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Earthquake survivor Hira in desperate need for emergency assistance

Published Date : November 9, 2023

Bheriganga (Surkhet), Nov 9:  It has been many weeks for Hira BK of Aathbiskot of Rukum West since she has not visited her maternal home. She was finding it hard to manage time to meet her brothers and their children as she was preoccupied with household chores. She was overwhelmed by the longing to see them.

Finally on November 3, she could manage the time to visit her siblings. Upon her arrival, Hira was greeted with warmth and hospitality by her brothers. She was offered delicacies and they together spent a quality time catching up. It was 11:30 pm when they realised the night grew late and decided to go to bed, promising to meet in the morning. 

It was less than 20 minutes after Hira settled into bed when the house started shaking before it collapsed within few minutes. Buried under the debris, Hira and her family were trapped. Thankfully, some fortunate villagers, who had escaped the calamity, came to their rescue after an agonizing half an hour.

Though Hira was fortunate to survive the disaster, Hira’s sister left them forever succumbing to the injuries she suffered in the disaster.

As Hira recounted the ordeal, her brother’s daughter was desperately crying for help for life. “Sister, save me!” These haunting words continue to echo on Hira’s mind. “If she was rescued a bit earlier, she could be with us now,” she lamented. 

“My brother’s daughter left us for forever; brothers are in tears with injured bodies. We found ourselves amidst the pains and challenges.”

Those surviving the November 3 earthquake in Jajarkot and Rukum West face the similar situation. While grieving the loss of loved ones, they also face the immense challenge of meeting their basic needs. Emergency assistance from the government and various agencies has been deployed, but it has not been smooth and is not adequate.

Psychoanalysts warn that survivors may face the psycho-social issues and need timely intervention. Women and children in the quake-stricken areas are vulnerable to this risk, they said.

International conference on Ayurveda in Janakpur

Janakpurdham, Nov 9: A three-day International Ayurveda Conference kicked off in Janakpurdham of Dhanusha.

Inaugurating the workshop at Janakpurdham-based Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Culture Centre on Wednesday, Swami Ananda Aruna said the Ayurveda treatment systems can be helpful in resolving critical health problems surfaced in the world, calling for the state to keep it in priority.

Nepal is also a virgin land for Ayurveda besides Vedic religion and tradition, he said, adding Nepal along with entire human being could be benefitted if the traditional treatment systems and priceless herbals of Nepal were utilized.

On the occasion, the best wishes message of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ was read out.

As many as 600 participants from 17 countries across the globe are attending the conference. The workshop will discuss the importance of Ayurveda in the modern medical science and the research and investigations undertaken in the area of Ayurveda science, informed coordinator of conference coordination committee Dr Rakesh Kumar Singh.

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Birgunj Gold Cup: Nepal Police Club into final

Birgunj (Parsa), Nov 9: The Nepal Police Club (NPC) has entered into final of the First Birgunj Gold Cup, 2080 underway in Birgunj.

In the first semi-final held at Birgunj-based Adarshanagar Stadium on Wednesday, NPC reached the final defeating host, Veteran City Club Birgunj, 5-4 in tie-breaker.

The decision was taken through tie-breaker when the match ended up in goalless draw in the allotted time.

NPC goalkeeper Satrughna Chaudhary was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ in the tournament.

With this, the NPC will play the final with the winner of the second semi-final match to be held between Sankata Club Kathmandu and Tribhuvan Army Club on Thursday.

In the gold cup tournament, Tribhuvan Army Club, Nepal Police Club, Sankata Club, Church Boys United Nawalparasi, Jhapa FC, Birgunj Veteran City Club, Kolkatta Clive House Dumdum and Delhi’s AFCI North Zone football team are participating.

The title winner of the gold cup will receive a cash prize of Rs 1,111,111 along with trophy and certificate while the first runner-up will get Rs 555,555 with trophy and certificate. Birgunj metropolitan city is the main host of the gold cup.

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‘Call for disaster risk residence insurance’

Karnali, Nov 9: A meeting of the CPN (Maoist Centre) Karnali province secretariat has demanded the government arrange disaster risk residence insurance.

The meeting of the province secretariat comprising province and district in-charge, central members and province chairpersons on Wednesday called for the federal government to place disaster risk residence insurance and natural disaster risk mass accidental insurance scheme for all citizens.

The decision was made taking into consideration the high level potential risk of devastating earthquake in Western Nepal, informed Maoist Centre’s Deputy General Secretary and Karnali Province In-charge, Matrika Prasad Yadav.

