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200,000 plus taxpayers not regularly paying tax at KMC

Published Date : February 29, 2024

Kathmandu, Feb 29: It has been found that around 200,000 taxpayers are not regularly paying tax at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC).

As informed, 200,000 out of 312,000 taxpayers registered at KMC are found not regularly paying tax. 

According to KMC Revenue Department, the metropolis is preparing to ramp up ward-level monitoring to bring the taxpayers dillydallying to pay tax without coming to the registration process for a long time in accordance with the rules.

About 100,000 taxpayers are among those showing reluctance to pay rent related taxes. Similarly, number of taxpayers found unwilling to pay business tax, entertainment tax and advertisement tax exceed 100,000, said KMC Revenue Department Chief Dhruv Kafle.

According to him, the KMC is preparing to bring the unregistered taxpayers of all categories to the process by regularly monitoring from this month onward to increase tax compliance. 

Kafle said that arrears amounting to Rs 2 billion are yet to be recovered from the registered taxpayers at KMC. The dues have remained for the last 12 years, KMC sources said. 

The metropolis had set an annual revenue target of Rs 10.80 billion for the current fiscal year. It has so far been able to collect only Rs 5.80 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year.

Though its revenue collection status was found satisfactory till the first six months of the fiscal year, KMC’s revenue in the last month (mid-January to mid-February, 2024) has dropped compared to other months.

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02-       Technology Conclave in Karnali to chart out digital roadmap

Karnali, Feb. 29: The Digital Karnali Conclave (Technology Conference) is to be held in Birendranagar Surkhet, the capital of Karnali province, from Friday.

Karnali Province Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law and ICT Foundation Nepal are jointly hosting the conference.

Minister for Internal Affairs Krishna Bahadur GC at a press meet on Wednesday informed that the conclave would be held to prepare a digital roadmap. He shared policy-level discussions would be held on policy, regulations, communications, agriculture, tourism, education, health, hydropower, good governance, disaster management, economy, leadership, startups and entrepreneurs on the occasion.

“Discussions will be held to set policy priorities in different thematic areas in infrastructure development and the measures to facilitate process by taking the province government and local level to digital technology,” he said, adding, “Digital leadership development and administrative work efficiency of the civil service will also be discussed at the conclave.”

The Foundation he said would submit a report to the government on the recommendations received at the conference for policy reforms.

Rajan Lamsal, President of ICT Foundation Nepal, added that technology conference is being organized to develop and ensure digital policy and leadership, human capital, ICT and data industry, digital infrastructure, digital transformation and security.

Four key notes and six panel sessions will be conducted in the conference to be held from March 1-2, it is informed.

Sharing that a power session would be held by former chief ministers Mahendra Bahadur Shahi and Jeevan Bahadur Shahi on the issue of thinking and leadership of Karnali, he said, adding Manohar Kumar Bhattarai would present a keynote on ‘Solutions for Digital Transformation and Ecosystem’ for Karnali.

More than 40 stakeholders and experts will participate in the two-day conclave as speakers, he added. As many as 400 participants from federal, provincial and local levels are taking part in the conference.

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03-       ‘Public schools’ buildings turn attractive, yet student retention a far cry’

Manthali (Ramechhap), Feb 29: The physical structures of the public schools, ruined by the devastating ‘Gorkha Earthquake’ have been reconstructed well.

Though the school infrastructure has become attractive, the stakeholders have expressed concern over the declining number of students in the schools lately.

New buildings of a total of 87 secondary schools were constructed in Ramechhap following the earthquake. Stakeholders have expressed their pressing concerns over the declining number of students in these schools.

Chief of District Education and Coordination Unit, Ramechhap, Bharat Bahadur Bhattarai, said dwindling quality education, low population growth rate and political meddling in public schools are among the main reasons for the fall in the number of students in public schools.

As informed, earlier, there were more than 400 schools in the district, but with the decline in the student number, it was reduced to 360 after merger of public schools. The number of schools may also reduce with further chances of merger due to lack of students. 

Ex-teacher Gunja Bahadur Shrestha however echoed lack of quality teaching and disproportional development in the village for the decline in the number of students in public schools.

The model secondary schools in the district have largely failed to attract students due to ignorance in maintaining quality education, he noted.

