• Saturday, 2 March 2024

Parliament being used more as place for trading charges than making laws, rues MP Sharma

Published Date : November 1, 2023

Kathmandu, Nov 1: Lawmaker Narayani Sharma has expressed that the parliament is not playing its role in an effective manner when it comes to its major role- formulating laws through rigorous debate.

“When entering parliament, I had thought that there would be intense debate and deliberations on laws and policy matters. I did not find it as I had thought. Rather, there is trend of one MP levelling charges and barbs at the other,” she said, talking about her experience as a parliamentarian in the last one year.

According to her, the parliament is the highest representative people’s body and it should live up to its responsibility in formulating legislations in an effective manner. She shared that the parliament is yet to make several important laws.

The lawmaker from the CPN (Maoist Centre) said the parliament has been diverging on secondary issues rather than focusing on its legislative functions. The parliamentarians themselves have publicly said that the parliament is found wanting in holding policy-related debates and discussions on lawmaking.

In the view of lawmaker Sharma, the legislators also have their role in the development of infrastructures and other public services in their respective constituencies, and this should not be construed as infringement on the role of the local government.

“We should not ignore the expectation of people to have basic needs in the context when villages lack infrastructures like health, education, roads and agriculture.”

Stressing the need for taking along people’s aspirations, she said, “If lawmaking should be prioritised, we as lawmakers should be equally responsible for addressing the demands raised by the people.”

Born in 2033 BS, Sharma joined the Maoist since 2047 BS. She got the party membership in 2050 BS. Having served as the party member of the cell, area, district, regional bureau, central member, she is now party politburo of the Maoist Centre. 

Although the decade-long people’s war ended through a comprehensive peace accord, the matter relating to transitional justice could not be concluded yet, she rued. “Transitional justice is an integral part of the peace process, it must be concluded. Although it has been a decade and a half since the peace agreement, the bill related to it has not been submitted to the House.”

Saying that she felt that they were still reluctant to conclude the main remaining work of peace process, Sharma rued the tendency of not focusing on the work under the pretext of various excuses and issues.

She alleged that some political parties were not taking the peace process seriously as if taking the peace process to its logical conclusion will only politically benefit the Maoists.

NA committee endorses draft of E-Commerce Bill

Kathmandu, Nov 1: The Legislative Management Committee under the National Assembly has endorsed the draft report of the Bill relating to E-commerce, 2080 BS.

According to Committee President Jayanti Rai, the draft passed by the Committee today is to be presented before the NA session on Thursday.

The bill that was originated in the NA has already witnessed the clause-wise deliberations in the Committee. The government proposed the Bill that aims to regulate and systematize the electronic business in the face of increasing supplies of goods and services through electronic means.

Policeman dies from altitude sickness

Gandaki, Nov 1: A police personnel who had been deployed as a security guard of visiting the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal has died from altitude sickness, said the police.

The deceased has been identified as Assistant Sub Inspector of Police Tikaram Dhungana. After complaining of health problems, Dhungana was taken to Pokhara by a rescue helicopter today morning. Upon his admission to a hospital in Pokhara, he was declared dead at 9:40 am, said Deputy Superintendent of Police Shrawan Kumar BK.

Dhungana, who reached the Base Camp by a helicopter, complained of respiratory problems upon returning on foot, it has been said. He was posted at the police post at Ghandruk of Annapurna Rural Municipality in Kaski district.

The UN Secretary-General headed to the Base Camp on Tuesday morning as part of his scheduled visit during his Nepal visit. Teams of Nepal Army and Nepal Police were deployed for his security.


Itahari Sub-metropolis providing free cremation for the needy

Inaruwa (Sunsari), Nov 1: The Itahari Sub-metropolitan City in Sunsari district has provided free cremation service to 104 indigent individuals.

Mayor Hemkarna Poudel said the sub-metropolis has been providing various logistical support for the cremation of the body if any member of the needy family died. He said the sub-metropolis provides firewood for the funeral pyre and other articles as well as exempting the funeral service charges in such instances.

Before this, the Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City had been providing free hearse service for transporting body from home to the local cremation site at Budhiganga-Jamuna Mukti Ghat.

According to him, the free cremation service would be provided to the families that cannot afford the cremation cost.

The sub-metropolis has also been providing free ambulance service in all its 20 wards and the free cremation service will also be available in all the wards.

UML’s festival tea reception commences

Kathmandu, Nov 1: A tea reception hosted by the CPN (UML) in the context of the Bada Dashain, Tihar, Nepal Sambat and Chhath festivals has commenced at its central office at Chyasal, Lalitpur.

The party workers and well-wishers are invited to the reception from 12.30 onward and the distinguished guests and special invitees from 2.30 onward, said Dr Bhisma Adhikari, the party central office secretary.

