Policy, Programmes, and Budget
Members of the National Assembly expressed doubt over effective implementation of the budget. The members in the discussion at the Assembly claimed that budget was estimated without any homework.
Likewise, Financial Comptroller General Office reported that the government spent only 46.22 percent of budget in the current fiscal year. As huge amount remains unspent, the government performance turned out unsatisfactory. Meanwhile, Member of Parliament (MPs) under the proportional representation in Province 1, demanded allocation of equal budget for infrastructure development for the upcoming fiscal year.
Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) urged the government to allocate a budget of Rs 3 billion for the sector claiming that the government failed to address their issues.
The National Inclusion Commission suggested the local governments to allocate budget promoting inclusion in the upcoming fiscal year.
The Ruling Party and the Government
As NCP merger process remains stuck on sharing of responsibilities among top leaders, forty leaders teamed up to launch various programs and campaigns against indifference of the party leadership.
Meanwhile, Baitadi district completed forming a 135-member district committee including 71 from UML and 64 from former Maoists.
NCP Co-Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal indicated necessity of a new agreement claiming that he was not adamant to earlier one-on-one power sharing among the leaders.
As an outcome of power sharing among leaders, home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa turned out decisive and strong. One secretariat member, two permanent members including 37 central committee members are close to the home minister. As the merger moves further, Thapa gets stronger with added members in the key posts of the party. Leaders close to Thapa lead four public organizations of the party. In the districts, Thapa group lead seven chairmen and nine secretaries and 4 members in the provincial committees.
Nepali Congress, claiming itself to be leading the key stakeholder in delivering the federal constitution to the country, has not yet finalized its federal structure. Earlier, the party had five levels of hierarchical structure and have now added three more levels; provincial committee, provincial election regional committee and booth committee. 
Nepal Police arrested 500 cadres of the outlawed NCP-Biplab party. Four months after the ban on the party, there has been no activity aimed at talks and negotiations from both sides. The party carried out multiple blasts in the Capital in May. The cadres vandalized Nalgad Municipality ward office in Jajarkot. Party leader Prem Prakash Oli ‘Dhamil’ confirmed their involvement. It has been reported that party cadres seized an equipment from government team that was on Sagarmatha Height Measurement Mission recently.
Single bench of Pokhara High Court Judge Jagat Prasad Shrestha ordered the police to publicize nine Biplab cadres and present them at the court. The police had arrested 18 Biplab cadres earlier.
Samajbadi Party Nepal
Newly formed Samajbadi Party Nepal applied for registration at the Election Commission. Chairman Upendra Yadav indicated withdrawal from the government if the government does not make amendments in the Constitution.
RJP-N has come up with a new party statute. As per the statute, the party will have 171 central committee members and 22 office bearer/members. As per provisions, the party will have a president, seven vice-presidents, three general secretaries, seven joint secretaries, one treasurer and joint treasurer each, and a spokesperson. 
Fringe parties have indicated at a new revolution in the making. Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’ led CPN (revolutionary Maoist), Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplab’ led CPN, Gopal Kirati led CPN (Maoist Center), and Bishow Bhakta Dulal ‘Aahuti’ led Scientific Socialism party seem to be moving towards a new revolution. However, the parties remain undecided on what, how, and why of the revolution.
Former Maoist child soldier, Lenin Bista filed an application at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva demanding justice for the thousands of child soldiers of the Maoist insurgency. Earlier, in the second weeks of April, he filed a similar petition with Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, in Belgium. Among the 4,008 disqualified combatants, 2,973 minors were disqualified during the verification process conducted by United Nation Mission in Nepal in 2007. They didn’t receive any substantial support, except few thousand rupees from the UN.
At home, on June 10, meeting of Transitional Justice Recommendation Committee failed to finalize the names of nominees for the two transitional justice bodies. The next meeting of TJ is scheduled for June 23.
One after other, the Bills that the government tabled caused widespread uproar among stakeholders. Controversial bills created tensions in the federal parliament. The ruling party and the main opposition have stuck to their stance on those Bills. More than half dozens of controversial bill are registered in the federal parliament. The Media Council Bill for the past few months and the Guthi Bills recently have become the bone for contention for the political parties.
Media Council Bills
The Federation of Nepali Journalist (FNJ) announced third phase of protest against the controversial Media Council bill. FNJ will carry out whistle march, lantern march, cartoon exhibition, and signature collection campaign against the bill. The signature campaign starts on June 18.
The Guthi Bill
On the last week of April, the Guthi bill was registered in the National Assembly. Nepali Congress obstructed the HoR proceeding against the government amendment on the Bill. As per article 23 and 24, all trustee rights would be immediately terminated once the Bill is enacted. There are more than 2,335 public guthis under the Guthi Sansthan. As the contested bill propelled a protest in Kathmandu, riot police used water cannons and charged batons to disperse cultural experts, heritage conservationists, locals, and stakeholders protesting against the Bill demanding its withdrawal and revision. At least six protestors were injured during the police action.
