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EC makes necessary preparation for nomination for NA election

Published Date : December 28, 2023

Kathmandu, Dec 28: The Election Commission has made necessary preparations for the nomination on January 8 of candidates for the National Assembly election scheduled for January 25.

The EC has made clear about the documents to be submitted by the candidates for the nomination.

According to the EC Spokesperson, Shaligram Sharma Paudyal, the candidate should submit photocopy of Nepali citizenship certificate, document incorporating the name in the final name list of any rural municipality or municipality, voucher or receipt of Rs 10,000 deposit.

There would be 50 per cent discount in deposit money for the woman candidate as well as candidate from the Dalit, marginalized and economically poor community. The respective local level should write a letter saying the candidate is from poor background. 

The documents required for nomination include the an official letter of the selection of candidate from the party in the case of party candidate, the certified paper identifying the candidate as a person belonging to the Dalit community and issued by the rural municipality, municipality or any legally authorized body, in case of a person filing candidacy from the Dalit cluster.

Similarly, any person filing candidacy from the disabled group or minority community should produce the certified certificate of disability issued by the authorized body of Government of Nepal. A person filing candidacy from the minority community should include paper issued by the rural municipality, municipality or any authorized body as per the existing law certifying that the person belongs to the minority community.

Also to be included are the names of the persons proposing and seconding the candidature and certificate stating that the names of the electoral college comprising the member of the Province Council concerned or the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the rural municipality of the province concerned and the mayor or deputy mayor of the municipality, as well as their voter identity number.

The Election Commission stated that other documents to be included are the property details of the candidate, mentioning the house number, the place of residence and land, a self-declaration that the person has not been disqualified by any federal law, and also the self-declaration mentioning that the person has not occupied any post drawing salary or economic facilities from the government fund, except the political post to be filled from election or nomination.

The Commission stated that the person filing candidacy should produce the paper indicating the registration of resignation from the post that he/she has been holding if that person is holding any public post or elected position, as well as a copy of the letter issued by the Election Commission showing that the person had withdrawn his/her name from the closed list under the proportional electoral system of the last election to the Member of the House of Representatives or of the National Assembly.

The term of 19 members elected to the National Assembly and one member nominated to the Assembly by the President is terminating on March 3.

Koshi Province govt decides to present communication bill

Morang, Dec 28: The Cabinet meeting of the Koshi province government has decided to present a bill relating to communications before province assembly. The Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday evening took a decision to this regard.

Similarly, the Council of Ministers approved the work procedure on operation of the Shailaja Acharya Heart Disease Treatment Centre, 2080, according to Minister for Internal Affairs and Law, Shamsher Rai.

The province government also decided to request the federal government to hand over the province office of CTEVT and its constituent institutes to the province.

Moreover, the Cabinet meeting decided to present the fifth report of the National Inclusion Commission and the annual report of province government, 2079/80.

Present govt successful: NC publicity Chief

Bhaktapur, Dec 28: Publicity department chief of Nepali Congress, Min Bishwokarma, has argued that present coalition government’s one year in office was successful.

At an interaction organized at Rafat Sanchar Club here Wednesday, Bishwokarma claimed the present government had been successful to implement constitution, promote good governance, and expand foreign relations, which is better performance than that of the previous governments.

Passage of citizenship bill and introduction of various laws are equally important results, he underscored.

He however said, “Home Minister had said he would take stringent measures against corruption by opening files on it, but it is awaited. Economy has not improved as expected. So, these areas need attention and engagement.”

Bishwokarma said it was not party’s mistake to make minister to a person who had won election in Lumbini Province.

Remove limitation of land in agriculture: UML Vice Chair Pande

Jhapa, Dec 28: Vice Chairman of CPN UML and former finance minister Surendra Pande has said it is essential to remove limitation of land for commercial agriculture.

At a programme organized at Birtamod in the district on Wednesday, Vice Chairman Pande suggested the government that it created atmosphere for business and employment generation. “New thought and style is imperative to create business friendly environment. The limitation of land for agriculture-based industries must be removed,” he underscored.

As the land is plotted and split, cost in agriculture is rising with insufficient result. He urged the local levels to formulate law that prohibits leaving arable lands uncultivated.

Referring to India’s ban of rice export, the former finance minister viewed Nepal could take it as an opportunity to be self-reliant on rice. However, the increase in tourists’ arrival and India’s plan to purchase 10,000 MW electricity from Nepal in 10 years are positive indicators of economy, he observed.