The secretariat meeting also urged three tiers of governments to declare the recent earthquake-hit districts as crisis zone, formulate special action plan for disaster response and immediate rehabilitation through wider mobilization of resources.

Yadav said the meeting also demanded formation of a high-powered reconstruction authority fior the rebuild of earthquake-ravaged structures.

“The meeting called for the government to lay emphasis on treatment, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction after completing remaining works related to relief”, he said.

The meeting directed the concerned district committees for mobilizing teams under the leadership of central and province committee members in the completely ravaged wards for rescue, relief, temporary residence, food, cloth, treatment and psycho-social counseling as well as for the collection of loss and damage.

The Maoist Centre Karnali Province decided to deposit Rs 500,000 to the government relief fund for earthquake survivors’ relief and rehabilitation.

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Film artists and producers aid for earthquake survivors

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Artists have extended their cash assistance to the earthquake survivors of Jajarkot and Rukum West.

The cash assistance collected from individuals and institutions of artists has been deposited to the government-instituted Prime Minister Natural Disaster Support Fund.

Nepal Film Artists Association, the umbrella organization of artists, deposited Rs 39,831 to the fund for earthquake response, informed Association Chairperson Mohan Niraula.

Likewise, Nepal Film Producers’ Association also deposited a relief amount of Rs 100,000 to the fund, informed its Chairperson Nawal Khadka.

CIB urges depositors to lodge complaints

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Nepal Police Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) has urged the depositors whose money was allegedly embezzled by Deurali Multipurpose Cooperative Organization of Lalitpur to lodge their complaints.

The police have set the timeline for the victims to register their complaints by coming Friday.

Informing that some victims have come up with complaints and their complaints have already been registered, CIB Spokesperson, Superintendant of Police (SP) Nawaraj Adhikari urged depositors to lodge complaints if they did not receive back their money.

Complaints have been registered so far claiming compensation amounting around Rs 500 million from the cooperatives for allegedly embezzling their deposits.

He shared that three persons have been arrested in connection with irregularities acting on the complaints registered.

SP Adhikari further informed.

The depositors registered their complaints noting they did not receive the principal and interests of their savings and fixed deposits from the cooperative having central office at Satdobato, Lalitpur. The depositors claimed that they deposited the savings and fixed amount at Bhaktapur and Kathmandu service centres of the cooperative, CIB said.

As the investigation is underway on the complaints on deposit irregularities case, the victim depositors are requested to establish contact witht he CIB and lodge complaints if any, SP Adhikari shared.

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‘Quake survivors may face psycho-social problems’

            Bheriganga (Surkhet), Nov 9: Recommendations have been made to pay attention to the potential psycho-social problems among the earthquake survivors in the quake-hit areas.

            A sychiatric doctor underlined the need of stepping up psycho-social counseling, especially to the women and children who are in the state of fear due to earthquake.

            Citizens have been mentally and psychologically traumatized in earthquake-hit areas, Psychiatric Doctor of Karnali Province Hospital Purna Rawal suggested the government run complete package of psycho-social programme in the quake-hit areas.

            “Aftershocks are frequent in the areas. Citizens are in precarious condition. Psycho-social problems can be seen among the people in such situation. All three tiers of governments should pay attention on psycho-social counseling along with relief and rehabilitation”, he added.

            Meanwhile, the Karnali province government shared it has deputed a team of psychosocial counselors to the field for counseling services.

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Nepal to play opening match under Women T-20 Championship with Tanzania

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Nepal is playing its first match under the Women T-20 Championship with Tanzania. The Championship where four nations are vying is taking place in Hong Kong from November 15 to 19. Hong Kong, Nepal, Tanzania and Japan are participating in the Championship.

Nepal will play against Tanzania on November 15. Similarly, Nepal will play against Hong Kong on November 16 in its second match and against Japan on November 18 in its third match.

The final match and the match for the third place of the Championship will be held on November 19.

DPM Khadka cancels his UAE trip over November 3 earthquake

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Deputy Prime Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka has cancelled his trip to the United Arab Emirates scheduled to take place from November 13 -17.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence was expected to lead the Nepali delegation to the 18th Dubai Airshow, 2023 in Dubai at the invitation of UAE crown prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The meeting of the Council of Ministers on November 2 had endorsed the DPM’s visit.

According to a press statement issued by the Defence Ministry’s joint-secretary and Spokesperson Prakash Paudel, the Minister cancelled the trip over the recent earthquake in Jajarkot and Rukum West.  Now the Minister is engaged in the post-quake rescue and relief efforts.

