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Agriculture warrants proper attention: Lawmaker Prem Suwal

Published Date : February 27, 2024

Kathmandu, Feb 27: Leader of Nepal Workers and Peasant Party (NWPP), Prem Suwal, asserts that country’s economy would not thrive as long as the agriculture is ignored.

Suwal, who was elected as a member of the House of Representatives from constituency no 1 of Bhaktapur district, expressed worry over sheer indifference to the issues raised at parliament for farmers and agriculture development.

“Agriculture must be prosperous. Why didn’t Finance Minister speak about priority to agriculture while planning next budget? Although agriculture is a pillar of economy, it is ignored,” he said, warning of declining strength of the country if it continued.

Suwal feels the national economy is dwindling in multi-party system and republic. Once the agriculture is given proper attention, it would help prevent exodus of youths.  “State has not paid heed to job creation, and upliftment of industrialists. It is mute spectator to youth exodus. There is no noticeable plan to address youths’ despair,” he showed concern.

He argued that he was raising people’s agenda in the parliament. “My voters are happy to see my active presence in the parliament. I voice their concerns and country’s problems,” Suwal shared.

Suwal, who has active participation at HoR meeting and the parliamentary committees, reminds the fellow HoR members to speak for citizens’ rights. He demands clear response by the concerned ministers when HoR members inquire on health, education, employment and development works.

However, he finds unaccountability of government agencies, for they are not addressing well the issues the lawmakers put forth in the parliament and committee meetings.         

According to him, parliamentary practice is weak in Nepal. “Parliament is not running as per parliamentary system, but it witnesses mere confrontation between ruling and the opposition,” he observed.

The NWPP lawmaker wonders why the political parties differ in economic policy and issues of foreign affairs.  NWPP does not hanker after power, but work for people and country. “We are vibrant opposition. We constantly make aware the ruling parties,” he reminding, adding, “Democracy is not keeping tiger and goat in same place. If they are kept in same enclosure, tiger preys the goat.”    

02-       NAMD marks music maestro Gurung’s 86th birth anniversary

Kathmandu, Feb 27: The Nepal Academy of Music and Drama (NAMD) marked the 86th birth anniversary of music maestro Ambar Gurung by organizing a programme here Monday.

Noted musician Gurung, the first Chancellor NAMD, was the composer of national anthem. 

In the programme, NAMD Chancellor Nisha Sharma said musician Gurung’s role is unforgettable. “NAMD is effortful to realize the Nepali orchestra as dreamt by the late Gurung,” she informed.

Chancellor of Nepal Academy, Bhupal Rai, viewed the late Gurung as a versatile personality. “Limiting him only as a composer of the national anthem would be inappropriate, for he was the shining star in music firmament,” Rai observed.

Senior singer Sangita Pradhan sang ‘Kati samhalu chotharu’, while Kunti Moktan ‘Ukali chaddha pasina puchhne’, and Bishnu Adhikari ‘Mero yo geetma jun murchhan’ in memory of the late Gurung.

The programme was attended by noted musicians including Deepak Jungam and Shyam Prakash Tamota, NAMD members, and music lovers.

03-       Magar Unity Day being observed today

Madhyabindu (Nawalparasi), Feb 27: The 42nd Magar National Unity Day is being observed across the country today. The Magar community is celebrating the Day with fanfare.

Various programmes are scheduled at different places of Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Sustapurba) where there is dominant presence of Magar people. The district chapter of Nepal Magar Association is conducting a local level programme, according to Association’s Vice Chair, Indra Phalmagar.

Even the Magar associations abroad will be organizing programmes on this occasion. “The Day bears significance to preserve indigenous culture as songs and dances of Magar people. New generation needs informed transfer of language and culture, to which the Day counts,” he added.

The latest census has recorded the population of Magar people at 2.13 million in Nepal. It is 6.9 percent of the total population.

All eight local levels in the district have given public holiday on this occasion. The local levels issued notices to inform the public about holiday. There four rural municipalities and four municipalities in the district.

Falgun 15 is observed as the Magar National Unity Day every year in memory of the establishment of the Nepal Magar Association which advocates for the rights of Magar people.