It is good that foreigners have made Nepal their travel destination after Covid-19 subsided. The tourism business had earned Rs 19 billion in the fiscal year, 2020/21, which is now reaching nearly Rs 76 billion, according to him.

He further said there is potential of rise in cement and rod industries in Nepal.

Karnali festival whets policy debates

Karnali, Dec 28: The Karnali festival has whetted policy debates to foster development initiatives.

During the festival, issues surrounding agriculture, health, education, tourism, climate, literature, art, culture, infrastructure and economy in Karnali region are discussed to contribute to policy.

In the latest series of Karnali festival organized by Hriti Foundation at Birendranagar on Wednesday, Foundation’s Chairman Kamal Lamsal viewed the event helped foster discussion on public policy. 

The festival is also a campaign to change traditional thoughts and perception, he said, adding that a total of 184 speakers put forth their views in various sessions as part of the festival. The speakers included even the foreign experts, he informed.

Similarly, Foundation’s Executive Director Dinesh Gautam expressed belief that conduct of such event proved that national festival could be organized even in the mofussil. “It is a special programme on branding Karnali. The festival has helped in spreading knowledge on culture, education, health, sports, agriculture, and tourism in Karnali province,” he shared, adding that even the talents are identified and brought to light via this event.

The fifth edition of Karnali festival will begin after two months. Post-quake reconstruction, relief distribution, and government accountability will feature during the discussion, while investment conference and mobilization of budget are in the list.

During the latest event, the organizer was also suggested to begin discussion on Ayurved medication, flood culture, exodus of youths, innovative works, and research on Sinja Valley.


Gupha Pokhari water lifting project reaches final stage

Bhojpur, Dec 28: A water lifting project at Gupha Pokhari has reached final stage. Eighty percent works have been completed under the drinking water project.

The cost of the project being implemented by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office, Bhojpur, is around Rs 30 million.

The project was initiated in the fiscal year, 2077/2078. The development site is however located at Chainpur municipality-1 of neighbouring Sankhuwasabha district.

Division Office chief Devnath Singh informed that they had aimed at completing the project within this year.

The undertaking was launched in view of the touristy places as Gupha Pokhari, Suke Pokhari and Jor Pokhari. The people in these areas suffer much from shortage of drinking water. “We’ve prioritized this project to timely ensure water supply to the people here,” Singh said, adding that although the project did not gain pace as expected in the past, it reached the final stage now.

The locals would be handed over the undertaking by the end of this year.

Consumers’ committee chair Prakash Acharya shared information that construction of a tank, installation of electricity and expansion of 700-meter long pipe were over. For now, nearly 65 households from touristy area would benefit from the project and number of beneficiaries would increase gradually, according to him.

“Gupha Pokhari is a touristy area which witnesses arrival of thousands of tourists in season, but lack of drinking water was a huge setback. Even the settlements here had not expanded owing to deprivation of essential facility,” he said, expressing hope that the completion of project would contribute significantly to the locals and tourism promotion.

He also expressed happiness over the quick pace of project in recent days.

The project site is in a geographically remote area. After the Division Office got a new chief, the undertaking was accelerated, according to secretary of consumer committee, Santosh Limbu.

Even the locals are elated over the imminent completion of drinking water project. Earlier, they had to fetch drinking water after travelling for hours.

The project has now lifted up the water from Bhadaure stream located some 700 meters down from the Menchhyamphedi where tank is stationed.

Biting cold afflicts Musahar people

Madhyabindu (Nawalparasi), Dec 28: The Musahar community of Devchuli municipality-2 is suffering from biting cold with the dipping mercury.

There are nearly 113 Musahar households, which survive on daily wages. It is one of the most backward communities in the country.

Local Shanti Musahar said, “We have neither clothes nor food to brave severe cold.”

Her house is a hut-like structure. Door and windows have no furniture and left open round the clock. “Only option is sun basking. We sleep on straw. The husband has not got job either,” she shared the plight.

There are a lot of Musahars like Shanti who are bound to spend night with empty stomach. “It is difficult to manage food twice a day,” she wailed.

Similarly, Jitani Majhi, 65, said there no food grains nor clothes. “We’re deprived of foods and left hungry for long. As there is no work, it has been long we have not been able to manage evening meal,” she grieved.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Devchuli municipality, Hari Prasad Neupane, said his office would immediately manage warm clothes and food stuffs in the Musahar settlement. “Even some programmes are in the offing to elevate financial status of Musahar people,” he vowed.

