Morning Starter: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Good morning!

Here’s a summary of important, ignored and interesting reports from Tuesday to kickstart your Wednesday.


Supreme Court summons govt to discuss Gokarna lease

File image: Supreme Court of Nepal

The Supreme Court has summoned the government to a discussion regarding its controversial decision to extend the lease agreement with Yeti Holdings Private Limited for the operation of Gokarna Forest Resort.

After the press and the public criticised the government decision claiming the government leased out the land at a very cheap rate, advocate Bishnu Luintel had filed a writ petition, demanding the decision be revoked. In response, a single bench of Justice Kumar Regmi summoned the government for the discussion scheduled for January 26.

The government will be asked to justify its decision during the discussion.

Govt spends only 13.5% development budget in six months

File image

The first half of the current fiscal year has been over on Tuesday, but the government has spent just around 13.5 per cent of its annual development budget so far.

In this period, government authorities responsible for infrastructure development have largely failed to spend their budget. For example, the Department of Roads spent Rs 13.53 billion in the past six months and it is around Rs four billion lower than the department’s expense in the same period last year.

Of late, the government has taken some initiatives to reform the public expenditure payment, their impact on the progress of the project are yet to be realised.


India picks new ambassador to Nepal

Vinay Mohan Kwatra

The Indian government has decided to sent Vinay Mohan Kwatra as its ambassador to Nepal, Indian media reported on Tuesday. Kwatra has been serving as the Indian Ambassador to France since 2017. Kwatra has worked at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu as a representative of the Indian government for a few years.

The top position at the Indian mission in Kathmandu is vacant since incumbent Manjeev Singh Puri completed his term last month. Puri has already returned to India.

Meanwhile, the New Delhi government is also appointing new ambassadors to France and the United States.

Minister reiterates Nepal won’t be part of any military alliance

Pradeep Kumar Gyawali

Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has claimed again that Nepal will not join any international military alliance. The minister says the government is committed to the country’s non-aligned foreign policy.

Addressing a function in his home district, Gulmi, on Tuesday, the minister said the government, however, was open to accepting development assistance from all the countries as they would not be linked with any military affair.

Gyawali was trying to respond to some leaders of his own Nepal Communist Party who have been suspecting that the United States is providing the Millennium Challenge Corporation grant to Nepal in order to make it support its controversial Indo-Pacific Strategy. The government has been denying the claim.


PM says editors don’t have guts to appreciate good jobs


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli during a function in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has complained that editors of major media outlets in the country have failed to recognise good works of his Cabinet. The leader, who had criticised the media saying they would not give proper respect to the officials just a few months ago, said on Tuesday that the editors did not have ‘guts’ to appreciate the good jobs.

“Though some of our actions seem trivial, they are socially meaningful. But, there are not newspapers and televisions who publish or broadcast reports appreciating us,” he said, “If someone writes something in appreciation, they are shouted at.”

Published on January 15th, Wednesday, 2020 10:01 AM

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