04-       Network of deputy chairs demand revision on bill designed to amend Local Government Operation Act

Kathmandu, Feb 27:  A network of deputy chairs at local levels in the Kathmandu Valley has demanded revision in the bill designed to amend Local Government Operation, 2074.

An urgent meeting organized by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City showed concern over the draft of the amendment bill published by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. It is published for feedback.

The network has decided to study the draft bill and submit suggestions for revision to the ministry. The ministry has been asked to send the draft bill to all local levels.

The network meeting hosted by Chandragiri municipality also decided to introduce its own logo. The Madhyapur Thimi municipality has planned to host the next meeting of the network.

Mayor at Chandragiri municipality, Ghanashyam Giri, said time has come for the local levels to work together on revenue collection, garbage management, traffic management, drinking water, infrastructure, education, and health. Integrated approach could help resolve pressing problems in a sustainable manner, he underlined. 

“Such meetings are useful to build common understanding on the points for revision in the draft bill designed to amend Local Government Operation Act, 2074,” he added.

On the occasion, Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Sunita Dangol, complained that the bill was not received at KMC yet.

Deputy Mayor of Chandragiri municipality, Basanti Shrestha, viewed the network needs another meeting to sort out the issues in the draft bill.

In the meeting facilitated by Chief Administrative Officer in the municipality office, Hemraj Aryal, former secretary of Nepal government, Dr Gopi Krishna Khanal, provided orientation on revenue management at local level. He suggested expanding tax remit rather than increasing tax.

05-       CPN (US) to launch awareness drive in Tanahu

Damauli, Feb 27: The CPN (Unified Socialist) Tanahu district chapter has decided to conduct a two-month awareness campaign in the district.

The 10th full meeting of the party held on Monday took a decision to organize the two-month awareness campaign from March 14.

Publicity department chief in the district, Gajindra Raj Pantha, informed that the party was for the awareness drive in a bid to reinforce party organization by bringing together the party cadres. “Various sorts of programme will be held at all 85 wards for the campaign,” he informed, adding that it would help cement party organization.

Standing committee member of the party, Tul Bahadur Gurung, spoke on the current politics and party principles. He stressed strengthening current political alliance and making government accountable to public.

Other leaders were also for cementing the existing political alliance.

06-       CM Yadav appeals to development partners to work in coordination

Mahendranagar (Dhanusha), Feb 27: Chief Minister of Madhes Province, Saroj Kumar Yadav, has appealed to the representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations to work in coordination with province government.

At an interaction organized on ‘cooperation with development partners and future course’ here Monday, CM Yadav viewed coordination yields better results and fosters harmony.

On the occasion, Minister for Physical Infrastructure Development, Krishna Prasad Yadav, opined that stationing development partners only in Kathmandu was not proper.

Finance Minister Sanjay Kumar Yadav said country can not be prosperous if Madhes is left in poverty. He accused the INGOs of failing to deliver sensitively.

Vice Chair of Province Policy Commission, Nathu Prasad Chaudhari, suggested working in unison to ensure better achievements.

A representative from INGO, Pramit Adhikari, however said it was comfortable to work in Madhes Province.

07-       Udaypur people demand medical college at Katari

            Katari, Feb 27: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has been submitted a memorandum, demanding establishment of a medical college at Katari municipality.

            PM Dahal was handed over the memorandum on Monday, reminding him the government’s commitment to set up a medical college in each province. For Koshi Province, they suggested Katari as best place.

            An all-party delegation reached PM’s office and submitted the memorandum. Handing over the letter, Mayor of Katari municipality, Rajesh Chandra Shrestha, said, “A study team formed by the Education Ministry has already conducted a study at Katari-3. From viewpoints of geographical location, population and proximity, Katari municipality is appropriate place to have a medical institution.” 

            On the occasion, PM Dahal responded that he was positive to the demand they made, according to Mayor Shrestha.

            The delegation had also submitted the attention letter to Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Ashok Kumar Rai, for the same cause.

            It is learnt that the lawmakers from Sindhuli, Okhaldhunga, Khotang and Solukhumbu districts have also supported the bid.

08-       Bagmati Province Assembly meeting taking place today

            Makawanpur, Feb 27: The Bagmati Province Assembly is convening here today.

            According to Krishna Hari Khadka, Chief Secretary of the Bagmati Province Assembly, the session will take place at Province Assembly Secretariat at 3 PM.