Where aged citizens await twilight years with loneliness

Galeshwor (Myagdi), Nov 1: The five days during the Dashain remained special for octogenarian Man Bahadur Ghimire of Bagarphant of Beni municipality-2 in Myagdi. The 85-year-old observed a heartwarming family reunion as his son’s family from Pokhara visited him in this Dashain.

His son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren came to Myagdi to celebrate Dashain, bringing immense joy to Ghimire. They spent quality time together, creating cherished memories. 

However, they returned to Pokhara after the festival celebrations. Ghimire’s joy gave way to a sense of loneliness.

Ghimire, who is single after the passing away of his spouse, faces no difficulties in addressing his materialistic needs. Nevertheless, he feels a deep void in his heart for being alone at home. His son and daughter-in-law consistently urge him to move to Pokhara with them. But his heart resists the call. He has as abundant love for the place where he grew up and spent his memorable days, believing that “home is where the heart is”.

Khadga Bahadur Ghimire, 86; Bed Prasad Upadhyay, 88; Khadga Bahadur Thapa, 99, and Tek Bahadur Karki, 79, share similar experiences with Man Bahadur.

Some of them have become separated from their children due to foreign employment, while others are living with the immense pain of losing their children. Bed Prasad is still grieving the loss of his 36-year-old son, who passed away from COVID-19 four years ago.

His son, who used to be involved in trade at Beni Bazaar, succumbed to the pandemic. Another son has been out of contact with the family for five years now. He had left for the UAE for employment but lost contact with the family during that time while his daughter-in-law resides at her maternal home.

Ghimire, Upadhyay, Thapa and Karki are merely representatives of elderly citizens who are patiently awaiting the arrival of their twilight years in the village, with a heavy heart. Tek Bahadur Siuthani Magar, a resident of Malika rural municipality-6, expressed his concern that the village has been slowly turning into a community of senior residents.

The village, once vibrant and lively during the Dashain festival, with the influx of young people from urban areas and overseas, has now grown relatively calm as they have already returned to their respective places.

One hundred nine people of 26 families reside in Chhisbang of Mangala Rural Municipality-5 in West Myagdi. Most of them are elderly and school-age children. There are 169 houses at Bagarphanta of Beni Municipality-2. There are infrastructural facility and many opportunities of agriculture, animal husbandry and self-employment in Bagarphanta village that adjoins the district headquarters Beni. However, local youths seem uninterested and have flown to foreign countries including the United States, Australia, Japan and Canada for employments. Similarly, there are many local youths who have gone to the Gulf for employment opportunities. The remaining have left villages to cities in Nepal.

The atmosphere in the village turned festive when a group of five local youths returned home from Japan to celebrate the Dashain festival, said a local Sunil Thapa. Thapa, who permanently returned home from a job in Japan, is engaged in a business. Now, only 12 youths including Thapa are in the village. Of them, seven are arranging for going abroad for jobs, he said. The number of elderly people between 60 to 99 years of age exceeds 200. Women and school-age children are a majority in the village. The number of youths is low in the village, admits another local Tek Bahadur Karki.

“Only elderly people are in the villages. There are not people in the villages during emergency when they are needed to attend funeral rites and take ill people to hospital,” he said.

Most of village youths abroad despite facilities back home

Myagdi saw a surge in its physical infrastructure development after the then CPN Maoist which was waging an armed rebellion attacked Beni in 2060 BS, the district headquarters of Myagdi. It was after this that the construction of development infrastructures increased.

Although the services and facilities mostly found in urban areas became accessible in the villages due to the expansion of roads and communication facilities, the exodus of local youths for foreign employment did not subside.

As per the latest population census, the district has a population of 107,033 and the number of households is 28,830. In the previous census conducted in 2011, the district had a population of 113,641 and the number of households was 27,762.

A comparison of the population size in the district in the two censuses shows that although the number of households has increased the population has decreased. The number of males is 52,153 and that of females 54,880.

The average size of the family is 3.71 and the gender ratio is 95.03 per 100 women. The population density is 47 per square kilometre. The annual population growth rate is minus 0.57 percent.

The number of absentee population in the 2011 census was 8,320 and it is 10,766 as per the latest 2021census.

These days the villages in the district are mostly populated by the older persons as the youths have left for foreign jobs or migrated to the urban areas in search of work. As the villages are devoid of the youth population, it is difficult to find farm workers and workers for other purposes as well.

The villages are also losing their culture and traditions as there are almost no youths to give continuity to these.

President Paudel insists on opening unexplored mountains

Kathmandu, Nov 1: President Ramchandra Paudel has said there are numerous mountains in Nepal that have to be officially opened for exploration.

In his address to a ceremony to mark the 50th Anniversary of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) today, the President said, “It is imperative that immediate steps are taken to unlock and showcase this hidden treasures and the Nepal Mountaineering Association can serve as a valuable partner in his endevour.”

