From the Kathmandu Press: Friday, July 28, 2017

Politics has dominated newspapers published from Kathmandu today. Major issues highlighted by English and Nepali broadsheets from the Capital are decisions of the Cabinet to distribute identity cards to people living in poverty and to form a talk team to address demands of Dr Govinda KC; and a meeting between the Prime Minister and Election Commission officials.


Prime Minister proposes to hold provincial, federal elections in one go

File image: Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba

Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba says polls for provincial and federal legislative bodies should be held together.

In a meeting with the Election Commission officials held at his office yesterday, the Prime Minister said holding both polls together would be a better option to ensure that the government met the deadline of January 2018, reports the Annapurna Post. The Commission officials, however, opined that such a plan would pose managerial and legal complications to the government bid to meet the deadline. Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav even termed the proposal ‘impossible to implement’, says the lead story in Rajdhani.

The Commission team also requested that a single ballot paper be used for both kinds of elections and the same vote be taken as the voter’s choice for first-past-the-post and proportional representation system if the two polls would be held together.

The Commissioners also urged the government to announce dates for the polls as soon as possible, according to a report in Nagarik.

The government to distribute identity cards to poor

The government on Thursday has decided to distribute identity cards to as many as 391,831 households who are living under the line of poverty, says the lead story in The Himalayan Times. A Cabinet meeting made the decision after rounds of discussions.

According to Gorkhapatra, the government has decided to launch first phase of the distribution soon. Total 1.224 million households living under the line of poverty have been identified from a survey in 25 districts. People from Bhojpur, Siraha, Khotang, Rautahat, Sindhuli, Ramechhap, Gorkha, Tanahun, Baglung, Kapilbastu, Arghakhanchi, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Rukum, Bardiya, Jajarkot, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Kalikot, Mugu, Bajhang, Bajura, Achham and Kailali will get the identity cards in the first phase, says the government spokesperson and Minister for Finance, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki.

Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishor Chhetri hopes that the distribution of poverty cards will help the government formulate effective poverty alleviation programmes and NGOs will also be compelled to prioritise such prorgrammes targeting people with the ID cards.


Two die of swine flu in Kathmandu in past few days

Swine flu infection is alarmingly increasing in Kathmandu Valley in past few days and two persons have already died of the disease, says a front page story in Nepal Samacharpatra. Both of the death incidents were recorded at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.

TUTH ICU Chief Dr Subas Acharya says swine flu was found in some patients who were admitted to the hospital after reporting viral pneumonia.

Likewise, other four swine flu patients have been admitted to the Grande International Hospital. But, Director General at the Department of Health Services, Dr Rajendra Panta, says the Department has not been reported about any swine flu case in Kathmandu in this season.

Political leaders facilitating ‘human trafficking’

The lead story in Annapurna Post says leaders of major political parties are lobbying to lift the ban on migration of Nepali women to the Gulf as housemaids as a time many complaints have been received about exploitation of such workers.

Minister for Labour and Employment Farmullah Mansoor says he is under an immense pressure to withdraw the ban imposed in order to protect Nepali women from labour and sexual exploitations.

Human traffickers involved in international rackets have been piling pressure on the Minister through leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre, the report says.

“Many lawmakers and leaders ask for my time to meet them. But, they come to me with trafficking agents. In front of the agents, the leaders request me to lift the ban,” the Minister shared at the meeting of International Relations and Labour Committee yesterday.


Dahal proposes to dissolve the party

The CPN-Maoist Central Secretariat meeting. Photo: Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s Secretariat

The lead story in Kantipur says CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has proposed to dissolve the party as it has become more leader-oriented, but not policy-oriented.

“If our mistakes are as many as they cannot be corrected anymore, we can also think about dissolving the party,” Dahal recently told the party’s Central Secretariat meeting, according to the report. While responding to various leaders’ questions at the meeting, Dahal had presented a list of problems in the party including promotion of factionalism, lack of experience of facing elections, failure to convince people about the agendas among others.

Dahal’s deputy, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, however, said the Chairman was not serious about the dissolution proposal, but he was just suggesting the party correct its errors and make it stronger among people.

Insurance of crops, livestock becoming popular

Newly introduced programmes of insuring agricultural crops and livestock are becoming popular among farmers, according to the anchor story in Abhiyan daily. Insurance of livestock is more popular than that of crops, the government says.

Consequently, the government has also increased grants provided to such programmes.  It has allocated Rs 350 million for agricultural and farming insurance. The grants would be released through the Ministry of Agricultural Development and the Ministry of Livestock Development. The government had provided Rs 250 million grant to the sector last year.

Currently, 17 insurance companies are involved in the business. In agricultural and livestock insurance, the farmers have to bear only 25 per cent of the premium whereas the government bears the rest.

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