            Chief Secretary Khadka shared that the leaders of ruling parties and opposition parties will address the meeting and present some bills.

            An all-party meeting is also scheduled for today itself prior to the Province Assembly meeting, he informed.

            Although a consensus was forged in the previous all-party meeting to proceed with the parliamentary proceedings, the ruling parties and opposition are yet to reach an agreement on certain issues.

            Today’s all-party meeting will discuss the same issues and try to reach an agreement, he said. The Bagmati Province Assembly meeting has not taken place since October 9 last year.

            The Province Assembly meeting in the Bagmati Province has been adversely affected due to dispute among the political parties.

09-       Former PM and Chinese Ambassador hold courtesy meeting

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: A courtesy meeting was held between CPN (Unified Socialist)’s senior leader and former Prime Minister, Jhalanath Khanal, and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, today.

            The two met at the former’s residence in Dallu of Kathmandu this morning.

            During the meeting, they discussed cotemporary political issues, matters of mutual interests and various issues relating to Nepal-China relations, said Dr Shankar Khatiwada, secretary at the International Department of CPN (Unified Socialist).

10-       Mortal remains of Acharya at NAMUDA for last tributes

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: The mortal remains of veteran singer and composer, Bhaktaraj Acharya, have been placed at the Nepal Academy of Music and Drama since 11:00 am today for individuals to pay their last tributes to him.

            Kushma Mahara, the Academy’s member-secretary, said that people from various walks of life, particularly those from the music field, have gathered at the Academy to pay homage to the renowned singer, who passed away on Monday at the age of 82.

            Scheduled to visit the Academy are Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, Sudan Kirati, along with other senior government officials, to bid final adieu to the singer honored with the title of ‘Bhajan Siromani’ in Nepal’s musical realm.

            Academy Chancellor Nisha Sharma expressed sorrow over passing away of Acharya, stating that with  his demise, the musical sector of Nepal has lost a towering personality, and the void created is irreparable.

11-       Acharya’s contribution will guide music industry for long: PM Dahal

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the contribution of veteran singer and composer Bhakta Raj Acharya to the field of music will inspire and guide the country’s music industry for long.

            Dahal who visited the Nepal Academy of Music and Drama today to pay his tributes to the late singer emphasized the significant contribution of Acharya to the music industry.

            He extended heartfelt condolences to the grieving family.

            The mortal remains of the renowned singer have been placed at the Academy since 11:00 am today for individuals to pay their last tributes to him. His last rites will be performed at the Pashupati Aryaghat today itself, it is said.

            Kushma Mahara, the Academy’s member-secretary, said that people from various walks of life, particularly those from the music field, have assembled at the Academy to pay tributes to the renowned singer, who passed away on Monday at the age of 82.

            Acharya’s two sons: Satyaraj and Swaroop Raj are also in the music industry. Born in Dhankuta in 1999 BS, the late Acharya has made significant contributions to over 400 songs.

12-       Dhakeri draws domestic tourists

            Ranjha(Banke), Feb 27: Dhekeri area of Rapti Sonari Rural Municipality of Banke is becoming a popular tourist spot among the domestic tourists lately with development of infrastructures and maintenance of twin gardens.

            The Dhakeri Botanical Garden and Rimna Community Garden are becoming the centres of attraction among the visitors especially nature enthusiasts due to serene environment and aesthetically pleasing landscape the gardens offer.

            Hundreds of tourist visit twin gardens here on a daily basis, said Bishwaraj Khanal, a local leader. “Visitors mostly flock to garden on Saturdays and other public holidays.”

            Over 450 species of plants are being conserved in the Dhakeri Botanical Garden spanning across five hectares. Established in 1996 as the first botanical garden in Banke, the garden has been an attraction for botany researchers and students interested in botany or horticulture.

            Major attraction of the Dhakeri Botanical Garden are plants such as Cutch, Black Plum, Ceylon Oak, Kumkum tree forest, sandalwood and Blackboard tree among others.

            Visitors coming to visit the botanical gardens get to treat themselves with the local delicacies that the hotels in Dhakeri market offer. Basic to well-equipped hotels are in operation in Dhakeri market, added Bharat Khadka who runs a homestay in the locality.