Kathmandu valley Newars warned of a shut down if the government does not withdraw or revise the bill.
Lawmakers of the ruling party also criticised the bill. Lawmaker Pampha Bhusal and Anjana Bishankhe criticized it at the parliament meeting on June 10. Lawmakers from NC and RJP-N also demanded the withdrawal of the Bill. NC lawmaker Prakash Man Singh said the bill was against the spirit of Nepal’s Constitution while RJP-N lawmaker Anil Kumar Jha urged the government to go for comprehensive consultation with stakeholders. Even if some leaders are in favor of the bill, most of the former Maoist leaders are critical of the government’s stance on the bill.
Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (United) co-chairs Pashupati Sumsher JBR and Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani said they would go for street protest if the government doesn’t withdraw the bill which represents Hindu and Buddhist cultures.
However, at a press conference in Chitwan, Chairman NCP Co-chair Prachanda remarked that the government will go for consultation with the stakeholders and make revisions on both the Media and Guthi bills. After a widespread criticism, the government signaled a revision in the Bills. 
Province Name and Capital
Province 3 government again registered three different names Gaurisankar, Newa-Tamsaling and Nepalmandal for the names of the province but no action has been taken yet. The Members of Parliament demanded the government to finalize the capital and the name.
Budget Expenditure Anomaly
Karnali Pradesh took a controversial decision of purchasing 54 four-wheelers by allocating a budget over Rs. 2 billion from the development budget. The government already bought 42 four-wheelers and plans to buy 12 more. The government will also purchase 10 ambulances at a cost of Rs 150 million.
Gender and Social Inclusion
Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee ordered cancellation of hiring process that the Public Service Commission recently announced for recruitment of staffers in the local governments. The committee claimed that the announcement was against the principle of inclusion and the constitution. The committee directed the Ministry of the Federal Affairs and General Administration to consider principles of inclusion in all of its recruitment processes.
Following widespread criticism, both the ruling party and opposition parties spoke against the hiring process claiming that it violated the provision of the Constitution.
A joint student struggle warned the government to correct the vacancy notice of the Public Service Commission with due consideration principle of inclusion.
Teaching-learning activities often gets hampered in Janaprakash Basic School as the female teachers do not come to school during menstruation as they have to walk past the Ratudimadu temple. The school runs classes up to third grade and only has three teachers, among them two are females.
Sonaha indigenous tribe of Sarkhol, Rajapur, Loharpur and Parseni of Geruwa earn their living by extracting traces of gold from rivers and do not send their children to school despite free education facilities for marginalized and impoverished groups. Instead, they opt to make them work and make earnings.
As per a recent study of UNICEF, Nepal is one of the top 10 countries worldwide with a prevalence of child marriage among boys as 10 boys aged 20 to 24 got married as children. Nepal ranks the tenth highest and the only country in South Asia with a significant prevalence of child marriage among both boys and girls.
Rautahat district of province 2, Chandrapur Municipality, joined the national campaign for eradicating child marriage from the country by 2030. When Chandrapur Municipality Ward No 5 was declared child marriage free, the locals vocally supported the announcement and promised to coordinate with the authorities.
Police arrested Durgadevi Bohara, 42, of Alitar Municipality, Dadeldhura and Parbatidevi Sonar, 50, of Durga Bhagawati Rural Municipality of Rautahat were held for trying to traffic a 19-year-old girl from Surkhet to New Delhi.
The USA and the UK have joined hands to combat human trafficking in Nepal. The development agencies, USAID and the UK’s DFID, will work together to support efforts of Nepal to combat human trafficking. The US government’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report ranks Nepal as a tier 2 country, and identifies Nepal as a source, transit, and destination country with 30,000 Nepalese girls and women trafficked and commercially exploited for sex every year.
A German Public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk Koln (WDR) through an investigative report in a documentary named “Trapped in Qatar” recently exposed that at least 1,400 Nepalese lost their lives while constructing football stadiums for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The families of the deceased workers are yet to receive any compensation from Doha.
The Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens have started the President Women Uplift Program in 30 districts from current fiscal year 2018/19. Minister for Women, Children, and Senior Citizens, Tham Maya Thapa said that grant amounting to Rs 305.5 million has been provided to 47 groups and organizations run by women in order to assist them in operating agriculture, tourism, livestock, and skilled–based enterprises. The minister also informed that the program will be expanded to 55 districts in the upcoming fiscal year.
Local women from Mahakali Municipality are working on a construction of Mahakali River embankment for the past three months. The construction work is commissioned mostly to women to make them economically strong and not to seek monetary support from their family.
Untouchability and caste-based discrimination is a problem for government officials from lower caste groups. Discrimination in terms of caste and race is seen highest in Province 2 followed by Karnali and Sudurpashim Province. At an interaction program organized by National Human Rights Commission, Commissioner Prakash Wosti said, “Though Dalit rights have been enshrined in the constitution, incidents of racial discrimination and untouchability against them have not stopped”.
