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  • Wednesday, 17 April 2024

WAFF Women’s Championship: Nepal lost to Jordan in penalties

Published Date : March 1, 2024

Kathmandu, March 1: Nepal lost to Jordan in the penalties in the final match of West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) Women’s Championship held at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The match had kicked off at 9:45 pm NST on Thursday.

Jordan, the sixth time winner of the title, defeated Nepal by 5-3 in the tiebreaker. Nepal stood the first runner up in its first attempt in the WAFF Women’s Championship.

For Nepal, Gita Rana, Dipa Shahi and Hira Bhujel scored in the penalties but Amrita Jaisi could not make it happen. However, Jordon scored all five goals in the penalties.

Earlier, Nepal had led 1-0 until the first half of the match.

Sabita Ranamagar scored in 29th minute of the first half, with a beautiful volley from outside the D-box.

But, Nepal’s leading position could not win the game as Jordon’s Lana Feras equalized the game with a goal in 74th minute. Jordon scored yet another goal in 89th minute. For Jordon, Sarah Abu Sabbah contributed the second goal. But, the game ended with equal 2-2 as Nepal’s Gita Rana scored a goal in the penalty during the additional time of the second half of the match.

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 position in FIFA ranking while Jordan is in 74th position. The Nepali team is led by Captain Angela Tumbapo Subba.

02-       Karnali’s talents should reach globally thru fine arts

Karnali, March 1: The Chief Minister of Karnali Province, Raj Kumar Sharma, has emphasized that the talents of Karnali area should reach the global market through fine arts.

Inaugurating the Karnali Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition-2080 in Surkhet on Thursday, the Chief Minister stated that the talents of this province should be highlighted from their artistic creations.   

The vanishing civilizations and missing arts of Karnali should be brought to the public notice from fine arts, Sharma added.

He also stressed the need of highlighting the religious and touristic beauties of Rara Lake of Mugu, Limi of Humla, Sinja Valley of Jumla, Dho and Shey-Phoksundo Lake of Dolpa, Pachal of Kalikot, Panchakoshi of Dailekh and other sites should be described through artistic creations to ensure their fame in the global market.

The Chief Minister also urged the Federal Government to pay more attention for the promotion of Karnali Province, which carries a great civilizational legacy.

Likewise, Chancellor of Fine Arts Academy Naradmuni Hartamchhali suggested that the schools and universities should begin teaching the subjects of fine arts to uplift new talents.

03-       Nepal’s tourism promoted in Egypt

Cairo (Egypt), March 1: The Embassy of Nepal in Cairo organized a tourism promotional event in Cairo on February 28.

During the event, Everest Summiteer Adriana Brownlee and Gelje Sherpa made their presentation on nature and adventurous journey in mountains.

Likewise, educationists Dr Jared Harris and Courtney Bailey shared their trekking experiences that they got during their visit to Nepal last year.

On the occasion, Nepal’s Ambassador to Egypt Sushil Kumar Lamsal shared about Nepal’s unique cultural and natural heritages, urging the tourists to visit Nepal.

Likewise, he thanked the Egyptian media for their support to expand people-to-people relations between Nepal and Egypt.  

As high as 70 persons including Egyptian vloggers, social sites influences, artists, educationists, diplomats and media persons, among others were present on the occasion.

Similarly, the outstanding paintings selected from the competition “Nepal in the Eyes of Egyptian Children” were also put in display. In the competition, some 300 Egyptian students took part and expressed their understanding about Nepal’s arts, culture, history, natural heritages and life through paintings and arts.

04-       Winter session of Lumbini Province Assembly beginning today

Dang, March 1: The winter session of the Lumbini Province Assembly is starting from today. Province Assembly Secretary Durlav Kumar Pun said that the Province Assembly is scheduled to meet at 3:00 this afternoon.

As per the business of the Province Assembly today, the Speaker would read out the letters from the Province Chief on province assembly winter session, portfolio divisions on council of ministers and authentication of bills, Secretary Pun shared.

Likewise, the province assembly members would also express their messages of the best wishes on behalf of the concerned political parties. 

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is scheduled to address the Province Assembly on Saturday.

05-       Grand opening of Visit Bharatpur this afternoon

Chitwan, March 1: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is scheduled to mark the beginning of the Visit Bharatpur-2024 at 1:00 this afternoon on the bank of Narayani River.

Five former prime ministers are also scheduled to attend the inaugural programme.

According to Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City Renu Dahal, former PM and CPN (UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli, Nepali Congress President and former PM Sher Bahadur Deuba, CPN (Unified Socialist) Chairman and former PM Madhav Nepal, former PM Jhalanath Khanal and former Chairman of Council of Ministers Khilaraj Regmi would join the event.  

Likewise, HoR Member and former Deputy Prime Minister Rabi Lamichhane and leaders of private sectors would also attend the inaugural ceremony, Mayor Dahal said.

Chief Minister of Bagmati Province Shalikram Jamkattel, Province Chiefs Amik Sherchan and Tilak Pariyar, foreign guests and mayors of different other cities from across the country would also attend the ceremony.

Mayor Dahal shared that the inaugural ceremony is expected to have participation of 50,000 plus people on the Narayani River bank.

