News from Nepal October, 2011 (consolidated)

Dahal revealed his favor to Bhattarai as PM out of compulsion

Oct 2, 2011 @ 03:39

Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal revealed that he recommended party vice chairman Baburam Bhattarai for the post of Prime Minister unwillingly. Speaking at a programme organized by a pro-Maoist group of intellectuals in the capital, on Saturday, Dahal said it was a compulsion for him to form the government led Bhattarai as he did not have any other options.

According to Dahal, if the government (previous one) failed in its mission, he would be blamed and if the government would not be formed under Bhattarai’s leadership, he would be blamed again.

Dahal also remarked the statement of Defence Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari as anti national and against the national integrity and sovereignty and lamented the statement over the possible disintegration of the country.

Govt increases allowance for PLA (Maoist) combatants

Oct 3, 2011 @ 02:08

The government has decided to raise the allowance for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of UCPN (Maoist) on Sunday by Rs 1,500 with effect from the start of the last fiscal year.

There are altogether PLA combatants cantoned at various camps. Till date, they have been receiving Rs 5,000 as monthly allowance.

Similarly, every personnel of the PLA army cantoned in rural areas will receive additional 112 rupees and those in urban areas will receive additional 70 rupees for food.

Fire in Durga temple

Oct 6, 2011 @ 14:34

Heavy fire guts a Durga Temple at local Mahendra Chowk of Jaleshwor in Mahottari district on Monday morning.

According to District Police Office, all idols of goddesses were burnt in the fire. It is said that the electric shock caused the fire. The temple was constructed for Durga Puja by investing a large amount for the Dashain purpose, locals said. (RSS)

Vijaya Dashami observed across the country and abroad

Oct 6, 2011 @ 14:34

On Thursday, Nepali people, especially Hindus, observed Vijaya Dashami across the country and abroad by receiving Tika (a mixture of rice, yogurt and vermillion) and Jamara (seedlings of wheat and other corns sown on Ghatasthapana) as the token of Goddess Durga along with the blessings from their elders.

Vijaya Dashami is the tenth day and the main day of 15-day-long Dashain festival. For nine days, nine goddesses (different incarnation of Navadurgas) are worshipped as per Hindu tradition. Fulpati was observed on the seventh day and Maha Astami on eighth day. Likewise, Maha Nawami was observed throughout the nation on the ninth day of Dashain by worshiping automobiles by sacrificing animals and vegetables to mark this day. On the ninth day, people visited different temples nationwide to offer prayers to the goddess of wealth, peace and prosperity.

The Tajelu Bhawani Temple in the Capital was opened on Maha Nawami only so as to allow the general public to pay obeisance. Traditionally, the temple remains closed for the rest of the year.

Former King Gyanendra and Queen Komal also received holy Teeka and Jamara from his stepmother Ratna Rajya at Mahendra Manjil in the Narayanhity Palace Thursday morning on this occasion of Vijaya Dashami. The former queen mother was allowed to stay in the palace though the former royal couple’s family was forced to leave it after the abolishment of the monarchy.

Former King Gyanendra has been visiting the queen mother for the Dashain Teeka every year then after. Former Crown Prince Paras and his family, however, were not present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the former royal couple provided Teeka to the public and other interested at his personal palace Nirmal Niwas in Maharajgunj in the afternoon.

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav also received tika from Guru Purohit Dr. Raghunath Aryal and Shankar Prasad Sigdel at the presidential palace, Thursday morning. The Office of the President said, the President then offered tika and jamara to the family members present there.

Likewise, Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai also received tika, jamara and blessings from father Bhoj Prasad Bhattarai on the auspicious hour today morning.

The President has given tika to willing general public today.

(Photo credit: Image channel)

Khadga Jatra observed and Pachali Bhairav Festival begins

Oct 7, 2011 @ 18:58

The traditional festival of Khadga Jatra was observed on Friday at Ason Bazaar in the capital. This festival is celebrated byTuladhars (a sub-caste of Newar community) of Ason resident every year a day after Vijaya Dashami representing the victory of good over evil by commemorating the legendary killing of a demon by the goddess Durga.

