Thursday, January 17, 2019

Cabinet gears up cross border ship, railway operation programme

The government has established a Ship Office with 16 vacancies.
Announcing last week's cabinet decisions today, minister of Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota said that the government has decided to establish a Ship Office with 16 vacancies to operate cross-border ship between Nepal and India in Narayan and Sapta Koshi River.
"The plan to operate ship in Sapta Koshi river has moved beyond paper with this decision," he said, adding that the cross-border ship operations is going to become a reality. "The operation of the sailing vessel in the water sources of the country is expected cross-border trading between Nepal and India that will help lessen trading cost and time."
However, for the ship operations between the two countries, Nepal and India needs to enter into an agreement.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has – three years ago, when he was premier for the first time and also after becoming premier this time almost a year ago – been repeatedly claiming that Nepal will operate its own vessel between Nepal and India from January 1. But the date has been passed without any progress in operation of vessels in waterways between Nepal and India. People have been mocking premier's fixing date for operating passenger ship services from Nepal to India.
Though, it is not the first time, Nepal has established a Ship Office, the two-third majority government led by KP Sharma Oli has made it a prestige issue. Nepal also had a Ship Office during Late King Mahendra, as he also had dreamt of operating a vessel in the sea with Nepal's flag. The incumbent government is more obsessed by King Mahendra than communist ideology.
According to Baskota, the cabinet has also authorised the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transportation to procure railway carriages for cross border railway service. The green light on train procurement has come from the government amid plans to resume passenger railway service from Janakpur to Jayanagar soon. This decision to obtain the railway carriages through G2G level from the government of India will support the 35-km railways service from Kurtha of Janakpur to Jaynagar of India.
Likewise, the cabinet has also decided to arrange the payment of the minister’s salary and other incentives through the respective ministries. Earlier, the ministers used to take the salary and incentives from the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, and they have been blamed for pocketing the salary of the personal assistants and sub ordinates.
The cabinet has also approved the establishment and operation work procedure of the Prime Minister National Talent Prize Fund 2075. The fund will be some $200,000. The fund will be utilised to award the persons excelling in innovation, scientific research, and those contributing significantly to the national life.

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