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ICC U-19 World Cup Cricket: Nepal defeats Afghanistan

Published Date : January 26, 2024

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Defeating Afghanistan in today’s match of the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Cricket, Nepal entered the second round of the tournament.

            With the victory in the final match of the first round held at Buffalo Park, East London of South Africa on Friday, Nepal entered the Super-Six stage of the ICC U-19.

            Batting first, Afghanistan had posted a target of 146 runs against Nepal in 40.1 overs by losing all wickets.

            Nepal met the target of 146 runs by losing nine wickets in 44.4 overs. For Nepal’s victory, Captain Dev Khanal contributed 58 runs while Dipak Bohara made 27 and 16 runs from Akash Tripathi.

            In the match, Nepal’s Akash Chand alone took five wickets of Afghanistan and was declared the Player of the Match.

            With the entry into the Super-Six, Nepal will meet India and Bangladesh in the cricket ground in the second round.

Muglin-Pokhara road: Blacktopping using asphalt technology starts in west section

            Damauli (Tanahun), Jan 26: Blacktopping has started in the west section of Tanahun under the Muglin-Pokhara road expansion project.

            The Muglin-Pokhara road project (west section) has begun blacktopping the road from Shuklagandaki municipality-2, Haledi of the district under the Jamune-Pokhara.

            Road Section’s engineer and Information Officer Narayan Poudel shared that 420-meter one-way blacktopping was done first day on Thursday. According to him, the target is to blacktop the one-way five kilometer section by coming March 13.  He further shared that blacktopping will also be carried out from Jamune of Myagde rural municipality and Belchautara of Shuklagandaki municipality from today onward. “Now the work will be expedited and the blacktopping work will continue. Necessary human resource and equipment are ready”.

            In the first phase, only one-way blacktopping will be done and two-way will be taken ahead once the one-way work goes ahead, he said.

            The road project has taken forward the blacktopping using asphalt technology. Under the western section, the work from Jamun to Pokhara had started from 29 August 2021 after signing an agreement on 14 May 2021.

            The contract for the construction of the section was awarded to the Chinese Company, Yanhui Kaiyun Highway and Bridge Construction at a cost of Rs 7.40 billion. The deadline for completing the construction of the western section is August 2024.

            Shankar Panta, a local, said they have become optimistic after the blacktopping started. “The locals who were fed up with the dust and mud on the road are happy with blacktopping work making progress after a long time since the road expansion started,” he said.

            He further said they would also continuously monitor to ensure quality in the construction works.

            The work progress in the section of the Muglin-Pokhara road expansion project has been quite a slow.

            As shared, materials needed for blacktopping 20-km section in the western part has been arranged.

            Likewise, around 20-km section of the eastern section has already been blacktopped. The contract for the eastern section was awarded to the China Communications Construction. It has the deadline up to mid-May 2024.

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Co-operative branding turmeric after sugarcane and ginger

            Galkot (Baglung), Jan 26: A cooperative here has initiated multi-dimensional productions amidst widespread criticism that the cooperatives are not performing as per their objectives.

            The Baglung-based Simrik Agriculture and Livestock Commercial Cooperative Organization that has been producing sugarcane and ginger since past six years has initiated branding and marketing turmeric from this year onwards.

            The cooperative has been cultivating sugarcane by renting 10 ropanis of barren land in two areas of Kathekhola rural municipality-2, Bhimapokhara and two ropanis at Kundule in Baglung municipality-4 for the last three years.

            Similarly, it has been cultivating ginger in two ropanis of land in Titaure. The cooperative has been selling 20 quintals of sugarcane annually.

            This year, the cooperative has sold turmeric worth Rs 100,000 and distributed other seeds to the members, said Jagannath Sapkota, treasurer of the cooperative and a leading farmer of Kundule. “It has been two years since the cooperative started turmeric farming. We have started selling turmeric from this year,” he said, adding that the seeds distributed should be returned to the cooperative in the following year.

            The cooperative has been distributing ginger and turmeric seeds to most of the shareholders. The cooperative has been producing sugarcane, turmeric and ginger in three places, it was informed.

            Chairperson of the Cooperative Chudamani Upadhya said although the cooperative could not produce big volume it has focused on mobilizing members for small scale agro production, including turmeric.