In other Khadga Jatra festival, the eldest person leads the procession but in this Khadga Jatra of Ason, the youngest child of the clan leads a procession slicing off the head of an imaginary demon.

A gourd painted as demon is bumped off to mark the victory of good over evil. The procession of locals goes on with playing music with traditional instruments declaring the war against demons.

Similarly, this tradition is also observed in Dolakha district every year a day after Vijaya Dashami.

Dancing revelers wearing white dauras, skirts and garlands of barley shoots tour Dolakha town in the district carrying swords commemorating the war of gods against the demon Mahisasur.

The religious myth behind it is that after demons created havoc in the lives of humans and gods, the gods held a secret meeting and decided to wage war against the demon called Maishasur. So, locals of Dolakha take out a procession and pray to goddess Kalinchowk for assistance in the war. On their return from the temple, they conduct the ritual of yagya in front of Tindhara.

Pachali Bhairav Jatra

The festival of Pachali Bhairav was started in Kathmandu on Thursday on Vijaya Dashami. This festival is celebrated in every 12 years. During the festival, Lord Bhairav exchanges the Royal Khadga four times in the ritual. This year, the ritual was to be performed in the presence of President and Thaku Juju (Newar King). But according to the presidential office, the President did not attend the ceremony on Thursday due to the lack of time. (Photo Credit: Imagechannel)

Priceless Buddha statue and other valuables looted

Oct 8, 2011 @ 15:46

The statue “Sange Menlha” weighing 10 kg as recognized by the Department of Archaeology, has been looted by an unidentified armed group on August 31. This statue is a precious statue of Lord Buddha on which National Geography and Discovery Channel have also broadcasted a documentary ‘The Magic Mountain’ with importance.

From the Khor Gumba in Torpa Village of Humla district, the armed group looted millions from the Gumba including “Sange Menlha”, five other archeologically valuable statues, cash and other valuables, local Chhapsang Lama said, according to eKantipur.

Lama further added that they were at least 10 armed men and they were saying that they were member of “Karnali Tiger Group”.

DSP Him Bahadur Lama said the group cut the electricity supply to the Gumba, then threatened the Lamas and robbed millions. Following the incident, border police were immediately informed.

According to Chief District Officer Bed Prasad Kharel, Police are in search for the statue.

Baban Singh in Hunger Strike against corruption

Oct 11, 2011 @ 14:59

Independent lawmaker Baban Singh has begun a fast-unto–death against the growing corruption and political violence in the Rautahat district from Monday.

Singh was elected from Rautahat constituency-1 in the 2008 CA election as an independent candidate without appearing in public as he was on the “most wanted” list of Nepal Police. He has launched the campaign at the premises of Rautahat District Administration Office, Gaur putting forth an eight-point demand to the government.

According to a press statement circulated to the media, Singh has demanded an investigation into the irregularities in various scams including misuse of Parliament Development Fund, Bagmati dam gravelling, irregularities in Gaur Municipality and Delivery Allowance scam in Gaur Hospital.

Lawmaker Singh told media persons that he was inspired by India’s anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare and he would not end fasting until the misuse of Rs. 62 lakh Delivery Incentive allowance fund and corruption at the various government offices is not properly investigated.

Singh further added contrary to the public perceptions that he has accepted the non-violence principle of Mahatma Gandi. The lawmaker was charged with various crimes in India and was suspected to be behind the 2006 bombing at Tripureshwor in the Capital.

Meanwhile, various organizations including FNJ Rautahat chapter, Civil Society and its members have extended support to lawmaker Singh’s initiatives.

5th NRNA Global Conference kicks off

Oct 12, 2011 @ 13:47

The 5th global conference of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) has begun at the Army Officers Club in Sundhara, Kathmandu on Wednesday with the inauguration from Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Inaugurating the conference, PM Bhattarai urged the NRNs to utilize their knowledge, skill in the country that they have gained from international arena. He underscored their need for economic development and foreign investment in the country. He further added, ‘the government is planning to announce 2012 and 2013 as ‘Investment Year’, so, urged the NRNs for cooperation’.