With the country moving to the federal structure, quality education has come under question after the municipality-level education wing started monitoring and regulating the schools, it is commented.

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04-       Infectious Disease Research Centre setup gains momentum in Tikapur

Bhajani (Kailali), Feb 29: The setup of Infectious Disease Research Centre has gained momentum in the Sudurpaschim province.

In this connection, preparations have been stepped up to complete construction of the first phase of the structure this year.

At a time when the federal government bringing into operation the Infectious Disease Research Centre in Doti, the province government had decided to establish a province-level centre at Tikapur in Kailali.

The building construction had started in 2078 BS under the Ministry of Social Development of the province. The province has planned to complete remaining tasks of the building with an investment of Rs 20 million this year and take ahead the process of its operations.

As informed, the Ministry of Social Development this year has allocated Rs 20 million for the remaining works of the building. Engineer at the ministry Homraj Timilsina said that a letter has already been sent to the contractor company selected for the construction. “The ministry will sign an agreement with the company to complete construction works in the current fiscal year,” he said.

Secretary at the ministry Ganesh Singh said necessary process of operating the Infectious Disease Research Center would be forwarded after completion of the structure work. “The Centre is an important structure for the province. It has been viewed with importance,” he said, adding a new plan would be prepared in the new fiscal year.

He expressed the belief that the Centre would take the health sector of the province to a new height. It is believed that the Center being constructed on the premises of Tikapur Hospital will also help in upgrading the hospital.

05-       ‘Constitution would fail if marginalized voices remain unaddressed’

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Lawmaker Pramila Kumari asserted that the country’s constitution and federal system would not be successfully implemented unless the voices of marginalized people were addressed.

Talking to RSS on Wednesday, Pramila Kumari, also the Minister of State for Education, Science and Technology, said, “I have raised the voice for enabling federal democratic republican system and addressing the issues of marginalized community and groups.”

She argued that our constitution would not be fairly implemented without addressing the voices of the people at the margin. 

“As a member of the Legislative Management Committee of the National Assembly for the first two years, I played a decisive role in writing that the issue of inclusivity must be mentioned in all the bills, policies and guidelines to be formulated by the government. That has now come into effect.”

The committee is also considered important for making the government accountable, monitoring and evaluating the works done by the government and giving necessary instructions, she shared.

As a member of the National Assembly, Pramila Kumari served as a member of the Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee of the Assembly for some years. The committee, which deals with the issues related to sustainable and balanced development and good governance promotion adopted by the government, has been advocating necessary coordination and directives to implement the multi-dimensional aspects of development and make sustainable management as good governance development is meaningful, balanced and equitable.

Pramila Kumari, who was elected unopposed to the Member of National Assembly from Janaata Samajbadi Party in the women’s category, is also known as the intellectual leader.

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06-       Women’s squad leaves for Kalapaththar to observe March 8

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: A team of Nepali women left here for Kalapaththar to observe the International Women’s Day aiming to draw global attention to snow melting caused by climate change and its consequences on local communities.

            The trip is arranged by Sath Sathai, an organisation pitching for the agenda of climate change and women’s empowerment.

            UN Women Nepal’s representative Patricia Fernandez-Pacheco bid farewell to the team comprising 25 women from diverse sectors at Tribhuvan International Airport.

            According to the organisation, the ‘special’ gathering at Kalapaththar on the occasion of the March 8 Day, aims to draw attention of national and international communities to the dire consequences of climate change in the Sagarmatha region and challenges being faced by the mountain population.

            Earlier, the organisation decided to observe this year’s International Women’s Day in Kalapathhar of Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) region in Solukhumbu district.

            Women from different walks of life are scheduled to march up to the region.

            An interaction will be held with people’s representatives and community on the impact of climate change during the march, organisation president Prajeeta Karki said.

            The team will engage in interaction with local representatives and communities on ‘women empowerment for connecting government and the community for climate change’ on March 2 at Syangboche.

            They will reach Kalapaththar on March 8. The gathering will draw the attention of the national and international communities to the negative impacts of climate change on community, agriculture and tourism.

            This year’s International Women’s Day is being observed with the theme of ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’.

