• Sunday, 14 July 2024

Budget aims to develop nation as IT hub in next decade: PM Dahal

Published Date : June 7, 2024

            Kathmandu, June 7: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the budget for the upcoming fiscal year aims to develop the nation as a hub of information technology (IT).

            The budget has announced a decade for the IT enhancement, he added. Speaking at the ‘Digital Nepal Conclave 2024’ organized by the ICT Foundation here today, the Prime Minister shared the government’s goals of exporting IT services worth Rs 3,000 billion in the next fiscal year with the creation of 500 thousand direct employment opportunities and one million indirect jobs in the IT sector.

             The budget has announced to establish IT as an instrumental for economic growth, enable a legal foundation for exploring and promoting IT innovations, and promote the development of artificial technology with the regulatory provisions in place, he said, adding that through the budget, the government has pledged to provide a durable and high-speed internet facility, data security and the protection of intellectual property.

             As the Prime Minister said, institutional measures will be implemented to revise the ‘Digital Nepal Framework,’ and initiatives will be launched to provide high-speed internet in Kathmandu Valley and Butwal, along with the establishment of an IT Park.

            The government accords priority to the use of software developed within the country by public entities and plans to upgrade the government’s data center to enhance data storage, security, and utilization capabilities, according to the Prime Minister.

            As he said, the development and promotion of communications and information technology is one of the top priorities of the government and the new budget highlights the government’s three priorities. Such core priorities are promoting the IT sector, promoting a digital economy, and exploring innovation and job opportunities, he said, adding that ongoing efforts include revising relevant laws and policies to meet these goals.

            Prime Minister Dahal said various facts have proved that progress is being achieved in development, prosperity, and self-employment sectors, adding an environment of enthusiasm is being built in the country gradually due to continuous efforts of the government in the sector of production, productivity, and employment creation.

            He took time to say that the government is doing its best to seek opportunities for lucrative jobs in the sector of information technology as well as a programme along with innovation has been brought at seven provinces establishing a fund of one billion rupees for the first time in the history to promote startup and innovation.

            The Prime Minister appealed to youths and entrepreneurs from the IT sector to collaborate in socio-economic transformation efforts through the use of technology.

            “You should not be disappointed. The government is grateful towards your contribution to employment creation and economic development through the IT sector”, the Prime Minister said, adding the government is ready to address policy-level issues concerning the IT sector.

            Stating that building a corruption-free society by improving ‘digital governance’ is the responsibility of the government, he said, pledging for the prevention of corruption, guarantee of good governance, smooth service delivery as well as the creation of a strong basis for improving intergovernmental coordination.

            Wider discussions are expected to be held in separate sessions on various issues including ‘Digitalization’ and development, digital economy and investment in digital Nepal, digital empowerment, and inclusion in sustainable development in the event.

            More than 600 people representing the IT sector have been participating in the Conclave themed “Harmonizing Digitalization and Development”.

07-       Gold price sets new record, trading at Rs 145,000 per tola

            Kathmandu, June 7: The price of gold has increased by Rs 1,000 per tola (11.66) today in the domestic market as compared to Thursday.

            With this, the price of yellow has recorded all-time high today and reached Rs 145,000 per tola. It was traded at Rs 144,000 on Thursday.

            Similarly, worked gold is being traded at RS 144,300 per tola today against Rs 143,300 on Thursday. Likewise, the price of silver has increased by Rs 50 per tola and determined at Rs 1,900 today. It was traded at Rs 1,850 yesterday.

08-       Event to promote Nepal’s tourism held in China

            Kathmandu, June 7: A tourism promotion programme was organized in Chengdu of the Sichuan Province of China to encourage Chinese citizens to visit Nepal.

            The event held on Thursday was attended by over 200 people also including hotel entrepreneurs from Nepal and China, the Nepali community residing in Chengdu, media representatives, and Chinese tourists.

            The event was organised by the Consulate General of Nepal in Chengdu in collaboration with the Nepal Tourism Board and the Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN).

            On the occasion, Nepal’s Consul General Suresh Raut called on the Chinese community including tourism entrepreneurs to visit Nepal.

            He pledged all sorts of efforts to ensure the convenience of Chinese tourists during their stay in Nepal.

            HAN President Binayak Shah said tourism entrepreneurs in Nepal are eager to welcome more and more tourists from China with the commitment to offering quality hospitality services.