This global conference will run till October 14. Around 700 NRN delegates are participating in the global conference from 57 countries. They will discuss on agendas like areas of investment in Nepal, dual citizenship for them and coordination among Nepalis scattered around the world.

There will be election of the new executive committee for the next two years and for NRNA president, Incumbent president Devman Hirachan and vice president Jiba Lamichhane have announced their candidacies. (Photo credit: Nepalnews)

Baban breaks hunger strike against corruption

Oct 13, 2011 @ 15:37

Independent lawmaker Baban Singh on Wednesday ended his fast-unto–death following an agreement with the local administration of Rautahat.

As per the agreement, a committee comprised of local civil society representatives will be formed to investigate the misuse of funds in development projects in the district and action would be initiated on the basis of findings of the committee.

Singh was in indefinite hunger strike from Monday.

Maoist wants Defense Minister’s resignation

Oct 13, 2011 @ 18:37

The UCPN (Maoist) Parliamentary Board Meeting held on Thursday has decided to demand resignation of Defense Minister Sharat Singh Bhandari for his controversial remarks in public.

The board meeting has decided to raise voices in the parliament regarding his “anti-national” remark. According to Maoist Secretary CP Gajurel, the board has also drawn attention of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai towards the issue.

Earlier, the Maoist hardliner faction loyal to Vice- chairman Mohan Baidya, which holds majority in the parliamentary board, had even taken to the streets against Bhandari’s statement calling on the government to boot out Bhandari.

PM Bhattarai, who is also a vice-chairman of the ruling Maoist party, has been under intense pressure after his own party protest against minister Bhandari.

On September 26, Minister Bhandari, speaking at the Reporters Club, had warned that the 22 Terai districts could disintegrate themselves.

Deadly bus crash in Sindhuli kills at least 41

Oct 14, 2011 @ 12:40

At least 41 people were killed and 16 others injured on Thursday when an overcrowded passenger bus plunged off a mountain road into a swollen river in eastern Nepal, the latest in a string of deadly accidents on the country’s highways.

The bus (Na 3 Kha 9412) that was en route to Kathmandu from Sindhulimadhi lost control while negotiating a difficult turn along the hilly road and fell down on the banks of the Sunkoshi River nearby Jhangajholi along BP Highway of Sindhuli district at 10:30 am.

Around a dozen persons traveling on the roof managed to save their lives by jumping off the bus, witnesses said.

A team of security personnel along with local people rescued 16 of the injured and the injured are undergoing treatment at hospitals in Dhulikhel and four who are in critical condition are in Kathmandu.

Most of the passengers were returning to Kathmandu after celebrating Dashain with their family.

According to Police, the bus being overcrowded with around 80 passengers on the bus – coupled with poor condition of the highway might have caused accident.

According to the police, the identified deceased are

  1. Driver Prem Thapamagar, 35, Bhadrakali-3
  2. Yasu Jarghamagar, 10, Tinkanya-8
  3. Sangita Ghartimagar, 18, Lampantar-4
  4. Sushila BK, 25, Kanchanpur-4
  5. Saroj Ghanamagar, 11, Lampantar-4
  6. Sanjeeb Karki
  7. Ishwor Pokharel, Kanchanpur Municipality 5
  8. Bishnu Karki, 37, Ranibas-6
  9. Bibek Baral, 27, Baneshwor-7
  10. Madan Shrestha, 38, Ranichuri-2
  11. Yuvraj Shrestha, 28, Baneshwor-7
  12. Birbahadur Mudel, 38, Ranichuri, 7
  13. Purnabahadur Ale, 33, Bhadrakali-3
  14. Rajesh Dhakal, 6, Kanchanpur-4
  15. Khusbahadur Shrestha, 19, Bhimeshwor-8
  16. Shyam BK, 13, Kanchanpur-4
  17. Singhabahadur Khadka, 30, Udayapur-4
  18. Sita Gautam, 30, Dadigurase-6
  19. Kritika Shrestha, 10, Dhulikhel-5, Kavre
  20. Pramila Shrestha, 12, Bhimsthan-5
  21. Rakesh Dhakal, 10, Kanchanpur-4
  22. Chandragopal Shrestha, 36, Dhulikhel-5, Kavre
  23. Bikash Pariyar, 27, Kanchanpur-3
  24. Lalbahadur Lungelimagar, 3o, Ratanchura-9
  25. Bhawani Adhikari, 36, Bhaktapur
  26. Anju Dhakal, 27, Kanchanpur-5