07-       Inmates of Central Jail brought under health insurance coverage

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: Health insurance scheme has been offered to inmates of Central Jail. Jail Management Department implemented the health insurance scheme to be effective from mid-February with an objective of providing easy access of inmates in their health treatment.

            Chief of Health Programme at the Central Jail, Kalpana Gyawali, shared that the health insurance scheme was implemented targeting the inmates who have spent more than one year jail term in the central jail. The Department has covered health insurance scheme of Rs 3500 for each inmate and the insurance cover would be automatically invalid once inmate completes his/her jail term.

            Jail Administrator Lalit Basnet explained that the health insurance programme for inmates was implemented with an objective of helping for the health of the prisoners. With this, each prisoner would get treatment of Rs 100,000 through insurance coverage.

            Apart from this, the government has been providing medical treatment to the inmates through the Central Prison Hospital.

            Jail Administrator Basnet said the patients who cannot be treated at the Hospital are treated at various 25 hospitals with which the Prison Administration has signed agreement with for that purpose.  The Central Prison Hospital has 30 beds.

            The Hospital has been providing OPD, lab, X-ray, ECG, ultrasound, dental, psychiatric, dermatological and eye care services. It has also been conducting health camps targeting the inmates from time to time.

            There are 3,721 inmates at the Central Jail and other prison houses under it.

08-       INNJA Tokyo Conference begins

            Tokyo (Japan), Feb 29: The Tokyo Conference 2024 of the International Network for Nepali Journalists (INNJA) commenced here today.  The event will conclude on March 1.

            Nepal’s ambassador to Japan, Durga Bahadur Subedi, inaugurated the event themed, ‘The impact of social media, ethnical journalism practices and the future of media technology,’ amidst a ceremony here today. On the occasion, he urged journalists to contribute to further consolidating the bilateral ties between Nepal and Japan.

            He commended the INNJA’s humanitarian and other sorts of support to journalists in trouble and crisis, urging other organisations to join INNJA to meet its goals.

            Stating that the Government of Japan has been selflessly assisting in Nepal’s health, education, infrastructure, electricity, roadways, airport and communications sectors, he said the Nepal-Japan relations have been extended to people’s level.

            Ambassador Subedi also utilised the moment to acknowledged the efforts of INNJA in coordination with the Federation of Nepali Journalists for the promotion of Nepali journalism and capacity enhancement of Nepali journalists

            INNJA headquarters senior vice president Bishnu Shital, secretary Deepak Rijal, central member Rita Sapkota, Asia chapter president Tanka Panta, vice president Anand Koirala, NRNA Asia Chapter vice president Deepak Kendel and Lekhan Kunj Nepal’s Chair Kamal Dhakal among others  talked about the roles of INNJA in further consolidating the Nepal-Japan relations and uniting Nepali-origin  journalists from across the country.

            INNJA with its headquarters in America was established in 2018. It has chapters in each continent and provides humanitarian support to Nepal’s journalists during crisis.  During COVID-19, it provided fellowship to 100 journalists in Nepal for the financial assistance.

            Unification of Nepali origin journalists from around the world, promotion of ethnical journalism standards, empowerment of Nepali youth in journalism and encouragement of diversity in journalism are among the objectives of the INNJA, it is said.

09-       Operation of Biratnagar-Lukla mountain flight soon: CM Karki

            Salleri (Solukhumbu), Feb 29: Chief Minister of Koshi Province, Kedar Karki, has said mountain flight would be operated from Biratnagar.

            Talking to RSS today, Chief Minister Karki shared that Biratnagar-Lukla mountain flight would be operated making Sagarmatha region as its base.

            He mentioned a plan to begin mountain flight from Biratnagar would be implemented soon for further promoting tourism keeping Mt Everest region in priority.

            “Although Khumbu area is close with federal capital, it is alienated from the province. We are serious to resolve it. We are making preparation to operate mountain flight from Biratnagar within few months,” stressed CM Karki.

            A team comprising CM Karki would reach Sagarmatha region to observe ‘Sagarmatha Day’ on May 29 for the tourism development of Khumbu. 

            The province government was always ready to promote Sagarmatha region, he underlined. 

10-       PM stresses on establishing system making person causing loss to State pay for the same

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has spoken of the need of putting in place a system requiring the very person responsible for causing damage to the State by passing the buck is made to pay the compensation for the incurred loss.