            “We have a policy to encourage members in agriculture”, Upadhya said, adding, “The organization has started branding of diverse agro productions from this year”.  

Historic leap in eye treatment: Lens sparing vitrectomy of 29 week-old baby    successful

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: A lens-sparing vitrectomy (LSV) has been successfully performed at Nepal Eye Hospital, Tripureshwor.

            This is first-of-its-kind surgery performed at the hospital. Such complex surgeries are rare in Nepal.

            Due to retinopathy of pre-maturity (ROP) of the newborn, LSV is done on a condition of blood clot in the eye resulting obstruction to blood passage to the eye.

            There was a compulsion to go to India for such surgery cases. The successful performance of LSV surgery in the left eye of a newborn born, aged only 29 weeks, is a historic leap in eye treatment.

            The new born who was referred to the hospital underwent an eye surgery on last December 26, Dr Priya Bajgain, who led the complex surgery, said, “This is the first time that LSV surgery was performed on a baby with such a delicate age at Nepal Eye Hospital. The baby was brought to the hospital for follow-up on last Wednesday. I found improvements in both the eyes”.

            Under his leadership, the baby was treated with laser technology for ROP problem in the right eye. Dr Bajgain said, “After the successful treatment of the right eye with laser technology, the complicated surgery, LSV, was done in his left eye”.

            Dr Bajgain was accompanied by pediatric anesthesiologist Shanta Sapkota. It took more than an hour for retinal specialist Bajgain to perform the LSV surgery on the baby.

            “Such surgeries are of higher risks”, he said, adding, “But I tried my best to save the baby’s eyes, which was successful. It is also a delightful moment of my life”.

            At the time of birth, the baby weighed only 1,200 grams. The baby was treated in the NICU for 28 days after birth. After 34 days of birth, the baby was brought to the eye hospital for eye treatment while he was in the ICU.

            According to ophthalmologists, the ROP is of five stages when the blood vessels of the eye do not develop.

            Dr Bajgain said, “The baby was suffering from problems in both eyes due to low birth weight, pregnancy less than 34 weeks, oxygen therapy due to fluctuations in oxygen at birth, physical, jaundice and stomach problems. Babies born less than 34 weeks of pregnancy or less than two kilograms are at risk of blindness due to ROP.

            He is also involved in eye treatment of newborn babies born at Maternity Home Thapathali.

            Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Eye Hospital, Dharmaraj Gosain said that they have not charged any fee from the parents for the surgery and other treatment of the infant. “As per the policy of the Ministry of Health and Population, we are engaged in a campaign to make eye treatment services better,” he said.

            In the coming days, we will adopt a policy to further expand the services of the hospital, he shared.

            According to Santosh Poudel, medical records officer of the hospital, out of the 157,000 patients served by the hospital last year, 300 were children under 34 weeks of age.

TU, Chinese University sign cooperative agreement

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Tribhuvan University (TU) and the University of Electronics Science and Technology of China (UESTC).

            Acting Vice-Chancellor of TU Dr Shivalal Bhusal and Vice Chancellor of UEFA Zeng Yong signed the agreement at Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur on Thursday.

            Prof Chiranjibi Khanal, Head of the TU Central Department of Mass Communications and Journalism, and Professor Hanghong of UEFA are the witnesses to the agreement.

            Acting Vice-Chancellor of TU Bhusal expressed the belief that there would be close collaboration between the two universities in the coming days.

            UESTC representative Prof. Hang Hong said that he would extend all possible support in the field of study and research and said that knowledge and skills should also be exchanged. Prof Khanal, the initiator of the agreement, said the two universities have reached an agreement for long-term cooperation between the two universities.

            UESTC representative Prof. Hang Hong said that he would extend all possible support in the field of study and research and said that knowledge and skills should also be exchanged.

            Prof Khanal, who initiated the agreement, said the two universities have reached an understanding for long-term cooperation and the agreement would be useful to enable mutual interest and academic cooperation based on the principles of mutual equality and mutual benefit.

            With the agreement, scholars, researchers and teaching staff will be exchanged and students will also be exchanged. Workshops and seminars will be jointly organized. The MoU will be for a period of five years.