The Bharatpur Metropolitan City is organizing the ‘Visit Bharatpur 2024’ campaign with an objective of bringing in domestic and foreign tourists by promoting Bharatpur as a tourism destination. The year 2024 would be celebrated as the year of visiting Bharatpur under the slogan ‘Visit Bharatpur’ for tourism promotion. Various programmes including international safari mart, investment summit, heritage marathon, meeting and gathering of government and stakeholders, jungle festival, youth and women conference, literary programme, national and international seminar, sports competition, exhibitions, and food festivals would be organized during the visit year.

06-       Two dead; five injured in Morang road mishap

Morang, March 1: Two persons died on the spot after a tipper truck hit a jeep on its way to Phidim in Panchthar this morning. The accident happened at Belbari-3 in Morang district along the East-West Highway, Police Inspector Tej Bahadur Dahal confirmed.

Police Inspector Dahal said the tipper truck (Pra 1 Kha 9676) hit a bus and a jeep (Me 1 Ja 2856), killing Yadu Kanta Bhattarai, 52, and Gita Khanal, 44, of Kamal Rural Municipality, Jhapa.

Five others are critically injured in the mishap and receiving treatment at Neuro Hospital, Biratnagar.

07-       Bharatpur developing as a health hub, PM Prachanda says

Chitwan, March 1: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the Bharatpur Metropolitan City is being developed as a new hub for health care services.

Inaugurating the newly-built building of Bharatpur Eye Hospital this morning, the PM said the present government was active to ensure constitutionally-guaranteed health related rights into practice.

The PM shared that effective implementation of health insurance programme, free vaccine against breast cancer and uterus cancer, and other initiatives have been brought into practice and expressed the confidence that the health sector would witness a massive reform through these all efforts.

Likewise, the PM pledged to allocate maximum possible budget in the health sector in the upcoming budget.

The PM appreciated the services of Bharatpur Eye Hospital saying that the hospital is providing services to the patients from Nepal and abroad adding that the hospital is gradually established a treatment centre for eye patients.

With the development of new building, the PM expressed his confidence that the hospital’s quality and quantity in its services would further expand in coming days. “With the development of physical infrastructure, the hospital’s services, research and health trainings should be upgraded in the same degree,” PM Prachanda added.

On the occasion, the PM pledged to provide support and facilitation on behalf of the federal government. 

During the programme, Pakistani Ambassador to Nepal Abrar H Hashmi said that cooperation between Nepal and Pakistan would be continued in future for the better of the Bharatpur Eye Hospital.

07-       National Children’s Theatre Festival kicks off from today

            Kathmandu, March 1: The National Children’s Theatre Festival -2024 is starting here from today. The event is organized by the Federation of Theater Person Nepal with the goal of providing a platform for the exposure and development of inherent talent among children. The theatre festival will run till March 10.

            Federation Central President Rajendra Rimal said the best plays chosen through final selection from among the plays provided by school level children in response to an open call for plays throughout the country would be staged on the occasion.

            “We have selected 11 best plays for performance. The schools whose scripts have been selected will be staging their entries. Students above grade eight from the schools concerned will perform the plays. The duration of the plays is 30 to 35 minutes,” he added.

            The Festival is taking place at the National Cultural Undertaking at local Jamal. The drama festival is being held with the collaboration of Private and Boarding Schools Organisation of Nepal and the Cultural Undertaking.

            The winning drama will bag cash prize of Rs 100 thousand, trophy and certificate. It will also have the opportunity to participate in international-level drama competition. Similarly, the best plays will be awarded with cash prize, certificate and trophy.

            Nepal Telecom will be distributing mobile SIM cards for free while Nepal Medical College will conduct a free health camp at the venue.

08-       Constitution has guaranteed press freedom: Deputy Speaker Rana

            Nagarkot (Bhaktapur), March 1: Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Indira Rana, has underlined the need of laws compatible with time to strengthen journalism, making it more professional and accountable.

Addressing an inaugural session of a two-day “Workshop for Members of the Federal Parliament: Nepal’s International Commitments to Freedom of Expression, Access to Information, Privacy and Safety of Journalists” in Nagarkot today, the Deputy Speaker reminded that the Constitution has guaranteed press freedom and people’s representatives should bear this fact in mind while enacting laws.

            Acknowledging the role of journalism in bringing democracy and the republic in the nation, the Deputy Speaker said media-related laws should ensure the right to freedom, right to information, right to communications and right to privacy enshrined by the Constitution.

            “We as legislators should study the issues seriously before proceeding with the formulation of laws,” she asserted, adding that the country’s international commitments be considered while enacting laws. “We should be alert that whether any act and laws are capable of squeezing the rights of the citizens.”

            The Deputy Speaker was of the opinion of considering Nepal’s international commitments, the context of the nation and IT development while formulating the laws. “This programme will impart necessary knowledge and resources to formulate, review and implement laws, policies and procedures maintaining fundamental rights which will contribute in building a more democratic and transparent society,” she stressed.

            Human Rights Programme Manager of Inter Parliamentary Union, Rogier Huizenga, mentioned that freedom of expression is the basic tenet of human rights. Citing that Nepal has expressed commitment to formulate laws as per International Convention and protect freedom of expression from its implementation, Huizenga shared that Parliament should address it while making laws.  He further said IPU would support to make Nepal’s laws related to freedom of expression as of international standard. 