“The earthquake caused significant casualties and property loss in Jajarkot and Rukum West, and the Deputy Prime Minister remains engaged in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts since the disaster struck. The trip to the UAE was canceled with a conclusion that it was not appropriate to set out for the foreign visit amidst the adverse situation at home,” the Ministry said in the statement.

The November 3 earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale with its epicenter at Ramidanda of Jajarkot has so far resulted in over 150 casualties and more than 300 injuries, including the casualties in neighboring Rukum West.

Youth Scientist Research Support Programme run to promote science research: PM

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has asserted that the Youth Scientist Research Support Programme has been implemented through the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) to enhance research and development of science and technology.

Addressing the NAST’s 46th Academic Assembly today, PM Dahal informed that this programme has been implemented from the current fiscal year for creating environment conducive for developing the research capacity of Nepali youths.

“The present age is an age of science, technology and innovation. There cannot be differing opinion that innovation and novel technology play an important role in making the country prosperous, linking with production for economic development and uplifting the people’s living standard,” said  the Prime Minister, who is also the NAST Chancellor.

He thanked NAST and its associated organisations for whatever they have done towards the promotion and expansion of science and technology through cooperation and collaboration with researchers by remaining active in science and technology research.

The PM stated that as a student of science himself, he was aware about the capacity and contribution of Nepali scientists and technologists in the field of science and technology. He maintained that although NAST has not been able to carry out many works in terms of development of domestic technology by prioritizing innovation, the initiatives it has undertaken for archiving and setting up laboratory centred for the same are exemplary.

“Internalizing the present need for Nepal to enter the space age, the government has placed a nano-satellite in space through NAST and I am pleased to know that you scientists are working together in preparation for sending the Munal satellite to space in partnership with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), bringing on board the youth scientists and collaborating with other organisations as well,” the NAST Chancellor said.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister said the works to establish a specialized research centre in all provinces on the initiatives of NAST have already begun to promote the science and technology at the province-level. He said the concerns of NAST employees and scientists are being addressed gradually.

Describing the NAST as a specialized agency with specific roles and vision, he said its leadership is expected to make the presence of the organisation more vibrant, contributing to the capacity enhancement of the people concerned.   

According to him, science, technology initiatives and innovations in 40 years through the budget of just Rs 4 billion are commendable, but not sufficient. He, however, admitted that the promotion of science and technology is yet to be the priority of the State. 

He apprised the meeting that during his recent visit to neighbouring China, he held significant talks with his counterpart and other leaders for increasing mutual assistance for the development of science and technology.

“The contemporary time demands more attention to the science and technology,” he said, urging scientists propose projects as per the needs of the country.

Class 12 grade improvement exams results out

Kathmandu, Nov 9: The National Examinations Board (NEB) has published the results of the Class 12 grade improvement (supplementary) examination.

NEB stated in a press release today that the results of the Class 12 grade improvement (supplementary) examinations conducted on September 26 and 27, 2023 by NEB, Office of the Controller of Examinations, Sanothimi, Bhaktapur, have been published.

A total 117,882 students had sat for the examination and of them 88,947 or 75.45 percent students have secured grades, according to NEB. The Board stated that the examination of 15 students was canceled.

Asian Bankers Association conference kicks off

Kathmandu, Nov 9: The Asian Bankers Association conference has kicked off here in the federal capital. Co-organised by the Nepal Bankers’ Association and the Asian Bankers Association, bankers of the member countries have participated in the two-day conference.

Inaugurating the conference, Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat urged the international bankers to invest in Nepal. Stating that the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have invested in Nepal, he said there is a conducive climate for investment in Nepal, and hydropower sector has much potential.

He expressed the confidence that the conference would be fruitful for the revival and sustainable development of the country’s economy post COVID-19.

On the occasion, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Maha Prasad Adhikari said the country’s banks made progress in a short span of time while stressing for digitalising banks. He also urged the increase of investments in banks.

The theme of the conference is ‘Asian Banking: Roadmap for Recovery and Sustained Growth’.

Chinese delegation calls on PM Dahal

Kathmandu, Nov 9: A delegation led by Communist Party of China’s Secretary of Tibet, Wang Junzheng, today paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

In the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s official residence, matters relating to bilateral cooperation and mutual concerns were discussed.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister said trans-Himalayan Connectivity Network is significant for both countries, stressing the need for its implementation, according to the Prime Minister’s press expert Manahari Timilsina.

Similarly, the Prime Minister expressed his hope for the operation of direct flights from Sichuan Province to Nepal’s Pokharal International Regional Airport built with the support of the Chinese government. 

He apprised the Chinese delegation that Nepal intends to make climate change consequences as a primary agenda in the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 12 this year in the United Arab Emirates.  He urged China to support Nepal’s climate change agenda on the global stage.