            In a meeting to review the implementation of current fiscal year’s policies and programmes, and the budget here today, he stressed on establishing a system to evaluate the extent of damage and loss or harm that the nation suffers due to reluctance in taking the appropriate decision and shifting the responsibility itself.  

            “It is seen the thinking that one would have to face action for carrying out one’s responsibilities and would be spared of the same if not has been increasing in the bureaucracy in recent times. It is high time this mindset has to be seriously reviewed now. It is necessary to be aware that the impact of such a mentality will ultimately be on our achievements and on the protection and development of the political system,” the PM reminded.

            According to him, the biggest challenge is failure to take timely decision, shifting responsibility for decision and the tendency of not taking the required initiation on inter-agency coordination. He underscored on making dynamic decisions and taking up creative role in accordance with the laws.

            “I have been stressing on this again and again that no one should hesitate in taking decisions remaining within the parameters of the existing Acts and regulations. I am always committed to defend the decision made with good intention by any public official and to provide protection to such official. Therefore, be willing to fulfill a dynamic and creative role accordingly,” the Head of the Government said.

            Calling upon the government high officials to pursue immediate reform measures by identifying the causes and problems for not meeting the set targets, PM Dahal pressed for increasing the implementation capacity of the entire administrative mechanism and for achieving the expected outcome in the set timeframe.

            He directed the government officials to deliver the public services to be provided to the general public in a prompt, efficient and cost-effective manner.

            Stating that a satisfactory answer has not come so far to the question as to why the outcome could not be achieved commensurate with the set target, the PM wondered for how long the tradition of sluggishness in carrying out works and shying away from responsibility pointing to lack of budget and preparation and human resources would continue.

            “Results have not been coming due to the lack of harmony in policy and programmes, budget and plans. The increasing tendency of government ministries and other agencies not fulfilling performance as per the set annual goals and indicators, and of political and administrative leaderships hesitating to take decisions is not a positive message,” the PM observed.

            PM Dahal said the result of progress review has made the government serious and it was compulsion to change traditional working style.

             Stating that the targets set by the ministries themselves have not been implemented, he said there is a doubt that the projection capacity, determination of priorities, resource mobilization and expenditure capacity to achieve desired results would remain weak.

            PM Dahal questioned “These targets were set by all ministries and bodies themselves. What are the reasons behind failing to achieving progress in implementation as per the targets despite determining the goals themselves?”

            He pointed out the need of further collective efforts by Finance Ministry, National Planning Commission and ministries to increase capital expenditure as well as for smooth operation of development projects and programmes.  

            The Prime Minister directed to carryout activities in order to achieve result bearing full responsibility for effective implementation of projects.

11-       Nepal Airlines Corporation Structural Reforms Study Committee submits its fourth report

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: Report Study and Implementation Recommendation Committee under Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) former governor Deependra Bahadur Kshetry-led Nepal Airlines Corporation Structural Reforms Study Committee has submitted its fourth report.

            The Report Study and Implementation Recommendation Committee led by former Captain Kul Bahadur Limbu submitted the report jointly to Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sudan Kirati, Secretary Deepak Kafle and Executive Chairperson of Nepal Airlines Corporation, Yubraj Adhikari today.

            The report has mainly incorporated four points—making internal audit effective, forming accounts committee to make decision of board of directors and NAC’s governance effective, selling share of Soaltee Hotel to make NAC financially strong  and formulating a realistic action plan of NAC.

            On the occasion, Minister Kirati directed the NAC Executive Chairperson for effective implementation of the report.

12-       Tri-nation T20 series: Netherlands win against Namibia by 59 runs

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: The Netherlands won today’s match held under the ongoing Tri-nation T-20 series against Namibia by 59 runs.

            In the outstanding battings from Michael Levitt and Sybrand Engelbrecht, Netherlands posted a target of 248 runs against Namibia and in reply, Namibia was restricted to 188 in 20 overs at the loss of seven wickets.

            In Namibia’s victory, Jan Frylinck   and Zane Green contributed equal 42 runs while JP Kotze scored 26 followed by 19 each from JJ Smit and Ruben Trumpelmann. 