            More than 20 lawmakers of federal parliament are participating in the programme organised by UNESCO. On the occasion, UNESCO’s freedom of expression expert Guilherme Canela gave a presentation on global and regional-level practice of freedom of expression while Santosh Sigdel shed light on freedom of expression in the context of Nepal.

09-       No issues in coalition government: Deuba

            Chitwan, March 1: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba has said there is no issue among the political parties in the coalition government.

Talking to the media briefly, the former Prime Minister who has been here today to take part in an inauguration of the Bharatpur Visit Year, 2024, claimed the ruling alliance will remain intact.

            He was of the view of taking diverse opinions from political leaders and cadres as a part of the political discourse.  He said the matter of selecting the chairperson of National Assembly will be finalised only through discussions within the ruling coalition.

            Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and former Prime Minister and CPN (Unified Socialist) Chair Madhav Kumar Nepal arrived here on Thursday to participate in the programme. The formal inauguration of the Bharatpur Visit Year is scheduled to take place at 1:00 pm today on the bank of Narayani River.

10 –      BEEN launches knowledge resources for promoting energy efficiency in Nepalese building sector

            Kathmandu, March 1: The Building Energy Efficiency in Nepal (BEEN) has launched what it called three pivotal knowledge resources aimed at improving energy efficiency in Nepalese building sector.

            These resources include the Baseline Report on Operational Energy Consumption in Buildings, the Manual for Energy-Efficient Building Design and the By-Laws for Energy-Efficiency in Buildings of Dhulikhel Municipality, 2080 BS.

            BEEN, funded by the European Union under the SWITCH-Asia Grants Programme, is a 4-year project led by the University of Innsbruck, Austria in partnership with MinErgy Pvt Ltd, Nepal, Greentech Knowledge Solutions Pvt Ltd, India, and Asociación Española de Normalización (UNE), Spain.

            It was informed at the knowledge resources launching programme held here on Thursday that rapid addition of 1.24 million houses over a decade to reach 6.67 million by 2021 with the residential sector consuming over 60% of the national energy has resulted in the higher carbon footprint of building stocks in Nepal.

            The comprehensive baseline study shades light on the current construction practices and operational energy consumption across different building typologies in the four bio-climatic zones of Nepal. The baseline report has been developed for the first time through a survey of over 1,220 residential buildings, 121 hotels/resorts, and 120 day-use office buildings to gather data on construction practices and energy consumption, aiming to develop passive design guidelines, tools, standards, and manuals for energy efficiency.

            Speaking on the occasion, Suyesh Prajapati, Team Leader of the BEEN Project highlighted the key findings of the current scenarios of energy consumptions in operation of buildings. He said for each bioclimatic zone and building typologies, the report provides comprehensive information on the key findings on building characteristics; energy consumption, particularly on energy use, source, and end-use device for space heating, cooling, and lighting; Energy Performance Index (EPI); iv) use of renewable energy; and perception and awareness on energy-efficiency, underlining the need for tailored strategies to enhance energy efficiency in Nepal’s building sector.

             As per the Manual for Energy-Efficient Building Design, in Nepal, rapid urbanization and market demands have led to building designs that neglect local climates, causing increased energy consumption and discomfort. The Manual aims to educate designers on designing energy efficient buildings, emphasizing climate-responsive design and passive principles relevant to Nepal’s diverse climates.

            Ms Saswati Chetia, Technical Coordinator of Greentech Knowledge Solutions of India highlighted the key contents of the manual. This manual also seeks to improve thermal and visual comfort while reducing energy consumption, addressing the challenges through better construction technologies, roof assembly, walling techniques, natural ventilation, insulation of walls, and window glazing, framing, and shadings among other strategies.

            Unveiling the Dhulikhel by-laws that incorporates EE and RE measures, Ashok Kumar Byanju, Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality highlighted that a significant policy breakthrough has been done paving the way towards energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) provisions. “This landmark legislation serves as an example for sustainable urban development practices across Nepal,” he added.

            Attended by the mayor or deputy mayor, and technical representative, the session featured speakers as Ms Sunita Dangol, Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu, Nawa Raj Dhakal, Executive Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Dr Marco Gemmer, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal, Er Prakirna Tuladhar, Joint Secretary of Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), Dr Maheshwor Dhakal, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Forests and Environment (MOFE)Kamal Prasad Bhattarai, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Professor Dr  Wolfgang Streicher-Vice Rector of University of Innsbruck, and Dr Daniel Neyer, Project Leader of BEEN Project.

            Bhattarai and Dr Gemmer jointly launched the Baseline Report on Operational Energy Consumption in Buildings. The manual was jointly launched by Er Tuladhar and Dr Gemmer. The By-Laws for Energy-Efficiency in Buildings of Dhulikhel Municipality, 2080 was launched by Mayor Byanju.

            It is said these launches represent a major milestone in Nepal’s journey towards building design and construction that provides thermal comfort and improved quality of life through integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies in the buildings.

11-       Backlog of huge quantity of powder milk, butter creating problem to DDC in payment

            Kathmandu, March 1: The Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) is facing problem in paying the farmers due to the backlog of huge quantity of powder milk and butter.

            Though the DDC has been purchasing 140,000 litres of milk from farmers of different districts daily, problem has surfaced as only 90,000 litres of milk is sold in the market.Deputy General Manager of DDC and Information Officer Rajendra Prasad Adhikari shared, “We purchase 4.2 million litres of milk through farmers every month. But only around 2.7 million litres of milk is sold. Problem has surfaced due to shortage of powder equal to 1.5 million litres milk every month.” 