Devkota elected TURGAN new President

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Thaneshwor Devkota has been elected President of the Tourist Guide Association of Nepal (TURGAN).

            The 30th annual general meeting of the TURGAN concluded on Thursday night elected Devkota as its new Chairperson. He had defeated closest contender Kumar Puri.

            Tanka Prasad Duwadi, Rohit Kumar Phunyal have been elected as General-Secretary and Treasurer respectively while Prabha Laxmi Pradhananga, Shukadev Sigdel and Uttam Prasad Devkota were already elected to the post of Senior President, First President and Second President respectively unopposed. 

            Chief Election officer, Ramesh Khatiwada told RSS that Rajendra Bajracharya, Narayan Budhathoki, Ramhari Timsina and Saraswoti Ghimire were the members of the new working committee.

            Inaugurating the AGM, Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Deepak Kafle, urged tourist guides to disseminate positive message about Nepal in international arena, treating the foreign guests with good manners.

            The government has been giving special emphasis to the programmes of tourism promotion as the tourism sector is gradually reviving in recent period in Nepal, he shared.

‘Country’s development is possible with proper utilization of information and technology’

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has said the country could be developed through the proper utilisation of information and technology. Inaugurating the 20th National Technological Festival that started at the Pulchok Engineering Campus from today, she stressed on tapping the rapid development of information and technology for the country’s development.

            “The Cyber Security Policy, 2024 has been passed. There is lack of several laws in the information technology sector. The government shall devise the laws required for this sector. The country should be made self-reliant through the development of information technology,” she reiterated.

            Stating the government shall always extend cooperation for quality education and technology-related education, Minister Sharma asserted that the government is actively involved in producing human resources in the technical sector as well.

            The Communications and Information Technology Minister stated that Pulchok Engineering Campus is a ‘brand’ in itself and urged its graduates to pay attention to the country’s development after earning expertise across the globe.

            Tribhuvan University Vice Chancellor Shivalal Bhusal opined that not only studying but transforming what one has studied into skill set has become the international trend these days, and the students themselves organizing the technological expo is significant. He stressed that to be involved in the technological development and its use is important.

            Dean of the Institute of Engineering, Sashidhar Ram Joshi said Pulchok Engineering Campus is the outstanding institution for engineering studies and it was capable of competing not only at the national level but internationally as well.

            Campus Chief Dr Indra Prasad Acharya said the exhibition will run for three days. New IT-related devices and the use of IT in tourism, agriculture and health, among other sectors, are on display in the exhibition.

PM Dahal stresses on dialogue for world peace

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has laid emphasis on dialogue between the warring parties for upholding world peace. During the meeting with high-level delegation of UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, led by Izumi Nakamitsu, Prime Minister Dahal said Nepal is always in favour of the world peace, adding Nepal’s peace process has become an example for other countries in the world. 

            He stressed that dialogue is the only option for the world peace, adding, “Many areas of the world are still in very sensitive condition.  Incidents including Russia-Ukraine war and Israel and Hamas war have added challenges to the global peace. But we stress on seeking the solution to conflicts through dialogue.”

            The PM recalled Nepal’s remarkable role in different international forums for the establishment of peace in the world. Talking about the role played by Nepal from the position of leader of the least developed countries in the UN General Assembly, PM Dahal underscored that Nepal would always support in the UN’s efforts for establishing peace and play a leading role for the world peace.

            “The role United Nations has played for world peace and disarmament is laudable. We are with the United Nations in its every step and express our commitment to remain so in future as well,” he said.

            Under Secretary-General and the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Nakamitsu, said the office of the South Asia Centre on Disarmament Affairs has been set up in Nepal and the expectation is that Nepal will become a centre of peace in the South Asia region.

“The Centre has been established with the expectation that Nepal will become a peace centre amongst its nuclear-armed neighbours. It is expected that like in the past Nepal will play its role in support of regional and world peace in an effective manner,”

            On the occasion, Izumi also praised the role Nepal has been playing in the UN peacekeeping missions as the second-largest troops contributing nation. UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, Hanna Singer, the foreign affairs advisor to the Prime Minister, Rupak Sapkota, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other officials were present on the occasion.