Today, the main market center in the district headquarters Sindhuligadhi and adjoining villages wore a deserted look as shops, factories and businesses remained closed. The most dead were from the district.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today expressed condolence to the bereaved family of the deceased and wished for early recovery of the injured passengers.

Jiba Lamichhane elected new president of NRNA

Oct 15, 2011 @ 18:14

The 5th global conference of Non-resident Nepali Association (NRNA) that was begun on Wednesday in Kathmandu has concluded Friday night.

Jiba Lamichhane, who was the vice president of the NRNA, was unanimously elected president for the next two yearsafter his contender Devman Hirachan withdrew his candidacy.

Similarly, Rameshwor Sah and Hitman Gurung have been elected as vice presidents, Tenji Sherpa as general secretary, T.B Karki as secretary and Bhabhan Bhatta as treasurer.

The NRNA has nominated Dr. Hem Raj Sharma as its spokesperson. 17-point ‘Kathmandu declaration’ has been issued in the global conference and it has also pledged to channel more NRN investment in Nepal.  (Photo Credit: jibalamichhane business portal)

International stars to visit Lumbini for promo

Oct 16, 2011 @ 18:26

Ministry of Culture is planning to promote Nepal’s cultural heritage, Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, at the international arena by inviting Hollywood megastar Jackie Chan and Bollywood superstars Shahrukh Khan and Rekha, according to Kantipur. The government is marking 2012 as the ‘Visit Lumbini Year’ to promote the Buddha’s birthplace.

The three international celebrities, Khan, Chan and Rekha have already agreed to visit Nepal next year and the ministry is doing homework for the written agreement, Kantipur writes quoting Culture Minister Gopal Kirati. The minister further said they are also approaching other internationally famed actors urging them to visit Lumbini.

A grand programme with the presence of famed actors will be organized in Lumbini. The programme will focus on promotion of the birthplace of Gautam Buddha and it will be a part of cultural exchanges. Kirati has also mentioned that the Lumbini Development Trust, under the ministry, had approached Indian megastar Amitab Bachchan but he declined the request of visiting Lumbini saying he is very busy

Not only Sri Lanka and China have shown interests in promoting Lumbini, even the United Nations has also expressed its concern for the development of Lumbini, Unesco World Heritage Site. UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, during his visit to Nepal in 2008, was also impressed by the beauty of Lumbini.

The systematic development of Buddha’s birthplace was initiated after UN Secretary General U Thant’s visit in 1967 and a master plan was developed. The plan designed by Japanese professor Kenzo Tange was finalized for it in 1978.

Maoist lawmaker faints in parliament

Oct 17, 2011 @ 17:43

UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Kuber Bahadur Oli vomited blood and fainted in the parliament Monday afternoon, according to media. Then immediately, he was rushed to Norvic Hospital, Thapathali, on an ambulance.

It is learnt that Oli had undergone surgery for ulcer sometime back. He was elected under the proportional election system.

19 parties demand to sack ministers Bhandari and Gupta

Oct 17, 2011 @ 18:17

Nineteen fringe political parties representing in the Constituent Assembly have demanded to remove Defence Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari and Communication Minister J.P Gupta from the cabinet.

Joint meeting of the parties held on Monday concluded that Defence Minister Bhandari must be relieved from his position for speaking against national integrity while Minister Gupta, who has been “accused of corruption”, should also be removed.