            “We have been storing butter and powdered milk equivalent to around 50,000 litres of milk every day,” he mentioned. The DDC expected that sale of yoghurt would be increased with onset of summer season. Adhikari further said there is now stock of 900,000 kilogrammes of powdered milk and 700,000 kilogrammes of butter worth Rs 1.25 billion with the DDC. 

            The DDC purchases milk produced in various 43 districts through its own chilling centre and different cooperatives, and sells it to the general consumers. It has 64 chilling centres across the country.

 12-      Speaker directs government to respond to MPs’ queries on March 4

            Kathmandu, March 1: Speaker Devraj Ghimire has directed the government to respond to the various issues that lawmakers have voiced in the meetings of the House of Representatives (HoR) in the lower house meeting on March 4.

            The Speaker’s this directive comes after the main opposition among other parties demanded the government’s response on various contemporary issues during the HoR meeting today.

            In the meeting, lawmakers Surya Bahadur Thapa Chhetri and Rajendra Lingden called attention of the government, citing that it failed to take initiatives for addressing the problems faced by the usury victims, the people suffering at the hand of microfinance and the problems of the dairy farmers.

            Prior to this also the lawmakers had demanded that the government should come up with clear answers on issues such as the Balkumari incident and the demand for sacking government ministers accused of corruption. At the outset of the meeting, the opposition parties’ lawmakers protested, saying the government did not address the issues raised in the parliament before this.

13 –      Economy on path of recovery: Finance Minister Mahat

            Galkot (Baglung), March 1: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has said the country’s economy has started catching its pace. During a programme organised by the Nepali Congress (NC) Baglung today, the Minister said the government is focused on ensuring a sustainable improvement in economy.

            He added that economic indicators suggest that economy is recovering.

According to him, when he assumed office, the inflation was eight percent and bank interest rate was 16 percent. A significant volume of investment was in real estate and stock market.  Now bank interest rate is coming to a single digit, there is a rise in the economic growth. Though overnight improvement is not possible, the economy has been in the gradual path of recovery.   

            He accused the previous government of implementing projects haphazardly, causing a more financial responsibilities to the incumbent government. The Minister who is also the Spokesperson for the Nepali Congress said, “Sentiments are not enough to drive the party. It should be capable for giving a right leadership to the nation and bringing prosperity in the country.”

            He argued that the relevance of a coalition government is becoming vital when constitutionally it seems that no political parties are in the status of garnering a majority in the election. He is here to attend an economic dialogue to be held under Ananta Shree Brhamandiya Mayayagya, a religious event to run till March 6.

14 –      118 pharmacies are in operation in KMC against basic standard 

            Kathmandu, March 1: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has said 118 pharmacies operated within KMC are found not following basic standards.KMC Health Department had carried out monitoring of pharmacies from October 8, 2023. In course of monitoring pharmacies operated in wards 1, 2, 3 and other wards so far, the pharmacies were not found following basic standard.

            In course of the monitoring, three packets of anti-rabies vaccines, nine pieces of TT vaccine and three pieces of insulin were seized from Mission Pharmacy operated at KMC-14, said acting Chief of KMC Health Department, Sajina Maharjan. Most of the pharmacies were found not maintaining temperature required in the vaccine-store room, it was serious negligence in view of public health, shared Maharjan.

            After knowing the monitoring situation, KMC Deputy Mayor and Coordinator of Monitoring Committee, Sunita Dangol mentioned that chance could not be given to such pharmacies for improvement.

            Issuing a public notice, the KMC in November, 2023 had urged the pharmacies running within KMC to come under the ambit of law as per the existing provision. The KMC had launched monitoring citing pharmacies neglected the information. A total of 2,600 medical shops are now in operation in KMC.

15-       INNJA gets new leadership

            Tokyo (Japan), March 1: The Tokyo Conference- 2024 of International Network for Nepali Journalists (INNJA) has elected a new leadership under the leadership of Gunaraj Luintel with a four-year term.  The event that commended on February 29 concluded today, March 1.

            The new executive committee comprises Bishnu Shital (senior vice president), Tanka Panta, Kishore Sapkota and Dadi Sapkota (vice-presidents), Deepak Rijal (general secretary) and Anand Koirala (secretary).  They were elected unanimously.  

            Similarly, Rita Sapkota, Kamal Dhakal, Dhruba Paudel, Bishnu Sharma, Dawa Dhakal, Binesh Khanal, Bijay Thapa, Ankush Nepal and Khem Bhattachan are the members on the new committee.

            An election committee coordinated by senior journalists Bhushan Ghimire announced the elections of them on the respective posts. The committee comprised Krishna Paudel and Srijana Dhakal as its members. INNJA with its headquarters in America was established on March 1 in 2018.

16 –      Bharatpur is city having immense potentials for tourism

          development: UML Chair Oli

            Bharatpur, March 1: CPN (UML) Chairperson and former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has asserted that Bharatpur is a city having immense potentials for tourism development. Addressing the inaugural session of Bharatpur Visit Year 2024 at Narayani River banks today, Chair Oli shared that Bharatpur has become a city of beautiful mix of the people migrated from different areas of the country and indigenous nationalities of the district. 