            Local tourists from Kohalpur and Nepalgunj throng Dhakeri market usually on Saturdays to savor local delicacy cooked from local chicken, he added. 

13-       Ten including senior Deputy CEO of Prabhu Bank arrested

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: A team of Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested 10 people including senior Deputy CEO of Prabhu Bank, Manoj Neupane, today.

            They were held on the charge of misappropriation of loan, said SP Hobindra Bogati, Spokesperson in the CIB. SP Bogati confirmed, “We have arrested 10 people. Investigation is underway. We will make public their names once investigation is conducted.”

14-       Tri-nation T20 series: Nepal defeated by Namibia

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Nepal lost an opening match held today under the triangular international Twenty20 series against Namibia by 20 runs.

            Chasing a target of 207 runs posted by Namibia, Nepal could score 186 runs in 18.5 overs at the loss of all wickets.

            For Nepal, Dipendra Singh Airee top-scored with 48 runs, including two fours and two sixes in 32 balls. Captain Rohit Kumar Paudel contributed 42 runs with three boundaries and three sixes.

            The partnership between Captain Paudel and Kushal Malla for the third wicket was noteworthy, as they accumulated 57 runs in just 28 balls, with Malla contributing 32 runs.

            Similarly, Gulshan Jha scored 12 runs, while Asif Sheikh and Vivek Yadav made six runs each. Sundeep Jora scored five.

            Namibia’s Ruben Trumpelmann took four wickets, while Bernard Scholtz, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Jan Frylinck claimed two wickets each.

            Prior to this, Namibia chose to bat first after winning the toss at Kirtipur-based Tribhuvan University (TU) Cricket Ground. It scored 206 runs in 20 overs, losing four wickets.

            Namibia’s Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton played an exceptional inning, scoring a century in just 33 balls. He made 111 runs off 33 balls, including 11 fours and eight sixes.

            With this, Eaton also broke the record previously held by Nepal’s Kushal Malla for the fastest hundred in T20 internationals.

            Malla had achieved this feat by scoring a century in 34 balls against Mongolia in the 2023 Asian Games.

            Similarly, Malan Kruger was not out with 59 runs including  four fours and two sixes in 48 balls.  Michael van Lingen made 20 runs, and JP Kotze contributed 11 while Captain JJ Smit contributed one run.

            Towards the bowling , Nepal’s captain  Paudel took two wickets, while Karan KC and Abinash Bohora claimed one wicket each.

            Nepal and the Netherlands will be meeting at 11:30 am tomorrow for the next match.

15-       CPN (Maoist Centre)’s Standing Committee meeting: Leaders voice that party should claim stake on NA Chairperson post

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: A majority of the party leaders attending CPN (Maoist Centre)’s Standing Committee meeting today viewed that the party should claim its stake on the National Assembly’s (NA) Chairperson post since it was the largest party in the NA.

            Talking to media persons at party’s central office at Parisdanda today following the meeting, party’s Vice-Chairperson and Spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota shared that most of the party’s leaders opined that the CPN (Maoist Centre) should not drop the NA Chairperson post because it is the largest party in the NA.

            The post is lying vacant from coming March 3.

            In the meeting, leaders expressed their views on latest political developments and contemporary issues of the country, Speaker Sapkota said.

            Today’s meeting ought to decide on designating responsibilities to the leaders. No decision was taken on the same. However, discussions were held on the various alternatives for allocations of roles among the party leaders, according to Speaker Sapkota.

            The upcoming meeting of the Committee on Wednesday will decide to this effect, he added.

            Although today’s meeting deliberated on the party’s Terai-Madhesh Campaign to be launched from 14 March and other plans and programmes, no concrete decisions were taken today, informed Sapkota.

            Participants also discussed about coalition partner Nepali Congress’s recently held Mahasamiti meeting, the reports endorsed in the meetings and views expressed in the meeting, said Sapkota.

            Standing Committee is meeting again on Wednesday. Party Chairperson and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is scheduled to address the meeting. Although the meeting was scheduled to conclude today, it has been postponed for tomorrow due to PM Dahal’s busy schedule, it is said.

16-       Govt to succeed if education and health sectors prioritised: Minister Basnet

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Minister for Health and Population, Mohan Bahadur Basnet, argued that the government would be successful if it could pay attention to education and health sector.

