरण बनाउन चाहिने कानुन निर्माणजस्ता क्रिया गर्न छोडेर समाज तथा बजारमा भएका क्रियाकलापमा प्रतिक्रिया मात्रै गरिबस्दा नेपाल कसरी समृद्ध हुन्छ, प्रश्न सोध्न त पाइन्छ नि ?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

LDCs gather to advance operationalisation of Paris Agreement

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are collaborating to confront the worst effects of climate change. Under the leadership of chair of the LDC Group on Climate Change Gebru Jember Endalew, diplomats, advisors and experts are meeting this week to prepare for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the upcoming climate summits in Bangkok and at COP24 in Katowitce.
The LDC Group meeting – started Monday and concluded today – in Bangkok, Thailand has brought bringing together more than 50 representatives to coordinate and boost their climate change actions and efforts. The meeting comes at a critical juncture, as countries move forward to operationalise the Paris Agreement, which serves as a roadmap for a united response to climate change.
In the making of the Paris Agreement, the LDC Group played a significant role in ensuring that the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable countries were represented and recognised.
LDCs are amongst the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, facing immense challenges to their economic and social development. However, many LDCs are already demonstrating leadership, bold ambitions and transformative climate actions. "LDC representatives are working together as a bloc to strengthen our negotiations and build our leadership role in the collective global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change," Gebru Jember Endalew said, adding that they are gathering now to build momentum as they prepare for the next phase of negotiations, and to learn from each other as we begin to implement concrete climate change actions.
On the occasion, deputy regional director at UNDP Bureau of Asia and the Pacific Valerie Cliff said, “UNDP aims to ensure the voices of LDCs are heard strongly in the international climate change negotiations."
We support LDCs to advance their climate change commitments, actions and build resilience, he said, adding that they stand ready to support in the process of international negotiation, to advance low-emissions, resilient and sustainable development.
Likewise, deputy regional director at UN Environment Regional Office Asia Pacific,
Isabelle Louis, on the occasion, said that UN Environment has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to supporting LDCs globally in mitigation and adaptation endeavours. "Our goal is to have a tangible impact through empowering LDCs in the climate change negotiations process to overcome their significant climate change challenges and build long-term capacity and resilience," he added.
LDC representatives are taking this opportunity to reflect on the progress made by LDCs, and plan for a long-term, low emissions and resilient future. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) are also being considered, as well as the forthcoming IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees.
The LDC Group are galvanising support and collaboration, building momentum for an ambitious outcome of the upcoming COP24, which will be held in December 2018 in Katowitce, Poland.
This meeting was organised as part of the ongoing support by UNDP and UN Environment to the LDC Group, through the joint UNDP-UN Environment project, ‘Building Capacity for LDCs to participate effectively in intergovernmental climate change processes’ (LDC Negotiators) financed by the GEF Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), and implemented in collaboration with the LDC Group, UNITAR, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Climate Analytics.
On the occasion, the LDC Group chair Gebru Jember Endalew also announced the live launch of a new website for the LDC Group, supported by UNDP and UN Environment, on the final day of the meeting in Bangkok.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Government honours returnee migrant workers