The joint meeting welcomed the resignation of Land Reform Minister Prabhu Sah from his post. Maoist Minister Sah is accused of plotting the murder of Hindu Youth Association president Kashiram Tiwari in Birgunj.

Similarly, the fringe parties objected the provision in the budget for the fiscal year 2011/12 to allow foreigners to buy apartments in Nepal speculating its aim at helping the foreigners in getting Nepali citizenship.

The fringe parties include Rastriya Janamorcha, CPN-ML, CPN-Mahsal, CPN-Unified and Churebhawar Rastriya Party etc.

Computer explodes, kills an APF constable

Oct 18, 2011 @ 17:43

A sudden explosion of office computer kills an Armed Police Force (APF) constable, Kedar Kafle in Birgunj on Tuesday.

Kafle, 28, who was posted to an APF base camp providing security to Birgunj Customs Office in Parsa district, got serious injured in his head and other parts of the body while operating the computer in the communication department at around 10 am. He died during treatment going on at the National Medical College, in Birgunj.

The explosion was very loud like a bomb explosion.  The roof was also destroyed. Other police officials, Hari Krishna Khadka and Ram Lama also got injured during the explosion and their treatment is undergoing at the National Medical College.

APF Inspector Ram B.K said they are investigating the incident.  A police team during inspection after the incident found that a voltage guard was not used for operating the computer. “It looks like the computer exploded after not being able to bear the flow of electricity,” inspector Manjil Mukarung said. The real cause behind explosion is yet to be known. (Photo Credit: Republica)

Nepal Army plane crash killing all six aboard

Oct 19, 2011 @ 17:19

Nepal Army (NA) aircraft RAN 49BN2T flying from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu with 6 persons has crashed in Bowang-9, Dorpatan, Baglung on Tuesday evening killing all aboard.

The aircraft was airlifting an ill army personnel, Keshav Singh Airi, from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu. The pilot-in-command was major Bishal Singh Rathor and the co-pilot of the aircraft was major Diwakar Karki. A Dhangadhi-based policeman, Ram Singh Airi, who was Keshav’s caretaker, was also on board. The other passengers were army medical staff Dr Rabita Pathak and Milan Gotame.

The aircraft was night-vision fixed-winged aircraft and had departed from Nepalgunj airport at 6:30 pm. The last contact it made with the Kathmandu Area Control (ACC) was at 7: 06 pm. According to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), the aircraft was at Thara point near Shandikharka in Arghakhanchi that time.

The flight was scheduled to report its position to the ACC after reaching Pyuthan, according to Pratap Babu Tiwari, the chief of Pokhara Airport.

A source at Nepalgunj Airport said, may be due to glitches in the aircraft’s navigational equipment, the aircraft flew towards the south instead of heading towards east Pyuthan.

According to locals, the aircraft was descending in the dark without any lights on and crashed on a hill.

Following the accident, NA on Wednesday formed a committee under the chairmanship of Brigadier General Sudhir Shrestha with seven members to probe the plane crash.

Torch rally after removal of Bhandari from the post

Oct 20, 2011 @ 17:34

A torch rally was organized in Kathmandu Wednesday evening protesting Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF)-Loktantrik party’s decision of calling back Defence Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari from the government for his controversial remarks on the possible disintegration of the country.

The protesters marched from Maitighar Mandala to Naya Baneshwor carrying torches, chanting slogan against party chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar and demanding withdrawal of the party’s decision.

The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, backed by fringe parties, were obstructing parliament demanding minister Bhandari’s resignation since Thursday.  Following pressure from the opposition parties, the MJF-Loktantrik decided to call him back from the government amidst an objection of Bhandari’s supporters on Wednesday afternoon.

The obstructed parliament was resumed after Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai announced minister Bhandari’s removal in the parliament session on Wednesday.

Minutes after PM Bhattarai’s announcement, a defiant Bhandari said he had not resigned and that he doesn’t intend to do so. Bhandari clarified that by his statement, he had only tried to make the ruling class aware that they should take lessons from history.