On the occasion, the Head of the State urged the government to make informed decisions regarding the management and promotion of these unexplored mountains.

Congratulating the NMA for spending fifty years to the advancement of mountain and mountain tourism of Nepal, he advised the Association to dedicate its serious attention to the impacts of climate change on the Himalayas and the surrounding region. 

As he said, the invaluable contribution made by the NMA to establish the mountain tourism on the global stage must not be overlooked. He also recommended the government for redoubling its efforts in support of the development and promotion of mountain tourism.

Reminding of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ commitments to bringing the attention of the world to climate change impact in Nepal during his four-day official trip to Nepal concluding today, the President underlined the need of undertaking actions seriously to mitigate impacts of climate change on mountains life.

Police open fire to catch two narcotics drug dealers

Kathmandu, Nov 1: A squad from the Kathmandu Valley Crime Investigation Office (KVCIO) has arrested two persons dealing in narcotics drugs. The police had to open fire to get hold of them.

Those arrested are 48-year-old Mohammad Karim of West Bengal, India and 35-year-old Harka Limbu of Kechan Rural Municipality-8, Jhapa district of Nepal, said Superintendent of Police Rabindra Regmi, spokesperson for the KVCIO.

“Mohammad Karim has sustained injuries when police had to fire at them for self-defence. He is being treated at the Gothatar-based Kantipur Hospital,” Regmi said. Police have confiscated a 6.75mm pistol and three rounds of its bullet, 200 grams substance that looks like brown sugar and a weighing balance.

PM Dahal, NC President Deuba attend UML festival reception

Kathmandu, Nov 1: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda and  Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba joined a tea reception hosted today by the CPN (UML) on the occasion of the  Nepali festivals.

Party leaders including Chair KP Sharma Oli welcomed the Prime Minister and former Prime Minister to the reception underway at the party central office, Chyasal in Lalitpur.

Similarly, House of Representatives (HoR) Speaker Devraj Ghimire, CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Jhalanath Khanal, CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Janardan Sharma, Rastriya Janamorcha’s Chair Chitra Bahadur KC, Communist Party of Nepal’s Netra Bikram Chand, other leaders from various political parties and people from different walks of life attended the reception.

FNCCI President Dhakal urges private sector, development partners to invest in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nov 1: President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Chandra Prasad Dhakal has urged the private sector and the development partners to invest in the infrastructure development of Nepal.

In his address to the investment conference in London, the United Kingdom, he said as Nepal is seeking additional foreign capital for major infrastructure development, the country is an attractive investment destination for the foreign private investors and development partners.

On India’s recent decision to include hydropower as the renewal energy, he said growing Indian market has further provided more opportunities for investment in hydropower projects in Nepal. Increasing demand for energy by the strong economy of Bangladesh has helped create additional market for hydropower of Nepal, according to a statement mentioning his speech in the conference issued by the FNCCI.

“I specially invite multilateral and bilateral development partners along with British investors for investment and cooperation in Nepal’s hydropower targeting two large attractive energy markets,” he said. Saying Nepal is already a popular tourist spot for British tourists, he mentioned that Nepal is ready and excited to welcome more tourists.

Informing that the FNCCI has prepared the structure to help investors seek investment opportunities and remove obstructions in investment, he urged investors to invest in Nepal with confidence.

Organised on the initiative of the Nepali Embassy in London, a discussion was held involving Minister for Finance Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, high ranking officials of the international investment body of the UK and British private investors.


Finance Minister Mahat talks about essentiality of foreign investment in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nov 1: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has said Nepal requires sufficient financial resources for its economic prosperity and transformation. He highlighted the essentiality for foreign investment as such need could not be solely addressed by internal resources.

In his address to a high-level investment conference organised by the Nepali Embassy in London, the capital of UK on Tuesday, the Minister insisted on the inevitability of foreign investment in Nepal, according to his secretariat and the Embassy.

The event organised at the Mansion House based in City Of London marks the completion of a centenary of the signing of the friendship treaty between Nepal and the United Kingdom in 1923.

On the occasion, the Finance Minister said the Nepal government has ensured necessary revisions to laws and act and institutional provisions for creating an investment-friendly atmosphere in the country. Likewise, the budget for the current fiscal has introduced various initiatives for reforms and to facilitate investors.

“Necessary legal infrastructure has been readied for capital mobilization through the international financial market,” he said, expressing his hope that the UK investment to Nepal would further grow in the days to come.

Also speaking on the occasion, Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK, Gyanchandra Acharya, Nepal anticipated ensuring the UK investment to Nepal with priorities to renewable energy, information technology, education and tourism.

“Nepal has already signed a bilateral agreement with India for power trade and is preparing for making power supplies to Bangladesh as well,” he said, adding that electricity promotion in Nepal would help realise the climate change goals not only in Nepal but also in the South Asia.