Use of advanced technology in investigation stressed

            Morang, Jan 26: Koshi Province Chief Minister, Kedar Karki, has underlined the need of using advanced technology in the investigation process against crime.

             While inaugurating a three-day training on the use of scientific evidences in jurisprudence in the present society organised by the Office of Province Chief Attorney in Biratnagar today, the Chief Minister insisted on the need of  utilising innovation in the investigation so as to deliver fast and reliable findings.

            He also pledged that no budgetary constraint will be allowed in the investigation procedures.  Province Chief Attorney Rupesh Koirala and Prof Dr Harihar Wasti also underlined the need of making the citizen feel the presence of administration of justice. As he said, the investigation against crime be assisted by scientific technology.

            The training is attended by employees from high court and district courts, legal practitioners, medical doctors and investigation officials.

Indian Embassy in Nepal marks 75th Republic Day of India

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: The Embassy of India here has marked the 75th Republic Day of India today.At a programme organised at Kathmandu-based Indian Embassy, Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Naveen Srivastava inaugurated the programme by hoisting the national flag of India.

On the occasion, he extended best wishes to the members of the Indian diaspora in Nepal.

             A video clip of the address to the nation by Indian President Droupadi Murmu was also screened.   In the video message, the Indian President talked about the achievements gained by India in different sectors since the last Independence Day, including the G20 Summit chaired by India, and the Chandrayaan-3 mission.

            Similarly, the Indian envoy distributed Rs 50.7 million and blankets to wives of deceased army and their close relatives, and honoured them.   Reiterating his commitment to support Ex-Indian Gurkha soldiers, he unveiled a magazine Ex-2024 which comprises the welfare efforts undertaken by the Indian government for the Ex-Indian Gurkha soldiers residing in Nepal.

            The Indian Embassy also on the occasion gifted books worth Rs 1.9 million to 30 different organisations.

President receives annual report of Brigade of Gurkhas

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: British Army Lieutenant General and Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas, Richard Wardlaw OBE, today presented an annual report of the Brigade for the year 2023 to President Ramchandra Paudel.

            On the occasion, President Paudel said promotion of world peace, stability and independence are the collective goals of Nepal and the UK and combined efforts are necessary towards that end.  Terming the Gurkha Regiment as a tool to promote connectivity between Nepal and the UK, the President expressed his hope that the UK would response liberally to diplomatic efforts regarding the issues of ex-British armies and sort out the matter cordially.

            Presenting the report, Wardlaw said not only the UK but also the entire world has recognized the professionalism, dedication and competency of Gurkha armies and until British Gurkhas exist, they would serve as the best ambassador for the federal democratic republic Nepal. The report states that the Brigade of Gurkhas contributed significantly to make the world safe, and they continued to keep the prestige and effectiveness of Gurkhas intact despite international uncertainties. British ambassador to Nepal, Rob Fenn, was also present on the occasion.

Revenue collection of Sagarmatha National Park up by over 10 per cent

            Salleri (Solukhumbu), Jan 26:  Revenue collection has increased by more than 10 per cent at Sagarmatha National Park, Namche, in Solukhumbu.The revenue collection has gone up by 10 .54 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal year 2080/81 BS as compared to corresponding period of previous fiscal year 2079/80 BS.

            As per the data on revenue collection shared by the Park, it had collected Rs 62.32 million revenue from Saun (July 17 to August 17, 2023) to Push (December 17, 2023 to January 14, 2024) of the previous fiscal year. Similarly, Rs 69.67 million revenue was collected during the corresponding period of the current fiscal year, said Information Officer of the Park, Manoj Kumar Mandal.

            He shared that Rs 656,000 revenue was collected in the month of Saun, Rs 3.395 million in Bhadau (August 18 to September 17, 2023), Rs 21.054 million in Asoj (September 18 to October 17, 2023), Rs 31.227 million in Kartik (October 18 to November 16, 2023), Rs 10.143

            million in Mangsir (November 17 to December 16, 2023) and Rs 3.21 million in Push (December 17, 2023 to January 14, 2024) of the current fiscal year. Also the conservation officer of the Park, Madal added the highest Rs 66.67 million revenue on tourism heading, Rs 4.083 million revenue on forest fodder sales heading and Rs 2.5 million from penalty.