Speaking at a press meet in the Capital on Wednesday, Bhandari claimed that the decision of the Political Committee of MJF-L was not unanimous and it could be challenged in the Central Committee.

Woman dies in cell phone explosion

Oct 21, 2011 @ 15:15

A woman, identified as Laxmi Shrestha, died when her mobile phone exploded in Sindhupalckowk district, Thursday night.

According to RSS, the incident took place when Laxmi, 39, of Thulopakhar VDC-5 in the district was disconnecting Nokia mobile set after charging it.

She was rushed to to Sadabahar Hospital, Khadichaur, for treatment, but died on the way, according to the District Police Office, Sindhupalchowk.

Police to declare ‘No Horn Areas’ in Valley

Oct 22, 2011 @ 18:00

The Metropolis Traffic Police Division is planning to declare ‘No Horn Areas’ to 15 different sites of the Kathmandu valley within 15 days, according to RSS.

Organizing a press meet in the capital on Friday, Chief of the Division, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police Ganesh Raj Rai said preparation is going on to declare horn restricted areas to the areas south from Padmodaya Mode, east from Bhadrakali Temple and north from Maitighar Mandala.

Rai, further, said though the Ministry of Transport Management and offices concerned have been provided with rights and responsibilities, they were not helping to exercise the rights in this regard to the traffic police and hence it has rose trend of impunity making job of controlling the pressure of vehicles in the valley challenging.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police Jagat Man Shrestha commented on permission given by the Kathmandu Metropolis to Sagar Tamang of local Kamalpokhari to run the parking areas in some areas of the valley as an irresponsible act. Already the traffic police personnel were facing difficulties to manage the traffic pressure in the valley and this will add to problems to manage traffic system.

Similarly, Ministry of Energy has directed the Kathmandu Metropolis to replace the hoarding boards placed in different areas of the valley.

Girl murdered for refusing marriage

Oct 22, 2011 @ 18:18

Sakina Khatun Musalman, 16, was murdered Friday night for rejecting marriage proposal.

Hasan Muhammad Musalman of Tenuhawa VDC killed Sakina by squeezing her neck, according to Devi Paudel, Inspector at Area Police Office, Lumbini. Hasan was arrested soon after the murder.

Hasan, in his statement admitted that he killed Sakina as she refused to marry his aunt’s son. Sakina had been refusing the proposal as the proposed boy was her own relative at Dharmauli VDC-5 of Rupandehi district.

Police said further investigation into the incident is underway.

Maoist gen secy Thapa says Dahal has links with RAW

Oct 31, 2011 @ 12:23

Talking to media persons in party’s Bharatapur-based office in Chitwan district on Sunday, UCPN (Maoist) general secretary, Ram Bahadur Thapa, has claimed that his party Chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal has links with RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), India’s external intelligence agency.

The Maoist general secretary Thapa said that in the name of personal visit, Dahal went to India’s Silguri from Biratnagar few months ago and met people from RAW. Kantipur writes quoting Thapa that Dahal, during this visit, agreed to integrate 5,000 Maoist combatants instead of 10,000 in the Nepal Army under the directive of the RAW. Thapa claimed that integrating 10,000 Maoist combatants was the party’s bottom line.

Thapa also criticized Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai for signing the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with India saying that it was against the party discipline, people’s wish and political consensus.

Though the party had advised Bhattarai to not sign any controversial agreements during his “goodwill visit” and party’s standing committee meeting held a day before PM’s visit to India had decided against the BIPPA deal, Bhattarai had signed it, claimed Thapa Thapa further added India would take “double benefit” from the agreement.