            Meanwhile, HAN and Sichuan Travel Agency also signed and exchanged a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aiming to promote mutual cooperation, it is said.

09-       Singh appointed Chief Minister of Madhes Province

            Dhanusha, June 7: Satish Kumar Singh of Janamat Party has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Madhes Province today.

            Province Chief Sumitra Subedi Bhandari in accordance with Article 168 (2) appointed Singh to the post after Singh submitted his claim with the support of CPN (UML), CPN (Maoist Centre), CPN (Unified Socialist) and Nagarik Unmukti Party, among others.

            Newly appointed Chief Minister Singh is scheduled to take oath of office and secrecy today itself. Singh was elected to PA member from Saptari 2 (A) in the election held in November 2022.

10-       Culture of respecting moral authority needed for strengthening democracy: President Paudel

            Kathmandu, June 7: President Ramchandra Paudel has emphasized the culture of respecting moral rights so as to further strengthen democracy.

            Receiving declaration and conclusions of the Inter-Legislative Forum at a programme organised at Office of President-Sheetal Niwas- today, President Paudel reiterated that the more culture of respecting moral authority is developed, the more democracy is strengthened.

            The Head of the State, however, lamented over the lack of culture of respecting moral authority among us.

            He argued that political parties should be accountable to the people and they should play their role within certain limits and dignity. “Extreme factionalism could sometimes cause problems. It kills justice of impoverished communities. Thus, the political parties should function within the certain limits and dignity,” he observed.

            Furthermore, President Paudel claimed that our constitution, that has commanded appreciation from international community for guaranteeing rights of women, Dalit, indigenous groups, marginalized and destitute ones, is the best one in the South Asia.

            On a different note, he suggested the leadership of the parliament to remain neutral, stating that the role of parliament’s leader is important for democracy. He also advised that the political parties should not be biased towards the leadership.

            The president mentioned that the responsibilities of the parliament is to formulate laws, form government, addressing issues of public concerns, guaranteeing democratic values and keeping scrutiny over the government.

            Stating that our constitution had decentralized (or divided) the legislative authority to the federal, provincial and local level, he said, “We all are aware that the legislative authority remains very intensive and extensive. Hence, it is imperative for us to be serious towards complying with them.”

            The President acknowledged that the Forum, since its formation in 2075 BS, has initiated a good practice of exchanging experiences among the federal parliament and province assemblies.

            He expressed his confidence that such practice would facilitate in building relations between federal parliament and province assemblies and maintain uniformity in the parliamentary practices.

            On the occasion, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Devraj Ghimire, handed over the declaration  and conclusion of the three assemblies of the Forum held post last parliamentary election in 2022.

11-       Cooperative movement should be headed to socialism: PM Dahal

            Kathmandu, June 7:  Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said that cooperative movement should be headed in the path of socialism and positive efforts were necessary for the same.

            Inaugurating the first national conference of Cooperative Centre Nepal (CCN) here today, Prime Minister Dahal pointed out the need of heading the cooperative movement in a right track by carrying out study on various issues related to cooperatives at party committee in all levels.

            He mentioned that cooperatives of Nepal have been facing crisis due to impacts of global economic crisis, adding the government has been adopting various measures for policy and practical solutions to address the problems of cooperative sector.

            Stating that the budget for coming fiscal year has made necessary amendment to cooperative related laws in order to run cooperatives in a legal manner, the PM explained that a regulatory body would be formed to regulate saving and credit cooperatives.

            He further said that a high-powered parliamentary committee has been formed to study cooperatives facing crisis and investigate on the cooperative fund embezzlement, recommend action against guilty and to present suggestion to resolve problems, expressing belief that the committee would present necessary suggestions for long-term solution to problems of cooperative sector. 

            Stressing that budget has been allocated to increase production and productive by commercializing and modernizing agriculture, Prime Minister Dahal explained that investment decade (2081-2091) in agriculture has been announced to increase investment in agriculture sector.

            Special priority has been given to promotion of private sector, development of agriculture, energy, information technology, tourism, infrastructure and industry as well as education and health, he opined, adding the role of cooperative sector would be significant for implementation of programmes forwarded in the budget.

            The PM underlined the activities to foil the cooperative movement in the pretext of problems should be stopped and the cooperative movement of Nepal has been facing serious challenges in recent period. 

            He added, “There is a tendency of raising question about the justification of cooperatives showing the problems of cooperatives. It should be ended.”