The PM also thanked the Chinese government for its initiatives to regularize the Nepal-China transit points, hoping for more support towards the smooth operations of such points in the days to come.

Acknowledging the emergency assistance that Nepal received from China for the recent earthquake in the Karnali Province, the Prime Minister said, “Nepal expects the cooperation from the Chinese government to develop the earthquake pre-information mechanism in Nepal”.

He also thanked the northern neighbor for its readiness to operate the Lhasa-Kathmandu direct flight.

PM Dahal reiterated that the ‘one China’ policy is Nepal’s national policy. During the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal commended the economic progress made by China under President Xi Jinping’s leadership and stated that the Belt and Road Initiative is his long-term initiation.

The PM also on the occasion expressed sorrow over the passing away of China’s former Premier Li Keqiang.

The Chinese side informed PM Dahal that works remained to be completed on one terminal at the Lhasa Airport and the Lhasa-Kathmandu flights would be operated immediately after its completion.

Similarly, Secretary Junzheng said that China wanted to work together with Nepal in the infrastructure, Nepal-China connectivity, economic development and tourism sectors in Nepal. Stating that promotion of people-to-people ties is the priority of Nepal, he said the exchange of visits between the two countries at different levels proved this.

On the occasion, Secretary Junzheng expressed deep sorrow on behalf the Chinese government over the death of many people in the recent earthquake that struck Jajarkot and said that China was ready to extend additional relief support to the earthquake victims.

He thanked Nepal for the ‘one China’ policy that it has been espousing since long, said the PM’s press expert Timilsina.

The PM Secretariat stated that discussions were also held during the meeting on implementing the agreements reached before this with China.

Foreign affairs advisor to the PM, Rupak Sapkota, the Prime Minister’s press advisor Govinda Acharya, among other officials were present in the meeting.

Ambassador of China to Nepal, Chen Song and the members of the delegation were also present on the occasion.

Madhesh University launches orientation classes for BA LLB students

Birgunj (Parsa), Nov 9: The Madhesh University has launched orientation classes for students enrolled in the faculty of Law and Public Administration.

Within the first year of its establishment, the university is going to start offering BA LLB and public administration courses from coming 27 November.

For this purpose, it has conducted a three-day orientation class for 110 students enrolled in BA LLB and 55 students enrolled in the public administration after passing the entrance examination, said the university.

In the classes, Vice Chancellor of the university Dipak Shakya and registrar Bijaya Kumar Yadav gave information on the condition of the university and future plan.

Similarly, the Parsa district court judge Ram Prasad Sharma and associate attorney of the District Government Attorney Office Ram Kumar Thapa gave training on law, and national and international law, said registrar Yadav.

Ambassador-designate Kafle presents credentials to Colombia President

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Ambassador-designate of Nepal to Colombia Mr. Nirmal Raj Kafle presented his Letters of Credence as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nepal to Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego, President of the Republic of Colombia, amidst a special ceremony held in Bogota on Wednesday.

Ambassador Kafle is residential Ambassador of Nepal to Brazil, concurrently accredited to Colombia.

Presenting the credentials, Ambassador Kafle conveyed greetings and best wishes from the President and Prime Minister of Nepal to the Colombian President for his health and happiness as well as for the continued peace, progress and prosperity of the people of Colombia.

Welcoming Ambassador Kafle as the Ambassador of Nepal to Colombia, President Urrego stated that Colombia is ready to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, and assured the Ambassador of full cooperation in his efforts to promote partnership between the two countries.

Ambassador Kafle stated that Nepal-Colombia relations and areas of cooperation have continued to grow in multiple areas. In view of the existing prospects for the development of cooperative relations between the two countries, he highlighted the need for further promotion of collaboration between the two countries for mutually beneficial areas, states a press release issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Brasilia, Brazil. 

Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the President were present at the ceremony as well as the meetings that followed. The Foreign Ministry hosted a luncheon in honour of the Ambassadors newly accredited to Colombia. Third Secretary at the Embassy Tejendra Regmi accompanied the Ambassador during the function.

Political delegation from Madhesh Province presents six-point memo to PM Dahal

Kathmandu, Nov 9: A delegation comprising the Madhesh Province Chief Minister and leaders from the coalition partners today called on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and submitted a six-point memorandum calling for the effective implementation of federalism.

Through the memorandum, the delegation drew the government’s attention towards the ‘non-implementation’ of federalism. It demands that Federal Civil Service Act should have the provision of keeping a secretary to be assigned in the province under the subordination of the province government.