            Towards the bowling, Timm van der Gugten from the Netherlands, took two wickets while Sybrand Engelbrecht,   Roelof van der Merwe, Vivian Kingma and Aryan Dutt took one wicket each.

            Prior to this, Netherlands chose to bat first by winning the toss at Kirtipur-based TU Cricket Ground. It played the first inning by scoring 247 runs in 20 overs at the loss of five wickets.

            Michael Levitt of Netherlands was the top scorer by hitting century: 135 including 11 boundaries and 10 sixes in 62 overs.  Similarly,    Engelbrecht    added 75 runs with seven boundaries and five sixes in 40 balls. Teja Nidamanuru scored 18.

            Levitt and Engelbrecht partnered with 193 runs for the second wicket. Namibia’s Trumpelmann took two wickets while Frulinck and Ben Shikongo took one wicket each.

            This is the second victory of Netherlands in the series. Prior to this, it defeated Nepal. Nepal will meet Namibia for the next round of match tomorrow.

13-       NA lawmakers call for prioritizing job creation and youth mobilization in budget

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: National Assembly (NA) lawmakers, speaking in the discussions on the principles and priorities of the Appropriation Bill for the upcoming fiscal year, called for giving emphasis on employment generation and youth mobilization by upholding good governance.

            Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat had presented the Principles and Priorities of Appropriation Bill for Next Fiscal Year in the meeting of the National Assembly, the upper house of the Federal Parliament, on February 26.

            Taking part in the debate in the NA meeting today, lawmakers underscored on making the budget functional and on improvement in the tendency of getting the budget passed from parliament by issuing whip, but not obeying the suggestions in course of implementing it.

            Similarly, they emphasized on giving high priority to the agriculture sector, ensuring security to the health workers, making clear the responsibilities on service delivery of the three tiers of government, bringing a plan for consumption of electricity produced in Nepal within the country itself and on also increasing capital expenditure and revenue collection.

            Prakash Pantha, Dilkumari Rawal (Parbati), Dr Khimlal Devkota among other lawmakers participated in the discussions.

            Dr Devkota on the occasion called attention of the government, saying those ministers who were said to participate in the meeting were not present in the meeting.

            President of the Legislation Management Committee, Jayanti Devi Rai, presented the Bill on Anti-Money Laundering and the Promotion of Business Environment, 2079 BS in the meeting today.

            She also presented the report of the onsite study programme on law-making process and practices of the local levels.

Government’s attention drawn on making provisions for drinking water and irrigation

            Similarly, the upper house lawmakers have drawn the attention of the government towards the difficulties faced by the people for lack of drinking water and irrigation facilities in the Tarai-Madhes region.

            They expressed their concern on this issue while speaking in the ‘zero hour’ in the meeting of the National Assembly today.

            Lawmaker Tulasa Kumari Dahal called on the government to make arrangements for providing pure drinking water to the people in the Madhes. She also stressed on conservation of the Chure ecosystem by stopping its over-exploitation and on making arrangements for irrigation in the Madhes which is the ‘bread basket’ of the country.

            Lawmaker Jaga Prasad Sharma called for putting to an end the trend of meagre expenditure of the budget appropriated for big projects, drawing the government’s attention to finding a solution to this problem.

            Taraman Swanr called on the government to expedite the construction of the Seti and Mahakali highways considered as the backbone for the economy and development of the Sudurpaschim and to ensure budget for these road projects in the next fiscal year’s budget.

            Bhagawati Neupane urged the government to develop the birthplace of pioneer poet of Nepali as a tourism destination. Bimala Ghimire drew the attention of the government for immediately addressing the demands of farmers and the victims of usurious lending.

            Lawmaker Sumitra BC called for immediately taking ahead the process for reconstruction of houses for the earthquake-affected people of Jajarkot who are still living under tents even after nearly four months since the disaster.

14-       KMC to paint murals to beautify its public places

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is to paint murals for the beautification of the metropolis’ public places.

            The KMC has already made agreement with Nepal Academy of Fine Arts for the same. Chief of KMC Building Construction Division, Suraj Shakya, shared that permission was already given for painting on the wall towards right side from Maitighar to Babarmahal, wall at Pradarsanimarg, wall outside Tribhuvan International Airport as well as wall at Minbhawan and Lainchour-based Social Welfare Council in the first phase. 