Ministers from NC to report to CWC meeting of works they carried out 

Kathmandu, Dec 28: The Central Working Committee meeting of the ruling partner Nepali Congress (NC) will be commencing after a while.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at the party central office, Sanepa in Lalitpur at 1:00 pm today. NC Information, Communications and Publicity Department Chief, Min Bahadur Bishwakarma, said sitting ministers on behalf of the party are scheduled to apprise the central committee of works they executed as ministers.

The meeting is expected to discuss about the party’s plan to observe upcoming January 1 as the Reconciliation Day, and the preparations for the Mahasamiti Meeting. The National Assembly election announced for January 25 and the party’s ‘NC with Community’ campaign are also on the meeting agenda, Bishwakarma said.

Federalism creates awareness among people about their rights

Hetauda, Dec 28: Chief Minister of Bagmati Province, Shalikram Jammakattel, has said the federalism has created awareness among the people to demand their rights.

He said so while inaugurating a three-day interaction organised at Hetauda today. Stating that the commencement of federalism implementation is good, he stressed that there was no situation to be disappointed as local levels and provinces have still to get their rights mentioned in the constitution.

“The federalism created awareness about education, health, employment and development among the people,” stressed the Bagmati Province CM Jammakattel.

The programme was organised for level-wise rights and building a model of rights as per the situation, he added.

Similarly, Chairperson of National Federation of Rural Municipalities, Laxmi Devi Pandey, pointed out the need of implementing the rights immediately in letter and spirit along with distribution of powers as people could not feel about the three-tier government.

There would be development and excitement if province and local level implement the constitution being united, she mentioned.

Likewise, Chairperson of Municipal Association of Nepal, Bhim Prasad Dhungana, laid emphasis that the main sentiments of the federalism would be protected while implementing the achieved power and rights.

Kabilaspurigadhi in dire need of renovation

Bharatpur (Chitwan), Dec 28: Kabilaspurgadhi, the historic fortress of Bharatpur in Chitwan, is in dire need of renovation.

The structure, dating back to the Sen Dynasty, served as a summer capital for rulers until 1836 BS. Now, it stands in ruins, and historical facts and evidence surrounding it are on the verge of destruction without timely intervention, said former Bagmati Province Minister Bijay Subedi.

Subedi stressed the urgency to demarcate the original land area occupied by the structures and proposed the removal of additional structures built later. He is of the opinion of planting rhododendron trees inside and outside the fort to promote the people’s arrival to visit it. It should have proper transport facility for easy access of aspiring visitors. He proposed considering private sector involvement to establish hospitality services in the area.

Situated in the Mahabharat mountain range of Bharatpur Metropolis-29, the fortress is at an elevation of 1,184 meters above sea level, approximately 10 kilometers from Bhorle on the Narayangadh-Muglin road section. The fort is characterized by a sheer cliff to the south and hills to the east and west.

Ward Chair Surya Bahadur Gurung of Bharatpur Metropolis-29 pledged to initiate a renovation project for Kabilaspurgadhi, which was supposed to coincide with the Bharatpur Visit Year.

The progress was halted due to the suspension of the Visit Year, it is said. According to Gurung, the ward has allocated a budget for protection efforts this year, and preservation initiatives will be undertaken in collaboration with the province and federal governments.

Built by the then king of Palpa, Mukund Sen, as a security fortress, Kabilaspurgadhi remained in use long after the Sen Dynasty. The fortress features a conventional bunker, administrative building, a security post and so on.

Minister Gurung calls on leadership to walk the talk

Waling (Syangja), Dec 28: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Dhanraj Gurung has said the citizens are seeking change from the performance of leaders rather than from their rhetoric.

Addressing the inaugural programme of a free health camp organised by the Chapakot Municipality at Sankhar Health Post, Mohami, Chapakot Municipality -6 of Syangja today, he said, “Citizens should be given results through works and not speeches. It is necessary to pay attention to carrying out works to produce results as the leadership is tested through evaluation of their works.”

Minister Gurung maintained that Chapakot Municipality has shown that it is conscious about the health of its citizens by extending health services along with the specialists at every ward of the municipality.

The municipality has started carrying out health examination of citizens, reaching every ward of the municipality.

Mayor Dev Bahadur Khand said the free health camp has been initiated to extend accessibility to basic health services to the people at their place. Such health camp would be organised in all the wards of the municipality.

People will be provided with free health examination, video X-ray, ECG, family planning, eye checkup, dental checkup, lab and test for cervical cancer during the health camp, it is said.

Japanese Ambassador pays courtesy call on President Paudel 

Kathmandu, Dec 28: Japanese Ambassador to Nepal, Kikuta Yutaka, has paid a courtesy call on President Ramchandra Paudel.