            He clarified, “Chitwan is the city having immense potentials of tourism. I had forwarded a plan of waterways route to connect Bengal via Narayani and Koshi seeing immense potentials of tourism here. The private sector has now constructed infrastructure of water tourism in rivers including Narayani as per this plan.”

            The UML Chair mentioned that he supported to forward the activities related to construction of Assembly Hall, six-lane road, and postal road for the development of Bharatpur. Sharing that Bharatpur could be developed as the centre of agriculture, education and health, he expressed commitment that he and his party would always support for development of Bharatpur.

17-       BIMSTEC Charter presented in the House of Representatives

            Kathmandu, March 1: The Charter of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has been presented in the parliament.Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud presented the document in the meeting of the House of Representatives today.

            A meeting of the Council of Ministers on September 15, 2023 had taken a decision to give approval to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to present the BIMSTEC Charter in the Federal Parliament, in accordance with the Chapter 4 of Nepal Treaty Act, 2047 BS.

            Presenting the Charter in parliament, the Foreign Affairs Minister argued that it would be appropriate to endorse the document as its underlying objectives and principles were in line with Nepal’s foreign policy.

            BIMSTEC was established in 1997 with the objective of promoting regional cooperation among the countries of South Asia and South East Asia. Nepal took the membership of this regional organisation in 2004 as per the policy of fostering economic and social development through regional cooperation.

            The Fourth BIMSTEC Summit held in Kathmandu in 2018 had decided to prepare the Charter at the earliest and have it implemented. The Charter was prepared based on the discussions, suggestions and feedback from the Member States in accordance with this decision and the Heads of State or Governments of the member states signed it during the Fifth Summit held in Colombo of Sri Lanka in 2022.

            According to Minister Saud, the BIMSTEC Charter has provided the policy and institutional basis for regional cooperation.There is a provision requiring the member states to endorse the Charter after completing the internal process for its implementation, and the document comes into operation from the 30th day after receiving the submission of the endorsement of the Charter by all the member states.

            Minister Saud on the occasion informed the parliament that six other BIMSTEC member states have endorsed the Charter.Article 279 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal on Ratification of, Accession to, Acceptance or Approval of, Treaties or Agreements, states that the ratification of, accession to, acceptance or approval of, treaties or agreements to which Nepal or the Government of Nepal is to become a party shall be as provided for in the federal law.

            The following Sub-Article states that any law to be made pursuant to clause (1) shall, inter alia, require that the ratification of, accession to, acceptance or approval of, treaties or agreements on (a) Peace and friendship; (b) Defence and strategic alliance; (c) Boundaries of the Nepal; and (d) Natural resources, and the distribution of their uses, shall be made by a majority of two-thirds of the total number of the then members of both Houses of the Federal Parliament.

            It also states that provided that, out of the treaties or agreements referred to in sub-clauses (a) and (d), in case any treaty or agreement is of an ordinary nature, which does not affect the nation extensively, seriously or in the long term, the ratification of, accession to, acceptance or approval of, such treaty or agreement may be made by a simple majority of the members present in a meeting of the House of Representatives.

            Minister for Foreign Affairs presented this proposal in the parliament pursuant to this provision of the Constitution and Clause 4 of the Treaty Act.

Deputy Speaker Indira Rana informed the meeting of the House of Representatives about the reshuffling of the members of the HoR Business Advisory Committee. She informed the House that Abdul Khan has been appointed in place of Committee member Anita Devi.

18-       Monitoring and Evaluation Bill-2080 passed unanimously

            Kathmandu, March 1: Today’s meeting of the House of Representatives has unanimously passed the ‘Monitoring and Evaluation Bill-2080’.Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, on the behalf of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ presented the proposal seeking the passage of the bill.

            The bill was discussed along with the report of State Affairs and Good Governance Committee in today’s HoR meeting.  The bill produced in the National Assembly has an objective of making monitoring and evaluation of development policies and plan, programme and project systematic.

            On the occasion, Minister Sharma shared this law was necessary to ensure public accountability making development process result-oriented and transparent. A target has been set to make monitoring and evaluation activities regular and periodic and make heads of public bodies accountable specifying their responsibilities.  The HoR will meet next on March 4.

19-       Tri-nation T20 series: Nepal defeats Namibia

            Kathmandu, March 1: In a dominant display of bowling by Karan KC, Nepal emerged victorious against Namibia in today’s match of the ongoing Tri-nation International T20 Series. The Namibian team, chasing a victory target of 181 runs posed by Nepal, was limited to 177 in 20 overs, losing seven wickets.

KC’s performance in the last over restricted Namibia to just eight runs when they needed 12 for the win.

            With this triumph, Nepal secured two crucial points, significantly boosting their chances of qualifying for the final. Following today’s match, Namibia also amassed two points, while the Netherlands leads with four points from two matches. Nepal had previously suffered a 20-run defeat to Namibia in the opening match and was defeated by the Netherlands in the second match.

In yesterday’s game, Namibia experienced a 59-run defeat against the Netherlands.

            Namibia’s captain, JJ Smit, gave an impressive performance in today’s match, scoring a half-century with six boundaries and two sixes in 26 balls. Jan Frylinck contributed 37, JP Kotze added 25, and Michael van Lingen scored 10. Ruben Trumpelmann made 14, and Zane Green was not out with 23.