            Addressing a programme at the Ministry of Health and Population on the occasion of Health Service Day-2080 BS today, Minister Basnet asserted that the constitutional rights of every citizen to get basic healthcare services from the State should be guaranteed.

            Opining that no impoverished people be deprived of healthcare services in lack of money, the Minister argued that the needy and impoverished people should be able to avail treatment if even they do not have money.

            He shared that the deputation of some 800  employees working under the Ministry of Health and Population were scrapped and they were sent to local levels under the employee adjustment process.

            He claimed that ever since the treatment services of VVIP was initiated in the Bir Hospital, those in high-ranking posts have ceased flocking abroad for medical treatment.

            The Minister shared that discussions were underway to add 30,000 new vacancies under the Ministry as there was no recruitment sine 2054 BS.

            Similarly, Dr Roshan Pokharel, Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, called for introducing the Integrated Healthcare Service Act to expand health sector.

            He spoke of the need to appraise the provincial government and local level about the Security of the Health Workers and Health Organization Act to ensure security for health workers.

            On the occasion, five healthcare service providers were feted for their outstanding performance.  Senior ANM Babita Bista from Darchula Hospital was honoured with the Best Health Service Award carrying a purse of Rs 100,000.

            Similarly, Dirgha Bahadur Nepali working in Kalikot district, Kiran Kumari working in Bara district, Dr Keshar Bahadur Dhakal working in Surkhet district and pharmacy inspector Susma Thapaliya were feted with the Health Service Award and Rs 50,000 cash prize each.

17-       IED explosion in Bara: death toll reaches three

            Bara, February 27: The death toll from an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Nijgadh municipality-7, Bara has reached three

            The District Police Office, Bara, reported that the latest casualties are Rakesh Jayasawal from Gawahi, India, and Ritu Rajat from Birgunj metropolis-9, Parsa. Those injured in the incident are currently receiving medical treatment at Bayodha Hospital in Birgunj, according to Office Spokesperson Dadhiram Neupane.

            Earlier in the incident occurred on Monday in the Rohit Worship, its owner Resham Jarga Magar of Nijgadh municipality-9 died on the spot.

            One Raj Jaisawal visited the worship asking for the removal of copper attached to the object and the explosion occurred during the process of separating the metal from it.

            In connection with the incident, the police have apprehended some individuals on suspicion of their involvement in the incident. Firod Devan from Birgunj metropolis-9 and Ariban Shah from Gadhawa, India, have been arrested, as confirmed by Spokesperson Neupane.

            Likewise, Raj Jaisawal and his spouse Sushiladevi Jaisawal are also under arrest for further investigation. As police said, they are investigating the incident.

18-       Minister Sharma urges private sector to prepare IT sector plan and projects

            Kathmandu, Feb 27:  Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has appealed with the private sector to remain prepared with plans and projects in IT sector for the upcoming Investment Summit.

            The Minister said so in a meeting with the representatives of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries’ IT Council, the American Chambers of Commerce in Nepal and Nepal Association for Software and IT Services Companies.

            According to her, it was necessary to present the investment plans and programmes in the IT sector in the as in other sectors in the Investment Summit and urged the entrepreneurs to come up with project and plans in IT sectors.

            Underscoring the need for setting up Project Bank in the IT sector, Minister Sharma requested the private sector to furnish suggestions on what can be done in the IT sector regarding government’s policies, programme and budget.

            According to her, although the government had adopted digital transformation as its strategy since the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework, in lack of common vision towards IT sector there was no conducive environment for investment in IT sector.

            Thus, she emphasized forging common understating towards IT among government and private sector and at people’s level. “There should not be delay in identifying investors and human resources in IT sector,” she said, calling for cooperation from private sector to ensure prosperity in the country through digital transformation.

            The Minister informed that laws on IT and cyber securities were in the offing.

            Similarly, the representatives pressed for creating an enabling environment to attract huge investments in IT sector.

            Indicating towards tremendous possibilities of the country’s IT sector, they also drew the attention of the Minister towards formulation of necessary laws and develop infrastructures accordingly.

            Calling for common understanding among the government agencies regarding IT and start-up enterprises, they pledged their cooperation to the government to foster country’s IT sector.