            According to the Park, total 28,390 tourists visited Sagarmath area in the current fiscal year. The Park has determined Rs 100 entry fee for Nepali citizen, Rs 1,500 for tourists of SAARC countries and Rs 3,000 for tourists of other foreign tourists.

Similarly, it charged Rs 3,000 for landing a helicopter there.

Finance Minister Mahat presses for digitalization of customs administration

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has underlined the need of digitalization of customs administration to enhance its effectiveness. Speaking at a programme organised to mark the 72nd International Customs Day here today, the Minister echoed the need of collective efforts to build a robust customs administration by applying available technology, international criteria and good practices in it.

            As he assessed, the customs administration is not motivated to use new innovations in the customs service.  It is necessary to give priority to the use of advanced technology in customs service for its effectiveness and transparency as well, according to the Minister. Department of Customs, Director General, Shobhakant Paudel, underlined the need of professionalism and integrity in customs service.

            He said the Department is ready to switch to paperless, faceless and contactless system in customs service by improving customs infrastructures. Revenue secretary Dr Ram Prasad Ghimire said the customs administration is not just a means of collecting revenues, its role is crucial to make domestic and foreign trade decent and systematic. He insisted on further improvements in the customs administration.

            Finance Ministry Secretary Dr Krishnahari Pushkar said the Ministry has accorded priority to the investment in customs administration. The Department is witnessing improvement in collaboration with the private sector, he said. Department former Directors General, Tankamani Sharma and Krishnahari Baskota, called for further systematizing customs administration, making it private-sector friendly. 

            Nepal Chamber of Commerce president Rajendra Malla and Confederation of Nepalese Industries president Rajesh Kumar Agrawal called for making the customs service in compatible with time with control of smuggling of goods. On the occasion, Finance Minister Dr Mahat launched the service for electric signature, inaugurated the customs museum and released the ‘Customs Souvenir’. On the occasion, former Director General Sharma was conferred with the ‘letter of honour’. Journalist Bhagawat Bhattarai of Setopati.com was honoured with the cash prize of Rs 15,000 in recognition of his contribution to the finance, revenue and management sector.

            Similarly, Department’s computer engineer Mohammed Raheem Ansari received the ‘best employee’ award.   On the occasion, the Department honoured 25 employees and eight customs agents.

Street traders announce phase-wise movement against KMC

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: The Joint Self-employed Street Traders Struggle Committee has announced a phase-wise movement against the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), putting forth a seven-point charter of demands.

            Organizing a press conference here today, the Committee declared that it will wage a protest movement from January 29 to February 11 under various phases. Accordingly, the Committee will hand over a memorandum to the KMC on January 29, will organize a sit-in and picketing along with public demonstration at the KMC office on January 30, will submit a memorandum to the Kathmandu District Administration on January 31, said Maya Gurung, the President of Nepal Self-employed Trade Workers Association.

            According to her, they will hand over memorandum to the Ministry of Home Affairs on February 1, to the Prime Minister’s Office on February 2, to the CPN (Unified Socialist) party on February 4, to the CPN (Maoist Centre) on February 5, to the Nepali Congress on February 6 and to the CPN (UML) on February 7.

            Likewise, the Struggle Committee will hold a protest demonstration with wider people’s participation, clanging plates with spoons and also picket the KMC office on February 11, said Kumar Sapkota, President of Nepal Independent Street Trade Workers Organisation.

            He said a seven-point demand has been submitted to KMC with the announcement of the programmes of protest.Returning the goods of traders seized by the KMC in different periods, making arrangement of goods in cheap price for the citizens by running ‘fair price market’, in all wards of KMC, allowing the entrepreneurs to run their business in the existing places by determining appropriate time until alternative arrangements are made, are the demands of the struggle committee.

            Similarly, the struggle committee demanded to initiate activities related to labour management by establishing labour desk at KMC immediately and to immediately form a high powered management taskforce under coordination of mayor and deputy-mayor comprising stakeholders including trade unions representatives associated with the struggle committee, said Chairperson of National Self-Employed Traders Association, Leela Bahadur Dahal.