During the meeting held at Sheetal Niwas today, President Paudel mentioned that the Nepali people have appreciated Japan’s unconditional respect for Nepal’s sovereignty, geographical integrity and independence. 

He also thanked the Japanese government for its continuous support in social and economic development sectors of Nepal since long, according to the Office of the President.

Similarly, Nepali Ambassador to Thailand, Dhan Bahadur Oli, took the oath of office and secrecy before President Paudel today itself.

Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud as well as high ranking officials of government of Nepal were present on the occasion.

PM insists on effective delivery of ministries, underlines to keep people’s hopes intact

Kathmandu, Dec 28: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the government should work seriously to keep people’s hopes intact.

During a meeting with the bodies affiliated with the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister pledged a quality change in government upcoming policies, programmes and the budget.

As he said, the responsible bodies should work diligently to uphold the people’s hopes and holding a position is irrelevant if effective delivery is not ensured. 

He took time to say that his address to the nation on Tuesday reflects the government roadmap for the upcoming fiscal year, pledging its full implementation.  

Stating that he will be reshuffling the Office of the Prime Minister today itself, the Head of the Government said the commencement of ministry-level discussions aims to strengthen the government performance. “The government and the Prime Minister are questioned if ministries fail to deliver effectively,” he said, urging ministers to take the matter seriously.

At the meeting, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Prakash Jwala, said the Muglin-Pokhara and Narayangadh-Butwal road projects have been implemented with top priority and the Nagdhunga tunnel construction works are underway at an expected pace.

He stressed the need of settling issues of payment dues to contractors.  The Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister is of the opinion of adopting a flexible process for resource management and ensuring sufficient budget for projects of national pride. He also underlined the need of an umbrella law or a high-level mechanism to address issues in the physical infrastructure sectors.

National Planning Commission Vice Chair Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha pledged to give top priority to the formulation of development acts while Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal said works are in progress to ease the payment procedures to contractors. Likewise, he shared about an increasing pressure regarding budget responsibility for roads and bridges.

Human error behind Yeti Airline’s plane crash: Report

Kathmandu, Dec 28:  The Yeti Airline’s aircraft crash that occurred in Pokhara on January 15, 2023 was due to human error.

The Investigation Commission formed after the air crash submitted the report today with this conclusion. The Commission formed under coordination of former Secretary Nagendra Prasad Ghimire submitted the report to Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sudan Kirati. It took eight months and three days for the Commission to carry out investigation and prepare the report.

The government had formed the five-member probe commission on the day of plane crash.

Retired captain of the Nepali Army, Deepak Prakash Bastola, retired Captain Sunil Thapa, aeronautical engineer Ekraj Jung Thapa and Joint-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane were the members of the probe commission.

Receiving the report, Minister Kirati directed the subordinate bodies to strictly implement the Probe Commission’s suggestions.

Government waiting for study report to respond Ncell share sale issue: Minister Sharma

Kathmandu, Dec 28: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has said the government is waiting for a study report to decide its further move regarding the Ncell share sale issue.

During the meeting of the Education, Health and Information Technology, House of Representatives, today, the Government Spokesperson said the study on this matter nears the final phase. Now the transactions of Ncell share have remained suspended and the Ministry has started preparations for revising the Telecommunications Act.

It may be noted that earlier the government formed the Committee to probe the Ncell share sale issue, viewing the sale procedure amiss. The five-member committee coordinated by former Auditor General Tankamani Sharma was formed by the Cabinet meeting on December 7 to investigate the matter about the sale of share of Ncell, the telecommunications service provider, based in Nepal.  The Committee has been directed to minutely study the matter and to submit the report within 30 days of its formation.

In the meeting, NTA Chair Purushottam Khanal said lack of uniformity between the Telecommunications Act, 2053 BS (1997) and the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, 2075 BS (2019) has led to confusions in the matter. The Company has not sought permission from the NTA for selling its shares which is mandated by the law, he said.

Company Registrar Office’s deputy-registrar Tok Bahadur Bista said the investigation into the matter is underway.

Committee members Sumana Shrestha, Chhabilal Bishwakarma, Deepa Sharma, Tosima Karki and Badri Pandey objected to the issuances of separate directives regarding the Ncell share sale issues without inter-committee coordination. It may cause the problem of duplication by inspecting the matter forming a separate committee when a relevant regulatory body exists there, they said.

The Public Account Committee, the Finance Committee and the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the parliament have already discussed about the handover of 80 percent ownership (share) of Ncell owned by Malaysian Axiata Group to the UK-based Spectrolite Ltd.