19-       Quake-hit local levels declared crisis-affected zone           

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: The government has declared crisis-affected zone to the local levels hit from the earthquake happened in November 3, 2023 with its epicenter in Jajarkot district.

            A meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Monday took a decision to declare the quake-battered sites as the crisis-affected zone, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma shared on Tuesday by organizing a news conference at the Ministry of Communications and Information.

            Likewise, the cabinet meeting decided to provide Rs 1 million in economic assistance to the family of Jay Shankar Sah of Barhathawa Municipality-6 in Sarlahi district, who was killed in a police firing following a demonstration over the upgradation of primary health centre to the province hospital.

            Likewise, the meeting approved the visit of Finance Minister and Finance Secretary to the United States of America to take part in the Second Meeting of the International Development Association (IDA) and at a meeting on Upper Arun Hydropower Project to take place in Washington DC from March 14 to March 22.

            Similarly, the Council of Ministers approved the visit of Election Commissioner Ram Prasad Bhandari to Russia to monitor the presidential election there scheduled for March 17 and attend the ‘Electoral Sovereignty and International Standard Conference’  being held on March 15 and 16.

            Minister Sharma said that an approval has been given to the Foreign Secretary-led Nepali delegation to take part in the Asia Economic Dialogue 2024 to be held on February 28 and 29 at Pune of India and hold bilateral meeting with Indian External Secretary.

            The cabinet meeting also approved the visit of Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Sarat Singh Bhandari-led Nepali delegation to take part in the Career Fair to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on March 2.

            Likewise, the Council of Ministers approved the UK visit of Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City Renu Dahal from March 3 to March 12 to receive the Political and Public Life Award. 

            According to Minister Sharma, who is also the government spokesperson, the cabinet meeting also approved the US visit of Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City Chiribabu Maharjan to take part in the 21st Annual Transforming Transportation Conference to be held on March 19 and 20 in Washington DC.

            Furthermore, the cabinet meeting appointed Dr Satis Kumar Dev as the Registrar of Nepal Medical Council and extended the timeline of High-Level Probe Commission on Gold Smuggling till March 13.

20-       Music fraternities bid tearful farewell of singer Acharya

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Final rites of veteran singer and musician Bhaktaraj Acharya were performed at Pashupati Aryaghat on Tuesday.

            Acharya’s sons Satyaraj and Swarupraj lit the funeral pyre.

            Earlier, Acharya’s dead body was kept at Nepal Academy and Nepal Academy of Music and Drama to tribute heartfelt condolences to late Acharya where the musicians, singers and others from the music fraternities offered their tribute to the veteran singer, recalling his immense contributions to the music world.

            Born in 1999 BS in Dhankuta district, Acharya passed away on 26 February 2024 (Monday) at the age of 82.

            On the occasion, musician and singer Tika Bhandari said that demise of Acharya was an irreparable loss to the Nepali music while Chairman of Musician Association Nepal Chetan Sapkota stated that Acharya was an inspiring personality to those seeking bright future in music and arriving in the Capital City for music career.

            Singer Hemanta Sharma recalled Acharya as a singer of this generation.

            Likewise, musician Basanta Sapkota said that demise of Bhaktaraj was a demise of a history.

            Singer Milan Newa said she received inspiration from Acharya’s singing.

21-       ‘Money-laundering prevention bill in amendment process to check illicit transactions’

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dhanraj Gurung said that a bill to amend some laws relating to the Prevention of Money Laundering and Business Environment promotion has been presented in the parliament for checking illicit transactions.

            Responding to queries raised during in-principle discussion In today’s meeting of the National Assembly Legislation Management Committee, he said the bill has been put forward for amendment process since illicit financial flows have direct bearing on the national economy and also taking into consideration the recommendations of development partners.

            The Minister further shared that other related laws are also to be amended to make the prevention of money laundering law effective.

            Noting that the main law of the prevention of money laundering has not left anyone bearing the post of benefits unpunished in terms of amassing property, he said the State would seize the illegitimate properties.

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22-       Foreign Secretary leaves for India

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal has left for India today to participate in the eighth Asia Economic Dialogue (AED-2024).

            A Nepali delegation headed by Foreign Secretary Lamsal will participate in the inaugural session of the event to be held in Pune, India from February 29 to March 2.