            Gurung shared that they would announce additional programme of agitation if the bodies concerned did not pay any interest to address demands of traders, adding they have wanted a long-term solution by holding discussion.Similarly, Sapkota demanded that the KMC should bring self-employed street traders under the ambit of tax after managing the street business. 

            Although municipal police had expressed commitment to return the seized goods of traders, the traders have been returning empty-handed, said Chairperson Dahal.

Treasurer of Image Cooperative, Sunar, arrested

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Nepal Police has arrested Treasurer of Baglung-based Image Saving and Credit Cooperative, Laxmi Sen Sunar.

            The Crime Investigation Bureau of police arrested 27-year-old Sunar on the charge of her involvement in embezzling savings of depositors and made her public today.

Bureau Spokesperson, Superintendent of Police Nabaraj Adhikari said Sunar was arrested from Dhobighat of Lalitpur Metropolitan City-3 based on the complaints of victims.

            He shared Sunar has been handed over to District Police Office, Baglung, for necessary investigation against her. Eight people including Cooperative Chairperson Dev Kumar Nepali have been made defendants on the charge of embezzling the saving of depositors.

National Children Policy formulated to strengthen the child protection system

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: The government has prepared the National Children Policy, 2080 BS to strengthen the child protection system in the country.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens formulated this policy by reviewing the National Policy on Children- 2069 BS for addressing in a more sensitive and result-oriented manner the emerging new issues on child rights and protection in line with the change in the governance system and as per the national and international commitments.

            National Child Rights Council’s information officer Ram Bahadur Chand said that the Council is in need of a policy in consonance with the federalism and expressed the confidence that the policy will support the smooth mobilization of various bodies and non-governmental organisations working in the child protection sector.

            He said that the policy will facilitate in strengthening of the local level mechanisms by using the new approaches in child protection. It is stated that the policy will contribute to strengthening the child rights protection, promotion and child protection by systematizing the institutional structures of the three tiers of the government for providing protection to the children requiring special protection, children who are the victims of violence and harassment.

            The policy is also expected to help develop child-friendly services and behaviour and harmonize the plans and programmes related to children in the public, private, cooperative, NGO and community sectors.

            The policy has the vision of building children-friendly nation, ensuring the children’s rights. Its goal is to achieve the holistic development of children and to respect, protect and promote the child rights keeping in mind the supreme interest of every child.

ICC U-19 World Cup Cricket: Afghanistan posts 146 run target against Nepal

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: Afghanistan has posted a target of 146 runs against Nepal in the final game of group match under the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup Cricket Tournament.

            Winning toss, Afghanistan took to bat first. It lost all wickets in 40.1 overs in the match being played at Buffalo Park, East London of South Africa.

Bill related to renewable energy to be presented in parliament within month: Minister Basnet

Kathmandu, Jan 26: Minister for Energy, Hydro Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet assured that the bill related to renewable energy would be presented in the federal parliament within a month.

The incumbent government is going to present the ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Bill’ with the objective to address the changing circumstances and demands of the times in the field of alternative and renewable energies.

Addressing an event organized on the 27th anniversary of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre and the International Day of Clean Energy here Friday, Minister Basnet informed that 98 per cent households across the country had an access to electricity at present and works were taken forward to ensure cent per cent electrification within a year and half.

The government was making a planned and meaningful effort to encourage increase in domestic consumption of electricity for broader purposes, the Minister said, adding that high priority was attached on carbon trade.

He cited that the recently concluded COP-28 in the United Arabs Emirates had targeted to double the use and production of renewable energy by the end of 2030. Basnet further reminded that the government had always been addressing genuine demands of the private sector.

According to him, the incumbent government had also facilitated the private sector by putting in place policies, procedures, laws and acts for production and promotion of renewable energy. He urged the private sector should also clearly articulate its action-plans and emphasized quitting the tendency of putting demands but not walking the talk.

On the occasion, Member of the National Planning Commission, Prabhu Budhathoki, claimed that the government had made necessary legal and structural arrangements and had implemented overall development of the energy sector.

Alternative Energy Promotion Centre’s Executive Director Nawaraj Dhakal and other participants expressed their views on various dimensions of the alternative and renewable energy.