            Such task should be completed within mid-June 2024, he added. The KMC would provide five million rupees to the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts for the same.

            Similarly, KMC has created QR code to provide information about Nandikeshar Temple, Shankarkirti Mahabihar and Naxal Bhagawati Temple.

QR code of heritages to be made available to tourists

            Ward office started to use technology so that the visitors, visiting heritages having cultural, historical and archeological importance, could easily get information, said Chairperson of KMC-1, Bharat Lal Shrestha.

            He mentioned, “Most of the visitors carry smart phone. Such type of arrangement has been made so that the visitors have no need ask others about various issues related to history, processions, social and religious cultures of different shrines after scanning QR code.”

            The QR code have audio in 10 different languages—Nepali, English, Germany, Hindi, French, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Japanese and Arabic. 

15-       Minister Sharma insists on promoting digital literacy to mitigate online abuse

            Kathmandu, Feb 29: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has underlined the need of making the digital literacy campaign wider to mitigate incidences of online abuse.

            In her address to an interaction on ‘women safety on online’ organised by the National Women Commission here today, the Minister stressed the need of escalating the digital literary efforts down to the local level to discourage the online violence.

            “Technology itself is not biased. The role of technology is vital to minimize violence, instead. We can reap abundant benefits if we could utilize it,” the Minister said.

            The Government Spokesperson pressed an idea of promoting the digital education from the government to media to school curriculum and extending it to the rural level. 

            According to her, the government is committed to addressing the issue of online violence legally, adding that the National Cyber Security Policy, Social Sites ( Use and Regulation Act)  are instrumental in mitigating the cases of online abuse.  The government can’t overlook the issues concerning the violence to take place in the cyber space, according to the Minister. 

            National Women Commission Chair Kamala Kumari Parajuli called for using technology for the cause of life, underlining the need of incorporating issues about the gender-based violence and changing forms of violence right from the school curriculum.

            Nepal Police (Cyber Bureau) Superintendent of Police, Deepak Raj Awasthi gave his presentation about the ‘status of women safety on online, challenges and solution’.  As he said, until mid-February, the Bureau received 5,131 complaints regarding the online violence against women. “Lately, complaints about financial fraud assisted by online have increased.”

            Lalitpur metropolis deputy-mayor Manjali Shakya Bajracharya, Bhaktapur municipality deputy-mayor Rajani Joshi and Nepal Telecommunications Authority deputy director Roja Kiran Basukala were among those putting views at the programme, underlining the need of self-awareness, collective efforts and right use of technology to mitigate the problem.

            Stakeholders concerned present at the programme spoke the need of an integrated law against the gender-based violence. The role of a family is also highlighted to address the matter. They were univocal on the proper use of technology.

            The programme was held on the occasion of the upcoming 114th International Women’s Day.

15-       CPN (US) to table single political document in national convention

Kathmandu, Feb 29: The CPN (Unified Socialist) has decided to table a single political document for ideological deliberations in the party’s upcoming 10th national convention.

A meeting of the report drafting committee concluded today, CPN (US) univocally decided to discuss in a single political document to further solidify and strengthen the party, the central publicity department chief of CPN (US) Jagannath Khatiwada said.

As decided, the issues of ideological differences in the party among the leaders would also be integrated in the same political report for discussions. Khatiwada shared that the political document will include the issues of unity amid diversity and promotion of social goodwill among various other things.

The party has already shared the draft of the report to the district-level cadres for feedback collections.

The party had formed a 27-member committee under the leadership of party chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal.

16-       Bangladeshi Ambassador pays courtesy call on Vice President Yadav

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal Salahuddin Noman Chowdhury paid a courtesy call on Vice President Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav today.

During the meeting held at the Vice President’s office, various matters of mutual interest and concern, including bilateral relations between the two countries, trade and tourism were discussed.

17-       ‘Strategic plan imperative to address issues of people living with disability’ 

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Stakeholders have underlined the need of addressing the concerns of women living with disability with formulation of a strategic plan. The rights of women with disabilities could be paid heed through strict enforcement of prevailing laws.