            Towards bowling, Nepal’s Karan KC, Sompal Kami, and Captain Rohit Kumar Paudel, each claimed two wickets, while Abhinash Bohora secured one wicket.Earlier, Nepal, having been invited to bat first after losing the toss, posted a total of 180 in 20 overs, losing eight wickets.

            Kushal Malla played a crucial innings, scoring a half-century in 37 balls, including one four and four sixes. Mall’s partnership with Aarif Sheik contributed 85 runs for the fifth wicket. Aarif scored 31 with four boundaries in 24 balls. Gulshan Jha added 26, Anil Shah contributed 23, and Dipendra Singh Airee scored 16 before being dismissed.

            Captain Paudel was out for 10 runs with two boundaries in nine balls. In the bowling, Ben Shikongo claimed three wickets, while Jack Brassell took two. Bernard Scholtz and Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton each took one wicket.Nepal is set to face the Netherlands in the upcoming match tomorrow.

20 –      Deuba stresses on collaboration between govt, private sector

            Bharatpur, March 1: Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba has pointed out the need of collaboration between the government and private sector for the development of tourism sector. Addressing the inaugural session of Visit Bharatpur Year 2024 organised at Narayani River Bank in Chitwan today, he underscored the need of collaboration among all sectors for tourism promotion of the country, as the country has adopted three-pillar economic policy.

            The activities taking place in tourism sector, which was affected due to the coronavirus pandemic, would revive the tourism sector, he mentioned.

Also the former Prime Minister Deuba stressed, “Bharatpur Visit Year will help in country’s economic development by increasing tourists along with publicity in national and international level”, adding the incumbent government would carry out activities in tourism promotion sector.

            Sharing that Bharatpur is the major tourism destination of the country, he said Bharatpur Metropolitan City has adequate infrastructures for tourism development. Bharatpur has been established as the major economic centre of the county due to bio-diversity, eco-tourism, health, agriculture and tourism development, underlined President Deuba.

21-       NA session endorses Anti-Money Laundering Bill

            Kathmandu, March 1: A session of the National Assembly (NA) today endorsed the ‘Bill aimed to amend some acts relating to the prevention of money laundering and promotion of business environment-2080 BS’.

            Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Dhanraj Gurung, presented the Bill to the upper house session, seeking its passage. Prior to the endorsement, lawmakers Ramesh Jung Rayamajhi and Bhairav Sundar Shrestha took part in the deliberation on the Bill received along with the report of the Legislative Management Committee and the message from the House of Representatives.

            Similarly, the meeting passed the ‘NA (second amendment) regulations, 2080 BS’.  Suresh Kumar Alemagar proposed the meeting to endorse the regulations.

            NA members Prakash Pantha, Bhuwan Bahadur Sunar, Ramesh Jung Rayamajhi, Kamala Panta, Dr Bimala Rai Poudyal, Jitendra Narayan Dev, Bhairav Sundar Shrestha, Khimlal Devkota, Bimala Ghimire and Gopi Bahadur Sarki Achhami put their views regarding the proposal.

            The Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation Report of the development and construction works as well as of the law and order in electoral constituency (province) was also presented in the Assembly meeting today.

            President of the Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee, Prakash Pantha, presented the ‘Study and Evaluation Report on the Status of Implementation of SDGs in Nepal, 2080’ before the Assembly.

            Similarly, president of the Legislation Management Committee, Jayantidevi Rai presented a Report on the Assessment of Clause 19 of the Right to Food and Food Sovereignty Act, 2075BS.

            The National Assembly will next meet on March 4 at 1.17 pm.

22-       NEA urges international community to spur investment in energy sector

            Kathmandu, March 1: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has urged the international development partners of the country to spur investment in energy sector.

            In view of the need of mega investment for energy production, transmission, distribution, expansion and reform, the NEA called for Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, European Union, World Bank and Asian Development Bank that have been aiding Nepal for expanding the assistance.

            A team comprising Swiss Ambassador Danielle Meuwly, World Bank Country Director for Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zerbos, ADB’s Nepal Resident Mission Director Arnaud Cauchois, representatives of European Union and USAID, among other development partners on Friday monitored the 220-KV New Butwal Sub-Station at Sunwal municipality-13, Suryabasti of Nawalparasi (Bardaghat-Susta-East). 

            The new Butwal substation has been constructed under the Kaligandaki Corridor 220 KV transmission line project with the investment of the Government of Nepal (GoN) and NEA and a concessional loan from ADB.

            The NEA has urged the monitoring team that visited the substation to increase assistance in the energy sector. Lauding Nepal’s achievements in the energy sector, the team pledged to further increase investment.

            Informing about hydropower generation, transmission distribution situation in Nepal and export of electricity to India and Bangladesh, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising said investment over 13 billion US Dollars is required in the next 5-6 years. 

            “In order to increase power generation and expand and strengthen the system, in the next 5-6 years, more than six billion USD will be needed for electricity generation, five billion USD for transmission and over two billion dollars for distribution,” Ghising said.

            He further told the development partners, “Only the excess electricity after consuming here is exported to the neighboring countries. Mega investment is required for the construction of infrastructure for the export of electricity.”

            World Bank Country Director Faris said investment in the 1,063 MW Upper Arun Hydropower Project led by the Bank has reached the final stage. He stressed the need of paying special attention to the implementation of environmental and social protection provisions during the implementation of the project.