Various organizations and individuals contributing to the sector of renewable energy for over 20 years were honoured on the occasion.

Minister Gurung calls for focus on development

            Jhapa, Jan 26: Minister for Urban Development Sita Gurung emphasized that political parties should focus on development and construction works.

In a discussion with the stakeholders regarding handover of a public land to the municipality in Kakadvitta of Koshi Province on Friday, Minister Gurung reiterated that they should pay attention to the agenda of development and construction. The event was organized by Mechi municipality to hand over the ownership of 60 bigahas of land belonging to the National Residence Company to the municipality itself.

Stating that none should politicize development and construction, Minister Gurung stressed that political unity and cooperation in Koshi Province should become a model of the province.

On the occasion, Nepali Congress General-Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma urged the employees of the municipality to work confidently and pledged utmost cooperation from the political parties.

Municipality Mayor Gopal Budhathoki handed over the document containing all details of the land owned by the Company to Minister Gurung and requested the Minister for her positive intervention to resolve the land related issues at the earliest.

Mass communications bill respects free press: CM Pande

Gandaki, Jan 26: Chief Minister of Gandaki Province, Surendra Raj Pande, has said the government would not bring mass communications bill against spirit of free press and independent journalism.

During a programme organized by FNJ Kaski chapter here Friday, CM Pande assured that suggestions from journalism would be taken into account while passing the bill.

“Be sure, province government does not formulate law that ignores free press,” he said before the journalists. CM Pande further informed that report on final draft of bill was getting ready. It will be passed by the coming winter session of the parliament, Pande added.

According to him, journalism is facing a host of challenges in the wake of development and expansion of IT.

He shared information that province government had launched a plan for development of journalism in the province. Government had increased investment in fellowships to journalists, and public welfare advertisements.

Fire destroys property worth Rs 2 million in Sankhuwasabha

Kimathanka, Jan 22: Property worth Rs 2 million was reduced to ashes in a fire occurred at Limdusana of Makalu rural municipality-2 in Sankhuwasabha district on Friday.

The fire razed down a house of Phudorche Sherpa, said Chopal Sherpa, Chairperson of ward no 2, adding that fire perished all goods in the house.

The blaze raged all of sudden from the fire used for cooking last night. It destroyed jewelries, food grains, Rs 200,000 cash, and garments among others, informed ward Chairperson Sherpa.

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Snow leopard rescued from Morang made public in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Jan 26: The rare snow leopard which was rescued from Urlabari Municipality in the Tarai belt was made public in Kathmandu on Friday. The snow leopard is kept at the Central Zoo.

At a news conference, the Department of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and National Trust for Nature Conservation and the Central Zoo revealed the status of the wild leopard. 

Senior Ecologist at the Department, Shyam Kumar Shah, said presence of the snow leopard in the habitat site of Royal Bengal Tiger is a matter of research for the conservationists.

On the occasion, the conservationists said spotting the snow leopard at an altitude of 146 metres above the sea level was an unusual incident. Snow leopards inhabit in the mountainous region from Kanchanjangha in the east to Api Nampa in the west of the country. The male snow leopard was found hiding in a bamboo bush at Charghare, Urlabari on Tuesday.

The conservation officials and stakeholders had rescued the wild animal and brought it to the Central Zoo on Wednesday. The snow leopard limps on its front right limb and no wounds were seen in its exterior body parts.

The experts have said that a research bid has been initiated to study how the leopard reached the site in Tarai.

‘Nepal better investment destination for green economy’

Kathmandu, Jan 26: Finance Minister and Vice Chairperson of Investment Board Nepal (IBN), Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, has argued that Nepal is a better investment destination for green economy.

Minister Mahat said it during a workshop organized by IBN in collaboration with partner KPMG in India on ‘Unlocking Nepal’s Investment Potential: Collaborative Strategies for Economic Growth’, in Kathmandu on Friday.

“At a time when green investment has become a buzzword in recent days, there are not any better investment destination except Nepal as we emit insignificant and carry potential to serve clean and renewable energy to other countries of the region,” he asserted, adding that similar potentials are long awaiting to be unlocked in the sector of tourism, agri-business and ICT.

Moreover, the Minister shared that Nepal is pursuing fresh investments in every sector of the economy in view of untapped and underutilized potentials.