At an interaction organized by the National Women Commission (NWC) on ‘Protection of Rights of Women with Disabilities’ here Thursday, Chairperson of Women and Social Affairs Committee of House of Representatives, Kiran Kumar Shahi, however said the policy government brought to protect rights of people with disabilities was itself a challenge to this regard. “The voices of people with disabilities must be heard at the local level. As they are relatively weak to fend off attack, they are victims of violence,” she added.

NWC Chairperson Kamala Kumari Parajuli shared that NWC was formulating a work procedure to address the rights of people with disabilities in a planned manner. Suggestions would be taken both from government and non-government organizations for the empowerment of PWDs.

NWC Secretary Parbati Aryal suggested the people with disabilities to identify their potential and seek cooperation for its realization.

Similarly, Chairperson of the National Disabled Federation, Devi Datt Acharya, viewed, once the people with disabilities are ensured representation in all State bodies, their rights could be addressed well.

Chairperson of the Federation of Women with disabilities, Nirmala Dhital, suggested NWC to prepare directive and standards to facilitate women with disabilities’ access to justice.

Undersecretary at Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Nira Adhikari, said the constitutional bodies including NWC could hold policy level dialogue on such issued every year.

Programme coordinator at National Disabled Federation, Anjana Shrestha, presented a working paper in the programme. She informed that the women with disability were vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence 10 times more than those of common woman as per a World Bank report.

Other speakers raised the issue of mainstreaming the people with disabilities into employment, identifying capacities of women living with disabilities and ensuring them easy and prompt access to justice.

18-       No problem in ruling alliance: Nepal

Chitwan, Feb 29: Chairperson of CPN (US) and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has said that there is no problem in the current ruling alliance. Talking to journalists here today, Nepal said no questions have been raised over the alliance. It still stands on a strong foundation.

Stating that problems were common in an alliance with many political parties, leader Nepal said that solutions to those problems, if any, will be sought through dialogue over it. He also pledged to move ahead by resolving the rifts seen in the alliance.

19-       Govt suggested private sector partnership for dynamic economy

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Lawmakers have suggested the government that it built partnership with private sectors so that national economy could be boosted and made dynamic.

Continuous policy reform is essential to address the pressing issues of anti-money laundering, revenue leakage, and tax evasion the lawmakers said, showing concern over the activities of Department of Anti-Money Laundering, and the Revenue Investigation Department.

In the meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the parliament on Thursday, the lawmakers viewed the businessperson were facing double burden in the name of government’s adoption of technology in anti-money laundering and revenue collection. Government-private sector collaboration is imperative to ensure smooth tax collection and industrialist-friendly environment.

In the meeting, Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa viewed the activities at Anti-Money Laundering Department and Revenue Investigation Department could be made more effective through timely reforms in laws.

Chief Whip of CPN (Maoist Centre) Hitraj Pande stressed that government should equip both departments with technology.

On the occasion, Deputy General Secretary of CPN UML, Prithvi Subba Gurung, said the activities of both departments should be made more transparent and effective. President of Rastriya Swatantra Party, Rabi Lamichhane, wondered why the government failed to work adequately for ensuring atmosphere conducive to industrialists and entrepreneurs.

On the occasion, businessperson including FNCCI President Chandra Dhakal and CNI Chair Rajesh Kumar Agrawal expressed concern over double burden imposed by regulatory bodies. They demanded both policy and structural reforms to encourage business. Political unity is essential on economic agenda of the country.

Committee Chair Ramhari Khatiwada informed that Committee held the discussion as interface between lawmakers and businesspersons on problems facing the private sector on business laws and service delivery, which, he believed, could help resolve problems. The Committee will hold next round of meeting and furnish suggestions to the government.

20-       Commitment to continue the ruling alliance: PM Dahal

Chitwan, Feb 29: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said that he is committed to continue with the ruling alliance.

Talking to journalists here today, he said the ruling alliance is going ahead well and that he is committed to keep it going. He however said that the recently concluded Mahasamiti meeting of the Nepali Congress had brought up some issues that were not necessary and hence the matter would be discussed.

The Prime Minister said that there was a notion that a person like Krishna Prasad Sitaula coming to the National Assembly would make some difference but the atmosphere has now changed. The party meeting has decided that the post of National Assembly chair should not be given up.