The delegation has sought the devolution of authority of Guthi management and 30 and 20 percent ownership of the province and local governments respectively to the revenue collection from the value added tax and excise duty through the amendment of laws.

Similarly, it has proposed the government to amend in the law to give the prosecution authority relating to penalties and imprisonment to the province government. 

Madhesh Province Chief and Janata Samajbadi Parliamentary Party leader Saroj Kumar Yadav said they would be compelled to come up with programmes of peaceful protests if the demands were not addressed by the next 30 days.

In response, the Prime Minister acknowledged the demands as ‘genuine’, pledging to make maximum efforts to address them soon, according to Yadav.  

Province ministers Krishna Prasad Yadav, Mahesh Prasad Yadav and Govinda Bahadur Neupane and Democratic Socialist Party parliamentary leader Abhiram Sharma, CPN (Maoist) Center’s Bharat Shah and Kanchan Bichchha of Rastriya Prajatantra Party were among those in the delegation.

PM and Ministers to provide their one month’s salary for earthquake relief

Kathmandu, Nov 9: The government has decided to give one month’s salary of the Prime Minister and members of the Council of Ministers for the relief and rehabilitation of people in the earthquake-affected region.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers convened in Singha Durbar today decided to provide one month’s salary of the Prime Minister and the members of the Council of Ministers for the relief assistance of the earthquake victims said the government spokesperson and Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma.

The Council of Ministers decided to give the amount collected at the rate of Rs 5 from infrastructure tax on fuel to the Budhigandaki Reservoir Project and to forward the implementation process after carrying out a study of the Karnali Chisapani Hydroelectricity Project.

Likewise, the Cabinet meeting today made a decision to implement the Mulpani cricket stadium in Kathmandu and the cricket stadiums in Bharatpur and Morang as the national pride projects and to issue directive to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for the execution of the report received from the experts’ team regarding proceeding ahead with the construction of the Nijgadh International Airport.

The government spokesperson informed the media that a decision has also been made to approve the Social Sites Operation Guidelines, 2023 and to set up Nepal’s embassy in Portugal of Europe and appoint Samim Nepal to the post of Ambassador.

First int’l conference on disaster preparedness, management to take place on December 1-3

Kavrepalanchok, Nov 9: The first international conference on disaster preparedness and management will be organised in Dhulikhel in Kavrepalanchok.

The conference is scheduled to take place at Dhulikhel Community Hospital on December 1-3. Disaster experts from various countries will participate in the three-day conference where they will hold a comprehensive discussion on disaster preparedness adopted by various countries of the world, it has been said.

Following the discussion, new methods of disaster preparedness and management will be adopted by Dhulikhel hospital and other health institutions, said Prof Dr Balaram Malla, coordinator of the committee. There will be a broad discussion on disasters, their impact and shock, emergence rescue and its communication, and various preparedness, inter-department, inter-hospital and communication coordination during disasters, he said.

The conference will discuss and share experiences about over 4,000 victims of the 2015 devastating earthquake who received treatment at once, the preparations to be adopted by health institutions during disasters and the role of the stakeholders, it has been said.

Experts from various countries will present working papers in the conference. The conference will also make a plan for disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

The hospital said it was making preparations to provide patients with medical treatment in a feasible way when they are brought to the hospital from all over Kavrepalanchok except for a few places within a few hours of the disaster.

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Finance Minister urges Asian banks to invest in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nov 9: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has urged the banks from Asia to invest in Nepal.

Addressing the Asian Bankers Association (ABA) 39th Conference that kicked off here today, he said there are immense possibilities for investment in Nepal and urged the chief executive officers of the banks from the Asian countries to pump investment in Nepal.

“There is big opportunity for investment in Nepal for the private sector as well as for foreign investors. Hydropower sector has huge potentials for investment in the context of India pledging to purchase 10,000 megawatts power from Nepal in 10 years. Therefore, I urge you to invest in hydropower development without any inhibition. The government is committed to facilitating in this,” the Finance Minister reiterated.

Stating that the government will promote green energy through policy measures, he said Nepal has set the target of achieving the zero carbon emission goal by 2045 making all sectors of the economy carbon-free.

Finance Minister Mahat said the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have also expressed their commitment to invest in the mega hydel projects in Nepal and assured the participating bank CEOs that the government will create an investment-friendly climate to attract foreign direct investment. He added that investment has been increasing in the hydroelectricity development sector in recent years.

The Finance Minister stated that policy arrangements are being made by the government placing electricity production, small industries and agriculture in priority.

