From the Kathmandu Press: Friday, March 30, 2018

All major broadsheet dailies published from Kathmandu, Nepali and English alike, have covered the address of President Bidya Devi Bhandari to a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly on their front page though the address in itself did not contain anything of political significance. Other issues that have been featured on the cover are also related to politics or economy of the country. Very few social issues have been given priority by the newspapers today.


President’s hopeful speech in Parliament

President Bidya Devi Bhandari addresses a Federal Parliament meeting, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari expressed her hopes for stability, peace and prosperity as she addressed a joint meeting of both houses of the Federal Parliament on Thursday. Newspaper reports say the head of the state highlighted achievements made by the country so far and called on political parties to work hard for better future of the country.

Gorkhapatra says the President stated that democracy would turn meaningless if it could not change people’s quality of life financially and socially; hence democracy should be felt by people practically.

The President also called on political parties to rise above their petty interests to build the prosperous country, according to Kantipur.

Meanwhile, Republica says the President’s motorcade wreaks havoc on traffic management in the capital on Thursday afternoon. Vehicular movement in Kathmandu was thrown into disarray as the carcade of over two dozen vehicles made its way from Sheetal Niwas in Maharajgunj to the Parliament building in Naya Baneshwor.

Local officials ordered not to meet diplomats without MoFA nod

Newly elected mayor and deputy mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Bidya Sundar Shakya and Hariprabha Khadgi, among others take the oath, in Kathmandu, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post have reported that the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has directed officials of local government not to meet foreign diplomats and representatives of development agencies without the approval of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry recently wrote to officials of 77 district coordination committees and 753 local governmental units, directing them to compulsorily seek the approval for diplomatic dealings, according to the report.


UN doing survey in Nepal ‘without govt approval’

Nagarik and Republica lead stories claim that the United Nations has been conducting a survey among Nepali citizens without informing and receiving any approval from the government, that too on sensitive political issues including contents of the new constitution.

The reports say the Prospective Political Scenario Analysis Exercise in Nepal also deals with issues like federalism, identity and ethnicity. Questionnaires prepared for the study contain questions such as whether they feel satisfied with the constitution, whether they like the political leaders, which political party they prefer and if they are satisfied with the current demarcation of provincial boundaries, according to Republica.

Forum’s new precondition for joining govt

File image: Upendra Yadav

The Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal has put one more demand as a precondition for joining incumbent KP Sharma Oli-led government, according to The Himalayan Times.

Now, the party says it will not join the government until the government does not sign a deal for constitution amendment, the report says. Meanwhile, Yadav has claimed that the government has not sent employees to Province 2 and this points to a conspiracy to foil federalism.

Private schools hike fees up to 30 per cent

Republica reports that many private schools in the country have hiked their fees up to 30 per cent as the new academic year is about to begin after two weeks. Guardians and their organisations have claimed that the decision to hike the fees have flouted government rules.

The report informs that there are nearly 6,000 private schools in the country and about five times as many public schools, according to private school organisations.

Govt to issue white paper on economic situations today

Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada assumes office, on Monday, February 26, 2018.

The government is preparing to issue a white paper so as to reflect economic situations of the country and incorporating possible next steps for improvement, reports Karobar in its lead story for the day. It is expected that Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada will outline plans and programmes that he will carry out in next five years.

Wildfire incidents on the rise across country

Rajdhani says incidents of wildfire are increasing in the country due to various reasons including high temperature, longstanding drought and storms. Total 10 persons have already lost their lives while trying to control fire this year, the report says.

Most of the incidents are reported from the month of February to June and forests in Chure, Terai and mid-hill districts are most affected due to the disaster, according to the report.


School students will not face textbook crunch this year

File image

Karobar and Gorkhapatra report that students of government schools across the country are unlikely to face textbook crunch as in previous years this time. The government has allocated Rs 2.22 billion grant to ensure timely printing of the textbooks for grades 1 to 10, according to the reports.

Students of government schools are entitled free textbooks every year owing to the government policy for free education.

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