He said that the candidate of the Maoist center losing in Koshi due to the Congress had made the party leaders and workers angry.

On a different note, the Prime Minister said that the construction of Gautam Buddha International Cricket Stadium and Bharatpur Airport is a welcome one for residents of Chitwan. He said that the federal government has cleared the way for the construction of the stadium, which remained suspended for the past three years.

21-       Relations with neighboring countries are a priority: FM Saud

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud has said that relations with neighboring countries are always a priority, which are friendly, cordial and cooperative based on mutual trust and respect.

Speaking at an event organised here today on the occasion of the 76th  anniversary of the Nepal Council of World Affairs, he said that Nepal’s foreign policy is based on the Constitution of Nepal, the UN Charter, non-alignment, principles of Panchsheel, international law and recognition of world peace. “Nepal, as the birthplace of Buddha considers world peace as the basic foundation of its foreign policy. We strongly believe that any dispute should be resolved through dialogue and peaceful means,” he said.

On the occasion, Minister Saud wished the Council continues the tradition of quality discourse and rich discussions on world affairs and foreign policy.

Chair of the Council, Hemant Kharel, mentioned that since the past the Council has been providing a platform for interaction, debate and discussion between experts, academics, professionals, politicians and diplomats on various contemporary issues of foreign affairs and relations.

Kharel mentioned that the Council is a leading organization that promotes and strengthens international relations including socio-economic cooperation between the Government of Nepal and its development partners.

22-       Govt. invites agitating farmers for a dialogue

Kathmandu, Feb 29: The government has called upon the tenant farmers protesting in Dang to stop their agitation and come for a dialogue. Accordingly, the government has also formed a talks committee.

The Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation has issued a statement inviting the farmers for talks. The government has formed a five-member talks committee led Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Krishna Prasad Sapkota.

It may be noted that farmers who are tilling the land of Swargadwari Ashram in Dang have been staging a protest for the past few days. Soon after the protest started in Dang, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Member of the House of Representatives of Dang constituency No. 2 Rekha Sharma requested the Prime Minister to address the problem.

Minister Sharma said that after continuous discussions, the Ministry of Land Management has formed a negotiation committee as per the direction of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. Hence, the agitating parties should come for a dialogue to start solving the problem.

She also expressed the belief that an atmosphere of dialogue has been created and the problem will be resolved through dialogue.

23-       Home Minister receives report on IT development for emergency response

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha has received a report of the taskforce formed to prepare a concept and work plan on integrated emergency response.

The taskforce report was submitted to DPM Shrestha by its coordinator Joint Secretary at National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, Bharatmani Pandey.

 The taskforce has identified problems and challenges of emergency response, international practices, policy, structural and technical reforms needed for addressing the challenges. The bodies involved in the disaster response and management and disaster communications are also included in the report.

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24-       WAFF Women’s Championship: Nepal leads by 1-0

Kathmandu, Feb 29: Nepal is leading 1-0 in the final match against Jordan under the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Women’s Championship underway in Saudi Arabia.Sabita Ranamagar scored in 29th minute of the first half, with a beautiful volley from outside the D-box.

The match kicked off at 9:45 pm NST at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Sports City Stadium in Jeddah. Nepal is on the look for winning the championship for the first time defeating Jordan which could have a double hat-trick with a win today.

This is Nepal’s first participation in the WAFF Championship. Jordan has won the title five times. Earlier, Nepal defeated Lebanon 2-1 in the semi-finals while Jordan defeated Palestine by 5-0 to reach the final.

Nepal is in 115th place in FIFA ranking while Jordan is in 74th place.

The Nepali team is led by captain Angela Tumbapo Subba including Usha Nath and Anjana Rana Magar as goalkeepers. Geeta Rana, Hirakumari Bhujel, Bimala BK, Amrita Jaisi, Nisha Thokar, Samiksha Ghimire, Pooja Rana and Sabina Chaudhary are defenders. Similarly, Anita Basnet, Amisha Karki, Anita KC, Priti Rai, Deepa Shahi, Bimala Chaudhary and Saraswati Hamal are the midfielders while Chandra Bhandari, Rekha Paudel, Rashmikumari Ghising and Sabita Rana Magar are the stikers.

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