On the occasion, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari said the country’s economy is in normal state despite various challenges and it needed to be made further dynamic. Stating that the time has come to completely restructure the means and resources of the banking sector directly contributing to the economic growth, he stressed on the need of securing sustainable economic growth.

He expressed worry that the inflation rate in the country was still above the limit set by the central bank, saying still some emerging markets and developing economies have been facing high inflation. “The escalating war between Israel and Hamas in West Asia and the drawn-out Russia-Ukraina conflict have posed a challenge in keeping prices stable. As a result of this, many central banks have continued to adopt strict measures through monetary policy, which means we will have to grapple with high interest rate for long time.”

Governor Adhikari said that Nepali banks have made progress in short time and stressed on the need of developing the digital banking system.

He pointed out the need of the Asian banks to make the management effective by internalizing the possible risks so as to prevent problematic loans from increasing. The NRB Governor said the rapid technological change has benefited the banking system a lot and this has been transforming banking into profession, stressing on its sustainability.

ABA Chair Eugene S. Acevedo pointed out the need of bringing an effective plan along with collaboration for the sustainability of the overall economy of the Asian countries. He expressed the belief that the Conference will help the Asian banks to come up with the concept of their forthcoming strategy.

Nepal Bankers’ Association Char Sunil KC said the conference having the participation of the CEOs of banks from Asian countries that is being organised for the first time in Nepal will help form the long term strategy on their effective role in facing the challenges in the Nepali banking sector.

Representatives of more than 60 banks and financial sectors of 18 countries are attending the two-day conference jointly organized by Nepal Bankers’ Association and the Asian Bankers Association.

Government prioritises protection of quake victims from cold: Minister Basnet 

Jajarkot, Nov 9: Minister for Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet said the government accords first priority to protect the earthquake victims from cold and snowfall. 

In an interaction with the participation of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee under the House of Representatives today, the minister said the reconstruction work would be taken forward as a campaign by linking the lessons from the work done during past earthquakes with the recent quake-damage in Jajarkot.

Saying the role of all development partners would be important in this reconstruction campaign, he said relief management is an important part at present.

Despite attempts to use a big helicopter to carry relief materials, there were problems in landing, he mentioned. There was a delay in relief distribution due to the inability of large transport vehicles to reach the incident sites without a proper road network, he said.

Using a small helicopter could supply only a small amount of relief materials, he said. Informing that all relief materials received from donors were supplied through a one-door system, he said problems surfaced due to the materials supplied to the quake-hit areas being stuck on the way.

It takes time to reach out to the quake victims due to geographical difficulties, he said while stressing the need for ward chairs of the respective local levels to mobilise ward members for the relief distribution.

Although there were no human casualties in the epicenter of the quake, a huge damage of properties was reported, said the minister. There was the shortage of tarpaulins in the quake hit areas including Barekot and Kushe rural municipalities, he said.

A plan would be made to start the reconstruction work relating to the quake-caused damage in Jajarkot and Rukum West, he informed, adding that a makeshift centre would be set up for the quake victims to save them from cold.

He as a people’s representative from quake-hit Jajarkot thanked all those who have provided assistances in times of pain and trouble caused by the quake, said the minister. He also thanked security personnel for their contribution during and post tragedy.

Community schools in the disaster-affected areas scheduled to resume classes after the Dashain-Tihar vacations are worried about the possible ways to regularise classes.  Local levels are authorized to oversee the education up to the secondary level.

   Most of school structures have been damaged by the disaster. In addition to this, winter has already begun. Amidst these challenges, the local levels in the affected districts are under pressure over the need to manage classes in a safe atmosphere.

It said local levels have made up their minds to resume classes under make-shift structures.

Aathbiskot municipality mayor in Rukum West, Rabi KC, said they are committed to resuming classes even by building temporary structures.

According to Education Development and Coordination Unit, Rukum West, 67 schools at Aathbiskot suffered damages in the quake.  According to unit chief, Tara Prakash Pun Magar, they are in touch with the province and local levels to find alternative provisions for restarting classes.

Nalagadh municipality major Dambar Rawat said 34 schools have been completely damaged in the locality and they are thinking to resume classes in temporary structures.  AS he said, 207 community schools suffered damages in Jajarkot and Rukum West in the November 3 disaster.

According to the District Police Office, Jajarkot, a total of 152 schools in Jajarkot report the quake effects and this number is said to be 55 in Rukum West.

The upper part of Rukum’s Aathbiskot bordering with Dolpa, upper part of Nalgadh municipality and the Barekot rural municipality in Jajarkot experience harsh winter conditions with cold temperatures and snowfall. While providing education in makeshift structures appears as an immediate alternative, there are concerns about the safety of children in such conditions.