            ADB’s Resident Mission Director Arnaud said the Bank has been partnering in Nepal’s energy sector for the last 50 years and the bank-led 635 MW Dudhkoshi Reservoir Hydropower Project is working to manage its finances by 2024.

            The monitoring team had obtained information about the control room of the substation. The team also took information about the status of power transmission and distribution.

            Kaligandaki Corridor 220 kV double circuit transmission line and three substations have been constructed to integrate the electricity of the hydropower projects to be constructed in Kaligandaki and its tributaries into the national system.

            Under the Kaligandaki Corridor 220 KV Double Circuit Transmission Line Project, about 130 kilometers double circuit transmission line has been constructed from Dana substation of Annapurna Rural Municipality-3 of Myagdi and passing through Parbat, Baglung, Syangja, Palpa, Rupandehi to New Butwal substation of Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta West).

            The transmission line has the capacity to carry about 2,000 MW of electricity. The Kaligandaki Corridor transmission line project has been constructed with the investment of the GoN and NEA and a concessional loan received from the Electricity System Expansion Project under ADB’s Asia Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC). New Butwal-Gorakhpur for power trade with India

            A new Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV second cross-country transmission line is also being constructed for power trade with India. The surplus electricity after consuming within the country will be exported to India through the same transmission line.

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23-       Private sector shows concern over bankers’ arrest

            Kathmandu, March 1: Various organizations representing private sector have drawn their attention over one after another arrest of bankers in connection with the issue of loan misuse.

            Noting that it was serious to arrest employees of the banks and financial institutions in regard to the loan given on the basis of collateral assessment, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) have expressed their concerns over the action.

            The Central Investigation Bureau of the Nepal Police had caught 10 bankers, including Acting Chief Executive Officer of Prabhu Bank Manoj Neupane and former CEO of Century Comemrcial Bank Tulasi Gautam on last Tuesday for allegedly issuing over amount of loan than the collateral assessment.

            The private sector said the recent incident has seriously affected the professionalism of the banking sector as a whole. “People who are not directly involved in any of the incidents of banks and financial institutions but working in accordance with the existing legal system, policies and directives of the regulatory bodies have been undermined despite their good intentions merely for signing documents in their capacity,” the statement said.

            According to the private sector, banks and financial institutions are conducting deposit collection and loan investment subject to the existing acts and directives issued by the central bank.

            In the case of commercial loans, different types of loans are disbursed towards fixed capital and current capital depending on the business nature, according to the statement of the umbrella organizations of the private sector.

24-       Achievement standards set in 14 months: PM Dahal

            Chitwan, March 1: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the government was working actively to prepare a robust foundation of prosperity so that challenges facing national economy could be addressed deftly.

            Inaugurating the ‘Bharatpur Visit Year, 2024’ launched amidst a programme here today, PM Dahal viewed good governance, social justice and prosperity were prioritized to pay heed to economic targets.

            “In the last 14 months, government has set the achievement standards that are visible to country and the world,” PM Dahal claimed, adding, “Activities in the front of corruption control, economic reform, implementation of federalism, social justice, and service delivery are significant achievements.”

            The PM reminded that sustainable development with economic prosperity warrants national consensus. Collective presence of national political dignitaries gives a positive message to the country and world, he argued.

            According to him, tourism sector contributes 6.7 percent to gross domestic product in Nepal, while it creates 6.9 percent jobs. He shared that he had got the information of arrival of 190 thousand tourists in Chitwan in 2023.

            He hoped the Visit Year will turn a milestone. It will promote more than 50 tourist destinations in Chitwan, which, he argued, would prop up quality stride in Chitwan tourism.

            Prominent guests used to hunt in the Chitwan forest, PM Dahal reminded, adding that jungle safari is equally captivating to tourists. “These are strong reminders that the Visit Year, 2024′ will be successful to achieve its goals.

            Moreover, the Head of the Government claimed that Bharatpur Metropolitan City remained a role model in the last seven year. There is huge difference between the Bharatpur a decade back and the present.

            The completed and the ongoing infrastructure projects including Narayani sea beach, city hall, and Gautam Buddha international cricket stadium have pivotal role to country’s economy and development.

            “Bharatpur is prosperous and rich in diverse nature, thereby standing atop the list of local governments. There are numerous areas as agriculture, cooperation, industry and tourism to unlock development potentials.” PM Dahal further informed that there are 22 manmade tourist destinations in addition natural spots to attract visitors.

            He heartily praised the Bharatpur Metropolis’ initiative to launch the Tourism Year so that the economic slid back with COVID-19 would revive and help boost people’s life. There will be massive publicity of religious and natural heritages of Chitwan in the national and international levels with the yearlong campaign. ‘Bharatpur Visit Year, 2024’ is a historic feat to promote tourism, PM Dahal commented.

25-       Bharatpur can be int’l tourism destination: Chair Nepal

            Bharatpur, March 1: Chairman of CPN (Unified Socialist), Madhav Kumar Nepal, has said Bharatpur could be developed as an international tourism destination.

            Addressing the ‘Visit Bharatpur Year, 2024’ programme organized on the Narayani riverbank on Friday, Chairman Nepal said both development and tourism potentials can be unlocked in Bharatpur.