The investment promotion agency conducted the workshop as a pre-event of Nepal Investment Summit (NIS)-2024 which is proposed to be held on April 28-29 this year.

On the occasion, Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha, viewed the private investments are crucial for the sustainable and inclusive growth trajectory for the irreversible graduation of Nepal to the league of developing countries by 2026.

Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal underlined the prompt response based on feedback of the foreign investors investing in Nepal. The private sector is crucial to spreading the message among the potential investors that their investments in Nepal won’t be a loss, he reminded.

IBN’s Chief Executive Officer Sushil Bhatta mentioned that NIS 2024 would provide platform to onboard serious, potential and capable investors in our investment landscape. “With its serious efforts, the government has been reviewing various policies and laws to provide favourable and better investment climate for unleashing Nepal’s full potential in various sectors including development of strategic infrastructure in different sectors as clean transport, road, tourism, ICT, manufacturing and mining among others,” Bhatta explained.

Similarly, Nepal Rastra Bank’s Acting Governor Dr Neelam Dhungana Timsina shared information regarding the provisions of recently amended FDI and Foreign Loan Bylaws, which removed the provisions of pre-approval of the Central Bank to bring in FDI.

Chief Executive Officer of KPMG in India, Yezdi Nagporewalla, underscored that the success of this joint effort between IBN and KPMG delivered a commitment to fostering strategic partnerships and driving sustainable growth for Nepal. “The forthcoming Investor Summit is poised to provide potential investors with a comprehensive understanding of Nepal’s potential, empowering them to actively participate in the nation’s developmental goals.”

Moreover, he viewed KPMG, having been involved in successful implementation of many similar engagements across geographies, appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with Nepal govenrment. “We look forward to leveraging our extensive expertise and playing a pivotal role in the journey towards prosperity,” stated Nagporewalla.

The workshop delved into enhancing investment climate in Nepal through legal, procedural and regulatory reforms as well as the innovative approaches to facilitate private investments including Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to unleash the country’s full potential among the policy makers, private sector, development partners and experts.

Two persons held for their involvement in Hundi transactions   

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: The Nepal Police on Friday arrested 50-year-old Yubraj Prasain of Anamnagar in Kathmandu and Bishwas Rai, 30, of Sunsari, currently living at Bauddha in Kathmandu, for their alleged involvement in the Hundi transactions.

            Hundi, an illegal means of money transfer, is punishable in the country according to the Nepal Rastra Bank Act, 2058. Acting on a tip off, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police arrested the two. 

            Likewise, police seized Rs 3 million and 18,000 in cash, two laptops and five sets of mobile phones from Rai’s apartment.

            Police said that investigations have been initiated against Rai and Prasain on the offense.

            Meanwhile, police arrested Rijin Neupane, 24, of Tarakeshwor Municipality for collecting Rs 1.2 million from seven different persons luring them of jobs in Portugal.

Committee formed to probe TIA incident

            Kathmandu, Jan 26: The Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a three-member committee to look into the scuffle among the customs’ staffs and policepersons at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

            A team coordinated by Ministry’s Joint-Secretary Thaneshwor Gautam was formed to probe the incident that took place at TIA, Kathmandu on Friday.

            The team comprising Nepal Police’s Deputy Inspector General Rajeshnath Bastola and Immigration Administration’s Under-Secretary Kul Bahadur GC is tasked to present report within three days with recommendations.

Snow blankets Pathivara

            Phungling, Jan 26: The mountainous region of Taplejung district has been blanketed with snow.

            The important shrine in Taplejung, Pathivara, witnessed snowfall on Friday, according to locals. An employee at Pathivara area development committee, Rajendra Mahato, informed that it was the third time the Pathivara area recorded snow.

            Similarly, Tashi Sherpa from Ghunsa informed that Ghunsa, Phale, Olangchunggola, Yangla and other upper areas had snowfall. Yangla is the human settlement at the highest altitude-4,200 meter- in the district.

            Similarly, the border areas of Sankhuwasabha and Tehrathum districts as Tinjure, Milke, Jaljale also got snowfall.

            Although the snowfall brought brutal cold, the farmers have felt relief that the winter crops would thrive.

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