Chinese delegation pays courtesy call on President Paudel

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: A delegation led by Secretary of Communist Party of China Tibet Autonomous Region, Wang Junzheng, paid a courtesy call on President Ramchandra Paudel.

            During the meeting held at Sheetal Niwas on Thursday, they discussed the matters of bilateral relations, cooperation and mutual interest between the two countries, according to the Office of the President. On the occasion, President Paudel extended gratitude towards the government of China and the people of China for their support in the wake of huge loss of lives and property from recent earthquake in Jajarkot and Rukum Paschim.

            He also lauded the support of China for post-earthquake revival and reconstruction works.

Koshi’s Chief Minister seeks rights from federal government

            Biratnagar, Nov 9 : The Koshi Province Assembly held theoretical discussions on a bill made to amend the ‘Province Civil Service Act, 2079’ on Thursday as well. 

            Province Assembly Members Uma Kant Gautam, Sapana Darji, Gombu Sherpa and Smile Mansuri took part in the theoretical deliberations. On the occasion, the Province Assembly Members said that the new Act should ensure career growth of the employees and effective public service delivery and ensure high morale of the civil servants.

            The lawmakers also asked the take the bill to the thematic committee for further discussions. In the question-answer programme between the lawmakers and chief minister, Chief Minister of Koshi Province Kedar Karki said that there are issues in the due management of officials in the province since the Province Civil Service Act has not been enacted as it is under discussions in the Province Assembly.

            He also pledged to expedite the service delivery from the province-level entities after the passage of the budget of Koshi Province. On the occasion, Chief Minister Karki said that he has not announced his coalitional breakup with the CPN (UML) and urged the latter not to sit in the opposition bench.

            Likewise, Karki said that the issues demanded by the identity advocates would be addressed as per the spirit and sentiment of the constitution. The next meeting of the province assembly is to be held on November 21.

Indu Barma appointed captain of Nepali Women’s National Cricket Team

            Kathmandu, Nov 9 : Indu Verma has been appointed as the new captain of Nepali Women’s National Cricket Team.

            The Cricket Association Nepal (CAN) appointed Verma as the Captain for four-nation Women’s T20 International Series scheduled to be held in Hong Kong from November 15 to 19.

            The CAN on Thursday announced a 14-member team.  Similarly, the CAN has given responsibility of vice-captain for the series to Bindu Rawal. Rubina Chhetri, Sita Rana Magar, Ashmina Karmacharya, Kajol Shrestha, Roma Thapa, Sabgeeta Rai, Samjhana Khadka, Khusi Dangol, Puja Mahato, Kanchan Shrestha, Somu Bista and Soni Pakhrin are members of the team.

            Nepal, Tanzania, Japan and Hong Kong are participating in the T20 series. Nepal will play its first match against Tanzania on November 15.

Minister Sharma directs to identify problems behind slow progress

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has said the problems behind slow progress on projects must be identified on time and measures taken for solution accordingly.

            Minister Sharma said it during a meeting of ministry level development problems solution committee and first quarterly review on Thursday. She expressed worry why the problems are not identified on time.

            “What are the projects stalled due to internal problems at ministry? What is the checklist of works that did not begin? What are areas that ministry failed to get cooperation from finance ministry and ministry of federal affairs and general administration?” The Minister was showing concern in the review meeting.

            She directed the secretary and representatives of subordinate bodies to leverage IT sector for fostering digital economy and pave way for prosperity. It was informed that the ministry made the capital expense of only 2.78 percent on current expenditure of 26.22 percent in the review period. Similarly, only four achievements were secured out of 32 targets in the three months of this fiscal year.

            On the occasion, Member of the National Planning Commission, Anita Shah Dhungana, said that the ministry which is directly linked to people should make progress accordingly. The foundation of digital economy is paved by the IT, she said, arguing that communications sector is the mirror of entire State, so the ministry’s better performance is warranted. Ministry Secretary Krishna Bahadur Raut stressed the need for boosting citizens’ access to telephone, internet and mass communications. This fiscal year would be made effective to this regard.

            He also informed that national cyber security policy and national frequency policy were brought forth by the ministry. Similarly, Chairman of the Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Dharmendra Jha, shared information that RSS was planning for 24-hour service, and free news service to the quake affected districts. Similarly, he drew the attention of ministry for its contribution to the gratuity fund at RSS.

            Chiefs of the subordinate bodies and representatives from Office of the Prime Minister and the Finance Ministry also spoke on the occasion.

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RSS to provide news free of cost to media in quake-hit districts

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: The Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) has decided to provide news for free of cost to the media in earthquake-hit districts.