            “Natural diversity had enriched Chitwan. Presence of diverse culture, languages and ethnicities are also attractions to tourists,” he reminded, lauding that Bharatupur Metropolitan City has stood first among the local levels in Nepal.

            He, however, suggested Bharatpur to pay heed to other indications of development in addition to road infrastructure.

            Coordination and collaboration among federal, provincial and local levels is imperative to advance development, Chair Nepal added.

Political unity essential: Former PM Khanal

            Moreover, noted leader of CPN (Unified Socialist) and former Prime Minister, Jhalanath Khanal, underlined the need of unity among all political parties so that development could be realized.

            He viewed frequent changes in government had obstructed in fulfilling people’s expectation. “We need to review the path we are treading. Where’s the gap? If all are united, prosperity is possible,” Khanal stressed.

            The former PM observed that activities were forwarded for development and transformation in Bharatpur. 

26-       ‘Pahirobhitrako Gham’ released

            Kathmandu, March 1: An anthology of poems, ‘Pahirobhitrako Gham’, written by Sushila Khadka ‘Hasina’ has been released here Friday.

            Chancellor of Nepal Academy, Bhupal Rai, released the anthology amidst a function at Academy. On the occasion, Chancellor Rai said Khadka’s poems help foster decent culture while discouraging negative mindset.

            Poet Khadka has expressed worry over growing inhuman behaviors at present time through her poems, he added. The poet has sought coexistence and tolerance among diverse communities.

            On the occasion, critic Mahesh Paudel said the poems have more reactive than inventive themes.

27-       PM Dahal to respond to lawmakers’ queries on Monday  

            Kathmandu, March 1: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is rescheduled to respond to lawmakers’ queries coming Monday.

            The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers wrote to the parliament secretariat that PM Dahal would respond to queries put forth by the lawmakers, including that of opposition party.

            The PM failed to manage time to furnish replies to the lawmakers on Friday due to his hectic schedule, according to Secretary at PM’s Office, Dr Ganesh Prasad Pande.

            PM Dahal was earlier scheduled to address parliament meeting on Friday, but could not attend meeting as he had to visit out of the Kathmandu Valley.

            Earlier, Speaker Devraj Ghimire had directed the government to furnish response after lawmakers demanded PM’s reply in the parliament meeting.

28-       No problem in ruling coalition: Communications Minister

            Kathmandu, March 1: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma said there is no problem in ruling coalition.

            Talking to journalists at federal parliament building on Friday, Minister Sharma, also the government spokesperson, clarified that there is no rift among the coalition partners.

            Sharing that t claiming National Assembly Chairperson was raised in the standing committee meeting of her party, Minister Sharma further said the coalition would not be broken because of the Maoist Centre.

            She noted it was obvious for the CPN (Maoist Centre) to claim the Chairperson of the upper house as the largest party in the NA.  

            “CPN (Maoist Centre) has emerged as the largest party in the National Assembly, but so far there is no representation of the Maoists from the President to the Vice President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the National Assembly Chair. Our party has the Prime Minister, it is in his place. The issues were raised in the standing committee meeting with the intention that the Maoists should be able to stake claim for the post of National Assembly chairperson and the alliance should also cooperate in this regard,” she said.

            According to Sharma, the standing committee meeting of the party has reached an agreement to register candidacy for the post of National Assembly chairperson and the party has staked claim accordingly.

29-       World Bank to provide Rs 26.51 billion for growth reforms, better local roads in Nepal

            Kathmandu, March 1: The World Bank has approved Rs 26.51 billion in new financing for two projects in Nepal to support the country’s transition toward Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) and help improve the development and maintenance of Nepal’s provincial and local road network.

            “The World Bank is committed to supporting Nepal’s green, resilient, and inclusive development. Through the new projects financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), we continue to focus our assistance on improving people’s lives including through infrastructure and services,” saidFaris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

            The press release issued by the World Bank Headquarters mentioned that some Rs 13. 25 billion Second Fiscal Policy for Growth, Recovery and Resilience Development Policy Credit aims to strengthen revenue collection, reduce fragmentation of debt management, and increase debt transparency. It also supports reforms to enhance climate-resilient infrastructure spending, lower Nepal’s minimum foreign direct investment (FDI) threshold to promote FDI inflows and facilitate automation to streamline the process of FDI.

            Similarly, similar amount for the Provincial and Local Roads Improvement Programme will support the implementation of a comprehensive programmefor the development and maintenance of Nepal’s provincial and local road network. It will help improve the efficiency of service delivery, strengthen the resilience of selected provincial roads and bridges, and ensure communities have safe access to markets and services, the press statement added.

            This first of a three-phased series of programmes will be implemented in Madhesh, Karnali, and Sudurpaschim Provinces and local levels with the potential to scale up in the future.

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30-       Govt, usury victims decide to meet again

            Kathmandu, March 1: The government and usury victims have agreed to meet again for further discussion and sort out problems.

            Coordinator of talk team on behalf of usury victims, Abadhesh Kushbaha, informed that the dialogue held on Friday ended positively. Both sides agreed to sit again next morning, he added.

            According to him, the government was for reviewing the initiatives made so far and forming a structure to address the concerns of loan-shark victims.

            The victims of extortionate money-lending come from across the country have gathered in the federal capital and putting forth six demands, including formation of high powered commission.

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