            During the visit, the delegation will hold a bilateral meeting in New Delhi with Foreign Secretary of India Vinay Mohan Kwatra, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

            The Asian Economic Dialogue is a multilateral conference held on annual basis. The Ministry of External Affairs of India and Pune international Centre have jointly hosted the conference. Representatives from different countries are participating at the programme where discussions will be held on contemporary affairs focusing on the theme “Geo-economic Challenges in an Era of Flux”.

            Secretary Lamsal is scheduled to return to Kathmandu on March 1.

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23-       Acharya’s demise causes irreparable loss to music sector: Minister Kirati

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sudan Kirati, has said the passing away of prominent playback singer and musician, Bhakta Raj Acharya, has caused an irreparable loss to this field.

            Paying tribute to the late Acharya at the Nepal Academy of Music and Drama today, Minister Kirati mentioned, “Despite facing several ups and downs in his life, Acharya remained successful in becoming an unforgettable person in the anal of history. We will never forget his contributions.”

            He stressed that the late Acharya will be an idol person for all, expressing commitment on behalf of the government to do something before the name of Acharya.

            “We will never forget Acharya and his popular songs and music. The government is always with him to fulfill his dreams”, Minister Kirati added.

            Similarly, Nepali Congress General-Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma and Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Music and Drama Nisha Sharma, among others extended tribute to late Acharya, recalling his immense contributions to the music world.

            Born in 1999 BS in Dhankuta district, Acharya passed away on 26 February 2024 (Monday) at the age of 82.

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24-       ‘Expedite reviewing and formulating bills related to good governance’

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: The National Assembly’s Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee has directed the government to immediately review the laws related to good governance.

            Today’s meeting of the committee, in the discussion on ‘rule of law and role of parliament for good governance’, instructed the government to finalize the good governance related bills pending in the parliament, committee President Prakash Pantha said.

            “The meeting has drawn a conclusion that rule of law is necessary for good governance”, he said, adding, “We will send a decision with recommendations to the government for studying and revisiting the good governance related acts and laws”.

            On the occasion, NA Vice-Chairperson Urmila Aryal underlined the need of policy and structural reforms for the promotion of good governance.

            She demanded dispensing justice to the usury victims without any delay by enacting a law to this effect.

            Lawmaker Bamdev Gautam asserted that good governance should first be maintained within the parliament for the promotion of good governance outside.

            Also speaking at the meeting, lawmakers, including Bhukna Bahadur Sunar and Sharada Devi Bhatta also demanded formulation of laws required for the promotion of good governance in an emphatic manner.

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25-       Lawmakers air mixed opinions on university bill 

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: In today’s meeting of the Education, Health and Information Technology Committee under the House of Representatives, parliamentarians have aired different views on whether or not it is expedient to establish new universities or enhancing quality of the existing universities.

            Taking part in the discussion on amendment to the bill formulated to make provisions regarding Nepal University-2079 BS, most of the parliamentarians raised questions whether or not new universities are necessary?.

            They went on raising questions – whether or not feasibility study was carried out  to establish new universities? and would educational quality enhance after establishing new universities?

            Likewise, some lawmakers argued it was meaningless to ask question on the essence of the government-introduced bill as the report to this effect was already received from the NA.

            The parliamentarians laid emphasis on the need of the universities which can produce human resources to generate employment in Nepal.

            In the meeting attended by Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Ashok Kumar Rai, experts, representatives of Ministry of Education and Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, experts argued creating incentives for opening new universities would also help make the existing universities competitive.

            Lawmakers Raghuji Panta and Sumana Shrestha suggesting holding discussion on the bill only after clarifying the rationale behind opening new universities.

            Likewise, Jeevan Pariyar and Devendra Poudel argued it was meaningless to discuss on the necessity of the bill when it was already presented in the parliament.

            The government had proposed establishing the university to produce capable human resources to make the education scientific, technical, employment-intensive and people-oriented. 

            Chairperson of Infrastructure Development Committee of the University, Dr Arjun Karki, assured the university would help propel country’s prosperity through public studies and research in non-government sector.

            Dean of Kathmandu University School of Education, Prof Dr Balchandra Luintel also expressed his view that new university is established on the basis of assessment of country’s development and necessity of human resources.

            Committee Chairperson Bhanu Bhakta Joshi shared next meeting would discuss on the amendments registered by 36 lawmakers.