The government has today honoured eight returnee migrant workers, who have stayed back in the country and operating their own enterprises. They were honoured for setting an example of entrepreneurship in the country. Most of the entrepreneurs, who were honoured are involved in the agriculture sector.
According to the Labour Ministry, the returnee migrants were felicitated for their dedication in the agriculture sector. They are also a source of inspiration for those who return from foreign jobs and want to start a business in Nepal, said labour minister Gokarna Bista, on the occasion.
Bista honoured owner of Aarava Nepal Modern Agriculture Company of Lamjung Sonam Lama, who was selected as the most excellent returnee migrant entrepreneur of the year. He was awarded a cash prize of Rs 100,000.
Lama had worked for two years in the UAE – before starting his own business in Nepal – apart from working for another two years in Israel. He has invested Rs 160 million in his firm in Sundarbazzar of Lamjung.
Bista on the occasion also honoured Devi Prasad Khatri of Baglung, Hari Luintel of Khotang, Khoj Raj Katuwal of Kathmandu, Ganesh Pun Magar of Parbat, Prem Prasad Lamichhane of Bardiya, Drona Prasad Nepuane of Rupandehi and Ramdepal Tharu of Bardiya, who are all returnee migrant workers and have started their own business after returning home.
"This felicitation of the returnee migrant workers is just a small step to promote entrepreneurship among those who return from foreign employment," Bista said, adding that the government is planning to introduce other measures also to encourage returnee migrant workers to start their own business back home. "It will also discourage the outflow of Nepali youth."
The ministry has asked the returnee migrant workers to apply for the award. The ministry has also set the criterion of use of local resources, amount of investment, tax compliance, employment creation, energy consumption, feasibility and whether their goods were exportable items, for the award.

Nepal has half a million differently-abled people: UNICEF

Two per cent of Nepalis or about half a million Nepalis are living with some kind of disability, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said as it called for providing greater opportunities to differently-abled people and children to help them reach their full potential.
People with disabilities are active members of society and when given right opportunities, they can significantly contribute in its betterment, minister for women and children Tham Maya Thapa said, during a conference 'Disability in Nepal: Working together for an inclusive society' here in Kathmandu today.
The Constitution of Nepal clearly prohibits all kinds of discriminations on the grounds of disability and has a provision for equal access to differently-abled people to basic services and rights including healthcare, education, social assistance and employment, she said.
"People and children living with disabilities face huge barriers in reaching their full potential and experience the worst forms of discrimination," said head of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) Nepal Rurik Marsden.
The conference draws on the existing data, evidence and initiatives by and for people and children living with disabilities.
"The conference will contribute to further strengthening understanding of disability issues in Nepal and fostering commitment to address them as an integral part of all sectors and areas of development in Nepal," UNICEF representative to Nepal Tomoo Hozumi said, on the occasion.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

TVET Career Fair shows growing enthusiasm among career seekers

A two-day TVET Career Fair 2018 was organised by the Council of Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) and its Research and Information Division with the support from the European Union (EU), the Swiss Development Cooperation and the Pokhara Technical School on Friday and Saturday followed by a panel discussion on Sunday. The fair is the first of its kind in the TVET sector organised in Pokhara.
The fair had a total of 22 stalls consisting of CTEVT affiliated private institutes in Pokhara, Dhaulagiri and Chitwan among others. Around 6,500 people comprising of parents, relevant stakeholders and students, mainly fresh SEE graduates visited the event.
The Career fair provided a unique opportunity and a common platform for students, parents, trainers and employers where they exchanged ideas and information about technical and vocational education and career opportunities.
The career fair played a crucial role to highlight the importance of TVET among the general public. It helped them identify their career choices and to network with prospective employers.
A career path in the technical field is becoming increasingly attractive for many Nepali students and has also drawn attention and support of the government, because it can offer promising professional opportunities and is crucial for the development of the country.
"We have not been able to effectively utilise raw materials and resources in Nepal," minister for Social Development of Province 4, Nardevi Pun, who was the chief guest of the programme, said.
"We need to focus more on production and for that, we need skilled human resources," she said, adding, "For Nepal to generate qualified human resources, the government needs to help, and I assure to bring in efforts from my side as the minister for the development of skilled human resources."
Likewise, member secretary at the CTEVT Pushpa Raman Wagle said that it is necessary to focus on developing skilled human resources according to the needs of the country and to increase the productivity by using the maximum amount of natural resources available. "Vocational training can be a very smart investment," she said, adding that a committed and qualified self-employed plumber or electrician, for instance, can earn a better livelihood than many university students would even dream of.
"The EU feels privileged to partner with CTEVT,” said the head of Cooperation at the European Union (EU) in Nepal, Andreas Roettger. "This fair provided a wealth of inspiration to show how crucial vocational training is for Nepal," he added.