All major Nepali and English newspapers published from Kathmandu on Friday have given the topmost attention to a deal forged between CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre about the distribution of ministerial portfolios in the new government headed by UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli. The newspapers have predicted that Oli is likely to expand the Cabinet today after the deal. Meanwhile, the Election Commission has published the schedule for presidential election and it has also received a significant coverage on the front page of broadsheets published from Kathmandu.
UML, Maoist Centre finalise distribution of ministerial portfolios
According to the deal made between two parties, there will be total 18 ministries including the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers in the new governmental structure. Among them, the UML will head 11 ministries and the Maoist Centre will be given seven ministries in the Cabinet.
Rajdhani says a committee headed by administration expert Kashiraj Dahal had recommended for the establishment of 15 ministries only. However, the OPMCM revised the structure and recommended the number be 18 considering the demand of technical government staff. Therefore, the meeting between top leaders of the ruling coalition endorsed the OPMCM suggestion.
Meanwhile, PM Oli has expedited talks with key Madhesh-centric parties with a hope to command a two-thirds majority support in the House of Representatives, reports Janata Post.
Former NTB boss sent to jail for corruption
Concluding the hearing on a years-old case, the Special Court on Thursday sent then acting Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board, Subas Niraula, to jail for seven years, according to the lead story in Karobar.
Then Account Chief Anil Kumar Das and a travel agency operator have also been convicted of corruption in the case whereas 20 other officials of the Board have been given the clean chit, the report informs, adding he will have to repay the embezzled amount of Rs 8.05 million and fine of Rs 5.46 million.
Those being acquitted of corruption include former secretaries Sushil Kumar Ghimire, Sharad Chandra Paudel and Ranjan Krishna Aryal, then CEO Prachanda Man Shrestha among others, reports Gorkhapatra.
Presidential poll scheduled for March 13
A meeting of the Election Commission on Thursday decided to hold the election for Nepal’s next president on March 13, according to newspaper reports. An electoral college consisting members of the National Assembly, the House of Representatives and seven provincial assemblies will cast ballots to elect the new head of state.
Meanwhile, the Commission set the date of March 7 to file nominations for the position. The final list of candidates will be published the next day, according to Gorkhapatra lead story. The voting will be held in Kathmandu and the vote counting will begin immediately after the voting, according to the report.
Naya Patrika informs that provincial and federal lawmakers will have different weights for their votes. The electoral college will have total 52,768 votes and the winning candidate requires 26,394 votes.
Before finalising the schedule, the Commission had consulted the prime minister and leaders of major political parties, according to a report in Rajdhani.
PM’s Office restricts staff from foreign trips
Nagarik anchor story for the day claims that the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has recently directed concerned government offices to restrict government staff from going on foreign trips for at least next one month. With the decision, the scheduled visits of about 350 government staff have been put on hold and it saves around Rs 210 million, according to the report.
The Office issued a circular to all secretaries and chiefs of other government agencies on Thursday.
Red panda hide smuggling on the rise in Kathmandu
Cases of smuggling of hides and other body parts of endangered red panda are on the rise in Kathmandu, according to the anchor story of Janata Post. Just on Wednesday, police have arrested two persons on the charge.
Electricity Authority to launch energy banking
The Nepal Electricity Authority says it is taking initiatives to establish an energy bank so as to address likely shortage of electricity during next dry season, according to a story published in Abhiyan today. The Authority’s Managing Director Kul Man Ghising has told the newspaper that talks are being held with India for the project.