            The media houses in the quake-hit districts- Jajarkot, Rukum Paschim, Rukum Purba and Salyan- would be provided the RSS produced contents freely for three months.

            RSS Executive Chairman Dharmendra Jha informed that the media in the affected four districts could contact RSS central office for receiving the service. The scheme launched by the State-run media, RSS, would benefit the media and people in the quake-affected districts.

All should be responsible to institutionalize republic: PM Dahal

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has stressed that all should be responsible to institutionalize federal democratic republic gained after a long struggle and sacrifice.

            Unveiling a book ‘Yatra Jindagi’ penned by former Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun ‘Pasang’, Prime Minister Dahal shared that 10-year insurgency and Comprehensive Peace Accord bear huge significance in country’s political process. 

            Pun’s book is the symbol of simplicity and honesty, he mentioned. PM Dahal stressed, “Some of the contexts mentioned in Pun’s book do not match in the present context. But he has presented the same simplicity and honesty in the book as in his life.”

            “The biggest sacrifice and revolt was the people’s war after Prithvi Narayan Shah’s campaign for building modern Nepal, PM Dahal said, adding that he, for the first time, announced public holiday on Prithivi Jayanti and People’s War Day.  According to him, the living history of people’s war would be written one day.

            The book published by Ghost Writing Nepal, Lekhan Kunj, has presented Pun’s different experiences from being people’s commander during insurgency to the vice-president of the country.

Government working to maintain good-governance, PM Prachanda says

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said that the government is advancing to end corruption and maintain good-governance.

            Addressing the 20th anniversary programme of ‘Pratiman-Nima Memorial Foundation’ here Thursday, the PM said his government’s key priority is ensuring social justice, good-governance and prosperity, and transform the nation’s existing challenges into opportunities.   

            The PM also shared that the government is working hard to end the pressures on national economy. “Most of the indicators of the economy are positive. However, it is realized that strategic moves should be taken to end the pressures (on economy),” according to PM Prachanda.

            Stating his visits to India, Italy, USA and China contributed to promoting national interests, the PM said that the recent visit of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his remarks to Nepal have drawn the world’s attention towards Nepal. “This has created a base to draft the laws on the peace process and transitional justice, reduce the multifaceted impacts of climate on Nepal, claim royalty for Nepal for its contributions to reduce carbon emission and present Nepal as a leader in the area of climate change. This is a great achievement,” the PM said.

            Likewise, the PM stated that the government’s prompt steps on rescue and relief operations to the earthquake-hit affected communities in Jajarkot and Rukum Paschim districts has created a base for effective and scientific role in the rehabilitation of those communities.

            PM Prachanda shared that the government would forward the rehabilitation programmes in a scientific and managed way by learning lessons from the Gorkha Earthquake of 2015.  On the occasion, former Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand expressed his views on the contributions of Pratiman-Nima Memorial Foundation for the production of technical human resources in the country.  

            The Foundation was established in memory of Pratiman Chand Bohara, a democratic fighter who played crucial roles in the democratic movement of 2007 BS.

Sandeep Lamichhane case: Order to submit pleading notes within a month

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: The District Court Kathmandu has issued an order to submit the pleading notes related to the case of cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane within a month. National cricket team member Lamichhane is accused of raping a minor.

            A single bench of Judge Keshav Prasad Ghimire today ordered the public prosecutor and the lawyers who pleaded on behalf of Lamichhane to submit their respective pleading notes within a month.

            Earlier, the court had sent Lamichhane to judicial custody, while the Patan High Court ordered him to be released on a bail of Rs 2 million.  Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had issued an order allowing Lamichhane to represent Nepal in tournaments held outside the country.

Chinese delegation calls on NA chair Timilsina

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: The visiting delegation led by Secretary of Communist Party of China Tibet Autonomous Region, Wang Junzheng, paid a courtesy call on Chairperson of National Assembly Ganesh Prasad Timilsina.

            During the meeting held today matters relating to the promotion of mutual interests, expansion of relations and cooperation between the two countries were discussed, according to the secretariat of the NA chair.

RSS contribution for quake survivors

            Kathmandu, Nov 9: National News Agency (RSS) has decided to provide financial support to help the Jajarkot quake survivors. Accordingly, the RSS office-bearers and employees have decided to donate funds to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.

            RSS employees from 10th level and above will donate their three days’ salary while officers up to the ninth level from six will contribute two days’ salary. Likewise, employees up of assistants and unranked level will contribute their one-day salary to be deposited into the PM’s fund, said RSS Executive Chairperson Dharmendra Jha.

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