From the Kathmandu Press: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Major Nepali and English broadsheet newspapers published from Kathmandu on Thursday have prioritised a host of issues including those related to upcoming provincial and federal parliamentary elections. The government’s recent decision to cancel the agreement signed with a Chinese company for the construction of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project has also received a lot of attention. The arrest of top foreign employment official of the country, Bishwaraj Pandey, has also been covered with priority.


Leftists want to revoke Budhigandaki contract cancellation

Leftist alliance leaders including KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Gorkha, on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

Two major leftist parties, CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre, have protested the government decision to scrap the deal signed with the Chinese company during the premiership of Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Whereas top party leaders are speaking against the decision at different forums, chairmen of both the parties KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal addressed a joint press conference in Kathmandu yesterday to argue that cancelling the deal while all preparatory works were underway was a mistake on the government’s part, reports Annapurna Post in its lead story for the day.

At the press meet, Oli said the government scrapped the deal “on a whim”, adding there must be some foul play as the decision has been taken at a time when the government should have been focusing on successful completion of elections, according to The Kathmandu Post.

Only six parties likely to cross PR threshold

A woman casts her vote during the third phase of local level elections in Bara district of Province 2, on Monday, September 18, 2017.

Naya Patrika predicts that only six parties are likely to cross the threshold of three per cent proportional representation votes to achieve the status of a national party. The prediction is based on results of recent local level elections.

In the local polls, only five parties—Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre, Federal Socialist Forum and Rastriya Prajatantra Party—had got at least three per cent votes. Besides them, the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, which had failed to make the mark as it boycotted two rounds of polls, is likely to achieve the status, the report says, adding predicting votes of RPP is quite difficult as the party has split after the polls.


Government publishes list of disobedient taxpayers

The Inland Revenue Department on Wednesday published a list of 27 firms and companies which refused to pay outstanding taxes despite repeated reminders, according to the lead story of Karobar.

Some well-known companies that failed to comply with the country’s tax rules include Agni Air, Kohinooor Hill Housing and Oriental Builders operated by Sudheer Basnet; Merchantile System operated by Snjeev Rajbhandari and Neoteric Nepal operated by Sanjaya Golchha.

TU yet to settle row over controversial MBBS entrance exam

File image: Tribhuvan University Central Office, Kirtipur

The Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine on October 14 had conducted an entrance exam for its MBBS programme and around 9,000 aspiring doctors took the exam. But, results of the test have not been out yet thanks to reports that some students were involved in cheating with the use of mobile phones and other electronic devises. Neither has the university decided anything about redoing the exam, leaving the future of these students uncertain, reports Republica in its anchor story today.

After attacks on leaders, police tighten security check for Rolpa-bound buses

Voters line up to cast votes in Thawang of Rolpa district, on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Photo: Mausam Roka Magar

After Maoist leaders Janardan Sharma and Barsha Man Pun were attacked by some anti-poll campaigners in Rukum East and Rolpa districts respectively, police have beefed up security in the districts. Now, they have tightened security checks for buses heading towards these districts from Kathmandu, reports The Himalayan Times in its anchor story.

It has been said that Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’-led Maoists are active in these districts to foil preparations for the polls.


Nepal to hold tiger census

The Nepal government is preparing to hold a fresh tiger census from the last week of November, according to the anchor story in Nepal Samacharpatra.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation says the census will be carried out by dividing tiger habitats into three parts including Parsa-Chitwan, Banke-Bardiya and Shuklaphanta.

It is expected that the census will be over in three months.

Government wants to double the number of UN peacekeepers from Nepal

Rajdhani reports in its four-column lead story that the Nepal government has formally put forward a proposal to the United Nations expressing its interest to double the number of Nepali soldiers to be employed under peacekeeping missions of the global body. Minister for Defence Bhimsen Das Pradhan put forward the proposal during a meeting of defence ministers held in Canada recently, according to the report.

Around 5,000 Nepali security personnel are working in 13 conflict-hit countries of the world as UN peacekeepers.

Outer Ring Road construction to begin after polls

It has been around 13 years since the plan to construct an Outer Ring Road around the Kathmandu Valley has been floated. Now, the government finally plans to begin the construction as soon as upcoming provincial and federal parliamentary polls will be over, according to Abhiyan.

In the first phase, the 6,6-km section from Chobhar to Satungal will be constructed as the government has approved land acquisition for the section, according to the report.

The Ring Road will have a total length of 72 kilometres.

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