— 

26-       Secretary Lamsal pays courtesy call on Indian External Affairs Minister

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Visiting Foreign Secretary Sewa Lamsal paid a courtesy call on Minister for External Affairs of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaoshankar this afternoon.

            On the occasion, several aspects of Nepal-India relations along with progress of the projects implemented with the funding of Indian government were discussed, the Embassy of India in New Delhi said.

            Foreign Secretary Lamsal is now in New Delhi to participate in the inaugural function of the Asian Economic Dialogue-2024 to be held in Pune of India from coming Thursday.

27-       President Deuba expresses sorrow on demise of musician Acharya

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: Nepali Congress (NC) President andf former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed sorrow over the demise of prominent singer and musician, Bhakta Raj Acharya, popularly known as Bhajan Shiromani.

            In a condolence statement delivered today, President Deuba expressed deep sorrow on the passing away of popular singer and musician Acharya who remained in the heart and mind of the Nepali people.

            President Deuba has said that the death of Bhajan Shiromani, senior singer and musician Acharya has set a constellation in the history of Nepali music. “Although Acharya is not physically among us, the timeless songs and music left behind by him will resonate in the hearts of Nepalis for ages to come,” Deuba said. Former Prime Minister Deuba has paid rich tributes to late Acharya.

            He also extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members, including late Acharya’s wife Sushila Acharya, sons Satyaraj and Swaroop Raj.

            According to the NC, his spiritual practice, music, voice and melody have contributed significantly to the prosperity of Nepali music. Late Acharya’s songs such as ‘Heart is burning’, ‘Thousand dreams come with love’, ‘Where there are Buddha’s eyes’, ‘Thousand eyes are seen in my beloved’, etc. are popular.

            NC said the Nepali music industry has lost a towering personality and the country has suffered irreparable loss with the passing away of a noted singer and musician.

28-       PAC directs CIAA to speed up investigation, prosecution process

            Kathmandu, Feb 27: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to accelerate investigation and prosecution on the complaints registered at the anti-graft constitutional body, showing concern on sluggish case filling process.

            The parliamentary oversight committee instructed the CIAA to bring illegal financial activities under the ambit of law.

            In the PAC’s meeting on Tuesday, discussion was held on the implementation situation of past directives issued to the CIAA.

            On the occasion, Committee members raised questions on CIAA’s slow response to the complaints registered for the past few years. The lawmakers also drew attention of the CIAA towards its slack investigation and prosecution process.

            Directing the CIAA after discussion, PAC Chairperson Rishikesh Pokharel said, “There is dillydallying in implementation of directives issued by committee in different time. A decision was taken to give directives from the committee to make the commission carry out activities related to settling the complaints and irregularities soon.” 

            The committee directed the government to take initiatives for legal convenience as it is necessary for CIAA to get information from different organisations and agencies at abroad in course of investigation.

            Chief Commissioner of CIAA Prem Kumar Rai briefed the meeting about implementation situation of directives issued by PAC for CIAA.

            He shared that the CIAA has completed investigation on land issue related to Taragaun Development Committee and handed over it to Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation for further investigation. 

            Investigation on Nepal Airlines Corporation’s ‘wide-body’ aircraft purchase scam has reached final phase, Rai added, sharing information about its performance and investigation carried out by CIAA on security printing press purchase scam, Chameliya hydropower project, scientific forest management and decision of Nepal Securities Board allowing to issue share on premium price.

29-       High Court Patan issues interim order not to implement KMC’s notice

            Kathmandu, Feb 27:  High Court Patan has issued an interim order not to implement the notice to immediately vacate the building of Bhatbhateni Developers Pvt Ltd operated by entrepreneur Min Bahadur Gurung on Lalita Niwas land.

            A single bench of Judge of High Court, Patan, Munendra Prasad Awasthi, issued the interim order not to implement the notice of Kathmandu Metropolitan City to immediately vacate the Bhatbhateni operated  on Lalita Niwas land in Baluwatar.

            The High Court issued the interim order in the name of entrepreneur Gurung and his relative Sarala Ghale Gurung.

            A writ petition was filed at the High Court demanding order of prohibition after KMC issued a notice of vacating all structures of Bhatbhanteni. 

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