Comments on BIPPA; PM Bhattarai says BIPPA is in ‘best interest’ of Nepal

Oct 24, 2011 @ 18:41

Various comments are coming for the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) agreement from different parties and leaders.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has received criticism from the hardliner faction of his own party UCPN (Maoist) for signing BIPPA agreement with India during his recent visit to India. UCPN (Maoist) general secretary, Ram Bahadur Thapa criticized it as going against the party discipline, people’s wish and political consensus. Senior leader of ruling UCPN (Maoist) Dev Gurung, who is close to the hardliner faction on Monday speaking at a programme organized in the capital said that the “anti-national” deal is not acceptable and they will not allow the controversial BIPPA to be endorsed by the parliament under any circumstances.

But PM Bhattarai said such protests and criticisms were “baseless and inaccurate” while briefing the legislature-parliament about his recent four-day visit to India Monday afternoon and the deals the two countries signed during the period. He reiterated that the BIPPA deal is not “anti-national” as is being portrayed and urged everyone not to create controversies over the matter based on their own “narrow and partisan” interests.

He claimed the agreements were on the ‘best interest’ of Nepal and called on all to think how to implement it in a way that will best serve the country and its interests. He also states that the BIPPA was signed with India following international norms and procedures and with a view to attract more foreign investments in Nepal and create better employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik leader Sarat Singh Bhandari, who was relieved from the post of Defence Minister, expressed his confidence that the agreement would promote foreign investment in the country and resolve the current problem unemployment.

Nepali Congress has decided to support the BIPPA. Speaking at an interaction organized by the Reporters Club in the Capital on Monday, NC senior leader Prakash Sharan Mahat affirmed that his party has supported the open market policy and would not protest the BIPPA as such agreements have been signed in the past as well.

However, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal,  speaking at a greeting exchange programme on the occasion of Tihar festival organised by his party in Kavre district, has alleged that signing of BIPPA with India was against the national interests. Likewise, CPN-UML lawmaker Pradip Gyawali, addressing the Legislature-Parliament session on Monday, opined that it would have been appropriate if the agreement was signed after forging political understanding. He claimed that the agreement would not promote foreign investment in Nepal.

‘Bhattarai, Dahal should be relieved from Maoists’- Gajurel

Oct 25, 2011 @ 18:13

Once again another criticism came from the hard-line faction of UCPN (Maoist) against the founder leaders for signing the bilateral investment promotion pact with India on the recent visit of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Speaking at a program ‘Lawmakers with People’ organized at Deurali in Sindhuli district on Tuesday, UCPN (Maoist) Secretary CP Gajurel alleged that the Maoist leaders, Chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal and Vice Chairman and PM Baburam Bhattarai have departed from the revolutionary party though they talk about revolution to maintain their position in the party.

Gajurel said that the leaders, who gave up the revolutionary path, should be relieved from the party. So, Dahal and PM Bhattarai do not have the right to stay in the party.

The Maoist hard-line leader opined that the common people are facing difficulties due to the incompleteness of the revolution. Those cannot be Maoists those who repeatedly talk about peace by giving up revolution before its completion.

Giving remark of “anti-national” to the signing of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between Nepal and India, Gajurel opined that the deal would make way for the industries that have failed in India to come to Nepal and that Nepal government would end up getting bankrupt by bearing their losses.

He claimed that those companies of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh that are in losses will make inroads into Nepal and demand compensation from the Nepal government showing losses.

With regards to the writing of new constitution, he said that it was delayed not due to the lawmakers but due to the differences between the political parties as the thematic committees have already sent their drafts to Constituent Assembly.

Take BIPPA positively: FNCCI

Oct 27, 2011 @ 18:35

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) said, by signing Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with India by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, it has boosted the morale of Indian investors. So, FNCCI urged the political parties not to criticize BIPPA. It is fruitful to attract huge investment in big projects. Organizing a press meet to brief on PM’s recent visit to India on Tuesday, FNCCI, business community has said such.

According to President of FNCCI Suraj Vaidya, the agreement has attracted the Indian investors assuring security of their investment. So, BIPPA is beneficial for the nation’s economy.

FNCCI Senior Vice president Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar also expressed that the PM visit and the agreement were fruitful at boosting confident of Indian investors and the government should sign the same kind of agreement with other nations to attract foreign investment in Nepal.