12-       NEA’s profit in nine months exceeds 11 billion

            Kathmandu, June 7: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has reported a profit exceeding Rs 11 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year, 2080-81 BS (2024-25). During this period, NEA achieved a profit of Rs 11 billion 60 million.

            NEA’s financial details (unprocessed) data until the month of Chait (mid-April) show that the organisation earned a total revenue of Rs 93 billion 940 million during the given period. The figure doesn’t include the tax.

            According to proactive disclosures, NEA’s total expenditures, including electricity purchases, administrative costs, and project investments, amounted to Rs 82 billion 880 million.

            In the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, the NEA’s profit amounted to Rs 8 billion 880 million, with a total annual profit of Rs 13 billion 370 million.

            The accumulated profit of the NEA has reached Rs 33 billion 64 million.

            The NEA has been earning profit since the fiscal year 2072-73 BS (2015-16). Before this, it was incurring an annual loss of Rs 8 billion 890 million.  As the NEA said, control of electricity leakage, increasing domestic consumption and imports to India, and austerity in expenditures are among the factors leading to the profit for the organisation.

            Netting Rs 68 billion 890 million from power supplies, NEA also exported surplus power from domestic consumption to India, with a value of Rs 13 billion 420 million in this period.

13-       Madhesh Province CM takes oath

            Mahendranagar (Dhanusha), June 7: The newly appointed Chief Minister of the Madhesh Province, Satish Kumar Singh of Janamat Party, took an oath of office and secrecy before Province Chief Sumitra Bhandari today.

            Meanwhile, the new CM constituted the council of ministers inducting Bharat Prasad Shah as the Finance Minister and Yubaraj Bhattarai as the Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Tourism. They represent the CPN (Maoist Centre).

            Similarly, Saroj Kumar Yadav has been appointed the Minister for Infrastructure Development, and Raj Kumar Lekhi the Minister for Education and Culture on behalf of the CPN (UML) in the coalition government.

            Other ministers in the Singh-led new province government are Shatrudhan Singh (Health and Population), Keshab Ray (Minister of State for Health and Population), and Sharada Devi Thapa (Minister of Education and Culture). They all represent the CPN(UML).

            Likewise, Govinda Bahadur Neupane (Land Management, Agriculture, and Cooperatives) and Bechi Lungeli (Energy, Irrigation, and Water Supplies) are from the CPN (Unified Socialist) while Bimala Ansari (Home, Communications, and Law) represents the Nepal Federal Socialist Party and Urmila Devi Singh (Labor and Transport) represents the Nagarik Unmukti Party in the government. The ministers took an office of secrecy today itself.

14-       PM Dahal urges social organisations to work for productivity, job creation

            Kathmandu, June 7: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said the mobilisation of domestic capital, resources, and homegrown skills should be the priority of social activists.

            In his address to a gathering of social activists organised by the Social Welfare Department, CPN (Maoist Centre) here today, the Prime Minister wanted them to contribute to the growth in production, productivity, and the generation of jobs through the mobilization of capital, skills, technology and human resources available within the country.

            On the occasion, the Prime Minister advocated for implementing a policy of adding a separate ‘ non-government and social organizations department’ to the party committee at all levels.

            He advised social organisations to prove their presence and efficiency in the social sector by monitoring the performance of local governments and the State’s bodies and collaborating with them on a need basis.  He hoped that the roles of such organizations would be vital in bringing political and social awakening and transformation.

            The Prime Minister utilised the forum to say that the party has pursued a policy of struggling peacefully from the government, House, and the street in view of preparing a base for socialism.

            He said that the government led by the CPN (Maoist Centre) is doing its best to deliver positive results in political, economic, and social sectors with the establishment of good governance, social justice, and the achievement of prosperity.

            The budget and the government policies and programmes for the upcoming fiscal year 2081-82 BS ( 2024-25) are centered toward this end.

15-       Minister Sharma insists on cooperation for achieving IT Decade goals

            Kathmandu, June 7: Minister for Communications and Information Technology Rekha Sharma has stated that the incumbent government has been aggressively working to put in place policy and structural arrangements for the development of information technology (IT).

            At the Digital Nepal Conclave 2024 organized by ICT Foundation Nepal here today, Minister Sharma assured that important achievements were being made in the areas of formulation of ICT related bills and development of physical infrastructures.

