From the Kathmandu Press: Sunday, August 20, 2017

Major English and Nepali broadsheet newspapers published from Kathmandu on Sunday have prioritised two political meetings held on Saturday in the run-up to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s formal visit to India beginning Tuesday.

Other issues receiving prominence are discussions on the constitution amendment bill in Parliament and follow-up stories on recent floods.


Terai floods: President, ex-PMs urge PM to talk with India

File image: President’s Office, Sheetal Niwas

In the wake of recent devastating floods in various districts of Terai, President Bidya Devi Bhandari and former prime ministers have urged Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to talk with India about the issue in a bid to find permanent solutions.

President Bhandari on Saturday had called top leaders of major political parties for a meeting, in which she suggested that the parties have a common opinion about major national issues including recent natural disasters and constitution implementation, says Gorkhapatra.

About floods, she expressed her dissatisfaction over giving the authority to operate and control barrages and dams of border areas to India, and drew attention of the parties to take initiatives to revise related treaties to regain the lost control as an independent and sovereign nation, reports Naya Patrika.

Meanwhile, former prime ministers have also advised PM Deuba to raise contemporary issues, including recent inundations, during his high-level meetings in New Delhi, according to the lead story of The Kathmandu Post. Deuba on Saturday had consulted former PMs to finalise agendas of his visit.

However, diplomatic officials say Deuba is likely to focus on the implementation of past pacts and reaching any new agreement or treaty during his visit.

Constitution amendment bill to put to vote on Monday

File image: The Parliament building of Nepal

Parliament is concluding clause-wise deliberations on the constitution amendment bill on Sunday and preparing to put it to vote for a decision on Monday, says the lead story in Naya Patrika.

The House, however, is very unlikely to endorse the amendment as the ruling alliance does not have sufficient lawmakers (two-thirds of the total) for endorsement, a Rajdhani report says. According to the present equation as reported by Naya Patrika, there are only 373 lawmakers in favour of the amendment while 395 votes are needed for the endorsement.

Meanwhile, agitating Rastriya Janata Party Nepal is preparing to accept results of the voting and join the process of third phase of local level elections in Province 2 scheduled for September 18. The party was demanding that the amendment bill be put to vote as a precondition to contest the polls, the reports say.


Over 1.1 million new voters registered

The registration for new voters is going on, in Bhairahawa of Rupandehi district in July 2017. Photo: Salman Khan/Onlinekhabar

The Election Commission says more than 1.1 million citizens, mostly teens and youth, have registered themselves with the Commission to cast votes in upcoming elections. The Commission had run a voter registration campaign for the period of one month, Republica lead story says.

This, however, is just a preliminary estimate and local offices of the Commission are updating the details, EC spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma has been quoted in the report, “The number of new voters will not exceed 1.2 million.”

Meanwhile, the Commission plans to verify the details of voters soon after the local offices provide the list in order to avoid duplication and overlapping. But, precautions have been adopted in the registration phase itself and the number of fake voters will significantly decrease, the report says.

Before launching the month-long campaign, there were around 14 million voters.

All hydropower projects are national priority projects now

All hydropower projects being run in the country will now receive a special treatment from the government as they will get the status of national priority projects, The Himalayan Times anchor story reports.

The National Planning Commission—the apex planning body of the government—made the decision recently, considering that lack of energy is a major bottleneck for development, the report says, adding the NPC has also instructed the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation to facilitate hydropower projects by cooperating when it is necessary to clear forests.

“The NPC move has shortened the procedure hydropower developers had to take before seeking to clear forest areas,” NPC member Arbind Kumar Mishra has been quoted in the report, “All generation, transmission and distribution projects, whether to be developed by the government or the private sector, will be considered national priority projects.”


Home Secretary’s stance deprives all APF personnel of their Shrawan salary

All Armed Police Force officials working across the country have been deprived of their salary for the month of Shrawan owing to an “unnatural” stance of Home Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi, reports Annapurna Post in its anchor story.

Home Secretary Regmi has put files related to transfer of two APF DSPs on hold and it has led to the postponement in passage of the salary report of all personnel, the report says.

The APF personnel would generally be paid in the last week of every Nepali month, but the file has not been passed till Saturday, the third day of next month.  Home Minister Janardan Sharma had expressed his concerns over the issue and directed Secretary to settle it at the earlier, but Regmi did not abide by the order, the report claims.

Currently, the APF has around 36,000 staff and most of them at the junior level are busy providing rescue and relief assistance to flood victims in various parties of the country.

Published on August 20th, Sunday, 2017 10:06 AM

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