City of London’s Alderman and Sheriff, Bronec Masojada pledged to support Nepal in achieving the sustainable development.

 UK Foreign and Commonwealth Director Ben Mellor said in the recent year’s the investment through the British International Investment to various areas in Nepal was increasing and the UK’s support to Nepal to upgrade it to the status of a developing country from the category of least developed country.

Virendra Sharma, the President of UK- Nepal Parliamentary Group in the UK Parliament talked about Nepal-US historic relations, citing abundant potentialities for investment in Nepal’s various sectors.

UK Expert Finance Chief Executive Officer Tim Reid announced their readiness to invest up to 1.5 billion pound in Nepal.

The conference was focussed on bringing investment into Nepal particularly in the renewable energy, information technology and education sectors.

Separate panel discussions on these themes were held and Rajan Kandel, Chair of the British College, presented a paper on available opportunities in Nepal in the education sector.

Neal Rastra Bank (NRB) deputy-governor Bam Bahadur Mishra assured the investors that the NRB was committed to simplify the profit repatriation process of foreign companies investing in Nepal.

Joint Secretary of the Investment Board Nepal, Amrit Lamsal made a presentation on the investment opportunities in various sectors of Nepal, stressing that the Board is committed to facilitating the investors throughout the period from the approval of FDI to the implementation of the project.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Sandeep Dev talked on the energy sector in Nepal, especially in the hydroelectricity projects under implementation, the agreements on power development and trade reached with India and China and the forthcoming plan of the Government of Nepal on the development of hydropower. He pointed out the need of huge capital for these and said investors have huge opportunities for investing in these areas. 

Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN) president Ganesh Karki provided information on the opportunities for investment for the development of hydropower and other renewable energy projects in Nepal, and called on the investors to invest in Nepal as the role of the government is positive to that end.

Managing Director of British International Investment, Colin Berkley and founder and chief executive officer of Dolma Impact Fund, Tim Gochar said that the investments they have made in Nepal are all fruitful and Nepal is appropriate country for responsible investment.

Speaking on behalf the development financial institutions investing in Nepal, Chief Executive Officer of Invest for Impact Nepal, Bibek Shrestha, made a presentation on investment of development financing organisations.

Also on the occasion, a memorandum of understanding on facilitating development finance institutions in Nepal was reached between the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Finance and six development financing institutions – the British International Investment, UK; FMO, the Netherlands; BIO, Belgium; Finnfund, Finland; Proparco, France and Saipem, Switzerland.

On the occasion, Finance Minister Dr Mahat held a discussion with the Chairman of Hinduja Group of Industries, GP Hinduja, on investing in Nepal.

Around 100 people, including British bankers, private investors, insurance companies, representatives of development financing institutions and trade ministries of various European countries, including Britain, the Nepali diaspora and the British companies investing in Nepal, attended the conference.


PM Dahal assures of roundtable to ease economy

Kathmandu, Nov 1: Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said the country’s economy is still under pressure though it was freed from a crisis. As he said, preparations have been made for organising a national-level roundtable to seek ways for improving the economy.

While addressing a meeting of party central members in the Kathmandu Valley at the party central office in Parisdanda today, the Prime Minister said liberating economy from pressure remained as one of the top priorities of the government.

“Economy was really in a dire situation when we assumed the government. But the crisis was avoided. The situation of the forex reserve, revenue mobilization and its indicators, tourist arrivals and the remittance inflow suggest that we are making a progress to normalcy,” he said. 

Stating that Nepal’s budget making process and system would not support a robust economy, he said a conventional economic approach would not address the domestic economic issues.”  Lack of a room for revising the policies and programmes following their presentations and the Red Book is not good.” This culture be changed, he asserted.

He took time to say that conspiracies were being hatched against federal democratic republic, he said such efforts would be thwarted by collective efforts among all who were together for making the 12-point agreement, peace process and the drafting of the Constitution possible. He announced that none was expected to think that achievements could be reversed going against the people’s aspirations.

Tourism minister Kirati calls for amending tourism related acts

Kathmandu, Nov 1: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sudan Kirati, has stressed the need for immediately amending old acts related to tourism.

Speaking at an event organised here today on the 50th anniversary of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, the minister called for improving treatment for foreign tourists along with the amendment of old tourism-related acts.

“We have old acts. Acts should be amended with time. I received a phone call from Jogbani in India today itself. A tourist has to book a five-star hotel apartment for Rs 25,000. But, they have complained that there is a provision that prevents them from carrying money with them not exceeding INR 25,000.”

There would be a negative message if foreign tourists are charged double air fare. He stressed the need for the government, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to be serious on such issues.

Drawing the attention of the concerned authorities to the impacts of climate change, he mentioned that there are some prohibitory areas in some places that causes inconvenience to tourists.


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