            Stating that the government declared the upcoming decade as the “Information Technology Decade’ from the new fiscal year 2024/25 in the newly unveiled budget, she informed that government aimed to directly generate at least 500,000 jobs and a million of indirect jobs through the operation of IT work stations all over the country.

            Acknowledging the legal hurdles for development of IT sector, the Minister shared that the government was considering legal and policy level reforms for the same.

            “Cyber Security Centre has been established for the first time in the country. IT Policy has been endorsed. The government is making efforts to take forward the IT Bill at the earliest,” Minister Sharma, also Spokesperson of Government, said.

            Furthermore, she explained that the newly unveiled policies, programmes and budget included IT related issues after holding consultations with private sectors and opined that the goals related to IT could be obtained through the collaboration with the private sector.

            The government and private sector should work hand in hand to achieve the Information Technology Decade’s goals, she stressed.

            Stating that the IT was considered to the basis for economic prosperity, the Communications Minister mentioned that the government considered increasing investment in this sector.

            She clarified that optimization of IT had contributed in maintaining good-governance and prosperity, adding the Nepal Telecommunications Company had expanded high speed internet in 76 districts of the country. High speed internet has been installed and expanded in all districts except Mugu, according to the Minister.

            “The government is committed to uplift living standards of the general people and achieve socio-economic prosperity through the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework’, the Minister reaffirmed.

            In the one-day event, over 600 participants, national and international, comprising ICT experts,  government representatives, entrepreneurs and academicians among others would discuss various dynamics of the digital capability for digitizing Nepal.

            Moreover, the thematic experts will furnish recommendations to the concerned government bodies to chart a strategic roadmap to further digitize Nepal.

16-       Three-tier of government should work together for sports development: Minister Upreti

            Barahathawa (Sarlahi), June 7: Minister for Defence, Hari Prasad Upreti, has pointed out that three-tier of governments should work together for the development of sports sector of Nepal. 

            Inaugurating the second Lalbandi Nepal Kyokushin-Kan Karate National Championship at Lalbandi of Sarlahi today, Minister Upreti underscored the need of joining hands together for the development of sports sector as Nepal has been establishing its identity through sports.

            “As Nepal had already establish its identity as the country of mountains. Nepal’s identity is being established in international arena through the medium of sports sector in recent period but we all should be serious for further development of the sector “, he mentioned. 

            “Playing games at home and abroad with high-morale by Nepali players despite proper playgrounds is highly appreciable”, explained the Minister, adding the government of Nepal have to carryout much activities for the development of sports sector and players. 

            He laid emphasis on the need of completing Sunkoshi Marin Diversion, Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track on time as these projects would improve the condition of Madhes Province.

            A total of 250 players from different provinces and departmental clubs have been participating in the Kyokushin-Kan Karate Tournament taking place at ground of Agricultural Development Bank at Lalbandi-7.

            The winners from different weight categories would receive certificate, trophy, medal and cash prize.

17-       Feasibly study to be conducted by formulating regulations on marijuana cultivation: DPM Lamichhane

            Kathmandu, June 5: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Rabi Lamichhane pledged to devise regulations at earliest so as to expedite feasibility study and research on the prospects of marijuana cultivate for medical use.

            At the meeting of the parliamentary Committee of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Natural Resources today, DPM Lamichhane shared that adequate discussions were held on this issue and there was no any doubts regarding it.

            The meeting was summoned to discuss foe commercial cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purpose, the issue has been included in the newly unveiled budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024/25.

            He reiterated, “We are formulating necessary regulations at the earliest to conduct study and research on cultivating marijuana for the medicinal and commercial use.”

            He explained that a study committee would be formed within month to study on marijuana on the multifaceted way, assuring to take into account the social context and monitoring aspect while devising regulations about commercial production of marijuana.

            DPM Lamichhane reaffirmed that those abusing narcotic drugs and involved in smuggling of similar illegal substances would not be exempted from legal actions. Further study into this aspect was underway, he informed.

            He added, “Some people are doing times in jail due to ignorance of legal knowledge. Some are involved in abuse of narcotic drugs and its smuggling. We are deeply studying this.”

            Committee’s President Dr Arzoo Rana Deuba welcomed DPM Lamichhane’s commitment and said that the Committee provided time to devise regulations by coming mid-August.

            “If the Ministry of Home Affairs fails to accelerate works towards this, the Committee will form sub-committee,” she cautioned.

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