Engine of Yeti Airlines plane explodes

Oct 27, 2011 @ 18:53

On Wednesday evening in Pokhara, an airplane was saved from happening to a possible disaster, according to RSS. 9N AHW (Jet Spring) airplane of the Yeti Airlines was about to take off at Pokhara airport for Kathmandu when the engine exploded.

There was flame out after the engine exploded, but fortunately a major disaster was averted as the plane had not taken off from the runway, according to the Pokhara Civil Aviation Authority Office.

23 passengers including 18 foreigners were on board. The right side engine of the plane exploded as it had reached mid-way of the runway while preparing for a takeoff.

Govt preparing to provide employment to unemployed youths

Oct 30, 2011 @ 12:41

The government has begun necessary process to provide jobs under the Skills for Employment Programme in Biratnagar and Kathmandu in the first phase to unemployed youths who have registered their names in the Employment Information Center, according to RSS reports.

Director General of the Department, Dr. Man Bahadur BK said, the National Planning Commission (NPC) has given approval to the programme to begin the work.  He further said the center has been developed as the unit to collect detailed information about the skilled manpower and provide a person’s educational qualification, vocational training, skill and capacity for the jobs concerned and to the industrial organizations.

The center has been collecting data about the unemployed youths since the last two years. 14 centers have been established in each of the zones in the country. As many as 40,000 youths have registered their names with the center.

Names of suspected VAT bills defaulters

Oct 31, 2011 @ 12:23

The government on Sunday made public the names of business firms including major firms in Nepali corporate world allegedly involved in tax evasion by using fake VAT bills. In a response to a landmark direction of National Information Commission (NIC), the investigation report was prepared by Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

According to the report made public by Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota, it suspects involvement of Nepal´s top corporate houses including Arun Intercontinental, United Builders, Jagadamba Steel, Varun Developers, Biswokarma Cement, Maruti Cement, Shree Dugar Auto Clinics, CG Electronics, Jagadamba Trading Concern, Chamelia Hydropower, CG Impex, United Distributors, Morang Auto Works, Bhat-Bhateni Department Store and CG Foods.

The Finance ministry had formed a committee under a deputy director general at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to investigate on the multi-billion VAT evasion on February 21.
The 33-page report unveils the name of the firms as major suspects involved in the VAT bills scam as below:-

BM Enterprises, Him Electronics, Associated Automobiles, Himalayan Enterprises Pvt Ltd, AIT Pvt Ltd, Wheels Auto, Surya Automobiles, Jyoti Overseas, Shakti Commercial Enterprises, United Shayam Sundar and Danfe Construction JV, Bishwokarma Cement, Bama Motors, CGGC Cameliya Project Department of Nepal, Rasuwa Construction Company, Rajesh Sanitary Ware, CTCE/Kalika JV, Shree Dugar Brothers and Sons, Chandan Wala International, Guras Engineering, M Trade House, Usma Traders, Nistha Traders, Arun Intercontinental, United Builders, Jagadamba Steel, Varun Developers, Biswokarma Cement, Maruti Cement, Shree Dugar Auto Clinics, CG Electronics, Jagadamba Trading Concern, Chamelia Hydropower, CG Impex, United Distributors, Morang Auto Works, Bhat-Bhateni Department Store and CG Foods.

NIC issued the directive on the basis of an application registered by Tara Nath Dahal of Freedom Forum – an NGO advocating people´s right to information.

As per the report, the government has refunded the VAT to Sarita Enterprises (Rs. 5.04 million), Sarita International Business (Rs. 5.31 million), Ashutos Impex (Rs. 17.22 million), Shivashakti Impex (Rs. 16.95 million), Digambar Trade House (Rs. 11.26 million), Digambar Trade International (Rs. 45.60 million), and Bhimeshwor Trade House (Rs. 14.33 million).
IRD has slapped tax bills of Rs 3.45 billion on firms found involved in 365 cases of fake VAT bills scam out of 518 cases of revenue evasion. Some of the firms have cleared tax dues amounting to Rs 61.9 million.