Schools in upper Mugu closed for a month over increasing cold

Mugu, Dec 28: The Mugum Karmarong rural municipality in Mugu has decided to close schools in Upper Karan area for a month due to increasing cold.

According to rural municipality Chair Chhiring Kyapne Lama, the month-long winter vacation beginning from the last week of December been given at schools at around a dozen of settlements in highlands such as Serog, Dolfu, Takha, Khari, Kartik Kimri, Chitai, Mugu, Pua and Daura.  The vacation will end on January 29.

The local representative said, “Temperature in upper part of Mugu is plummeting and we have decided to close the schools to send students indoor, preventing from biting cold.” It is said development endeavors and other government services here are to be affected for a month due to cold. 

People of upper settlements have started coming downhill’s to escape the cold.

More than 100,000 volunteers prepared for disaster management

Kathmandu, Dec 28: The government of Nepal has readied 100,446 volunteers in federation, provinces and local levels for disaster preparedness, management, search, rescue, relief and rehabilitation.

In today’s meeting of the Delegated Management and Government Assurance Committee, Home Secretary Dinesh Bhattarai shared that Volunteer Management Information System has also been developed to identity and mobilize volunteers along with increasing participation of local communities.

He mentioned, “Arrangement of necessary resources has been made for the capacity building of bodies involved in disaster management in order to make rescue and relief to disaster affected people effective.”

Bhattarai further said specification has been prepared for multi-purpose firefighting and modern fire brigade in all provinces for disaster rescue and management, stating that arrangement of a multi-seater ambulance and 100 fire pumps have been made in each province for disaster reduction.

Committee President Maya Prasad Sharma said although there was no problem in rescue in earthquake-hit Jajarkot district, construction of houses has been delayed.

He urged the concerned Ministry to construct the houses for earthquake-affected people soon as new mothers and senior citizens living under tarpaulin have been losing their lives due to cold.

Similarly, Committee members Madan Kumari Shah and Narpati Luhar opined that disaster victims are deprived of getting relief in lack of laws.

PM directs Industry Ministry to prioritise startup businesses target to youths

Kathmandu, Dec 28: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has directed the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies to carry out works giving high priority to the startup businesses targeting the youth.

In a discussion related to the Ministry of Industry held in Singha Durbar today, the PM instructed the Ministry to run business promotion campaign in all seven provinces through the ‘Business Incubation Centre’ for motivating youths with innovative ideas and zeal towards entrepreneurship.

“Please prepare a special plan for linking the innovative ideas of at least 20 thousand youths to the production of goods and services and for managing ‘job meter’ for measuring the self-employment, startup and the employment created by various enterprises by mobilising the Startup Fund,” the Prime Minister directed the Ministry.

Stressing on the need of making the diplomatic missions of the Government of Nepal focussed on promoting industries and commerce, he directed the bodies concerned to move ahead by preparing the required plan, mechanism and programme to that end.

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Ramesh Rijal, shared that there were obstructions in operating the determined programmes due to the paucity of fund allocated for the promotion of industries and businesses, stressing on the need of seeking an integrated solution to this problem from the government side.

Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal directed the Ministry to implement the topics covered in the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Tuesday by preparing an action plan. He said from now on the evaluation would be done on the basis of ministry-wise data. The Chief Secretary also instructed the Ministry Secretaries to carry out works giving priority to areas declared as industrial zone.

Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi, made a presentation on the condition of the ministry, status of progress and on challenges and upcoming programmes.

On the occasion, he underscored the need of alignment among the new policies, plans programmes and budget, saying that the programmes were in scattered condition due to the lack of inter-agency coordination and integration of policies. He added that the Ministry was focussed on entrepreneurship promotion, upgrading of small, cottage and micro enterprises, development of industrial and trade infrastructures, capacity building of employees and innovative programmes.

Secretary Duwadi stressed on advocating for promotion of Nepal’s industries and commerce in the bilateral and multilateral forums. He said the concept of Startup Business with the slogan ‘Rise Up Nepal Campaign’ has been brought for promoting entrepreneurship among the youth.

He further said that deadline should be fixed for the environmental impact assessment and suggested integrating the programmes implemented in the name of Prime Minister and operating the fair-price shops round the year.  Preparations have also been done for checking market inflation, he added.

National Planning Commission vice-chair Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha, member Dr Ram Kumar Phuyal, Finance Secretary Krishnahari Puskar, Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister Ek Narayan Aryal, among other officials, put their views on the occasion.

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