Officials are facing problems to rent a space to live in different part where untouchability is in practice. This has affected the public service delivery as well. Some officials have requested transfers to other locations due to the issue.
Open Defecation-Free Campaign
A campaign on ‘Open Defecation Free Area’ was launched five years ago with a target to construct toilets in all city households by 2018 in Birgunj. The program was initiated to control various epidemics. However, hundreds of houses in the Metropolitan are yet to construct toilets and now the metropolitan office, in coordination with the Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office, though late, plans to distribute toilet pans to those households.
Kailali and Kanchanpur were hit by thunderstorm on the evening of 7 June which swept away properties and lives. According to District Administration Office, around 7,000 houses were affected in Kailali which includes 2,116 completely damaged. Local administration started immediate relief by distributing tarpaulins. While Sudurpaschim Province government announced to provide Rs 150,000 to the family who lost their lives and declared Rs 20,000 to each house destroyed and Rs 10,000 to partially damaged, 2000 families are yet to get relief. On June 12 morning, windstorm again hit Kailali locals who were struggling to get back to normal life. The storm brought rain and drenched the victims living under the open sky. As temperature rose across country, victims are waiting relief in burning heat.
Sexual Abuse and Rape
District Police Office (DPO), Bara on Saturday arrested Kalawati Devi Giri, 40, of Mahagadhimai Municipality-1 on the charge of sexually assaulting and attempting to kill a two-year-old girl child. It has been suspected that Giri abused the kid over family grudges.
Former UN-Habitat country representative for Afghanistan, Peter John Dalglish, was found guilty of sexually assaulting children in Nepal. On April 2018, Dalglish was arrested from Kavrepalanchowk district for his alleged involvement in pedophilia.
Police have arrested a 45-year-old man from Dhobighat, Lalitpur for attempting to rape his 18-year-old daughter, after the girl filed a complaint against her father at the police station.
The government has recommended four names as possible ambassadors – Mahesh Dahal for Australia, Narad Bhardwaj Wagle for Qatar, Banshi Dhar Mishra for Bangladesh, and Dawa Futi Sherpa for Spain. As the recommended candidates have no diplomatic experiences and credentials, the cabinet decision has gone against foreign ministry’s new criteria for selection of ambassador.
PM’s Europe Tour
PM Oli left for his 8-day Europe visit on June 8 aiming to boost economic relation with the European countries. Oli left after Nepal government presented its budget, policy and program. The PM will attend a programme of International Labour Organization on the 9th and 10th in Geneva. On June 10, Oli will be attending a program in Oxford University and hold a meeting with British PM Theresa May on the 11th, followed by a meeting with Norwegian PM.
At the programme at Oxford Union Oli said ‘Nepal has established the foundation for a non-discriminatory, inclusive, and participatory democracy for socio-economic transformation’, but the public societies here in Nepal denied Oli’s claim for a democratic Nepal.
The PM also reviewed the 1947 tripartite agreement signed between the UK, India, and Nepal regarding the Nepalis serving in the British and the Indian army. Though Pradeep Gyawali confirmed about Oli’s discussion with outgoing PM Theresa May on the subject, the Gurkha leaders were unsure about Oli making any proposal to the UK, as it wasn’t mentioned in the statement from 10 Downing Street.
Sources in the Indian government said that India has finalized and submitted the ‘pre-engineering and traffic survey report’ of Raxaul-Kathmandu railway to Nepal. The report also suggests alternatives for tracks and lengths for the construction of the railway project.
India said it will take five years after DPR is ready, and both the countries can expect the completion of the project after seven years.
According to the new trade agreement between Nepal and India, Nepal Railway Company will use its own cargo to import from third countries, extending the railway service by adding Dhamra and Mundra ports in Odisha and Gujarat respectively. The railway cargo service will also reach Bhairahawa apart from Biratnagar. There has been an agreement to also permit the private sector in the transit trade.
Indian Ambassador for Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over a cheque of Rs 1.6 billion to the secretary at the Ministry of Finance Dr Rajan Khanal to support 50,000 beneficiaries in Nuwakot and Gorkha for post-earthquake reconstruction. The government of India partnered with UNDP and UNOPS to provide socio-technical assistance to rebuild shelters in Gorkha and Nuwakot district.
Chinese authorities allowed people from Humla to enter Tibet region, on the request of the Foreign Ministry of Nepal and Consulate General of Nepal in Lhasa after a brief interruption in the entry.
China denied withdrawal of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM), as it did not appear on 35 corridors mentioned during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in April. The progress had shunned as differences between China and India was created over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 
Chandra Prakash Mainali, general secretary, Communist Party of Nepal, said the US wants to mobilize all Indo-Pacific countries to contain China’s strategy and it will never succeed as the US intentions are unjust and self-motivated. Mainali further added that the US has not consulted Nepal for being a part of Indo Pacific Strategy, nevertheless claims the country has agreed to be a part of it. He talked about the ongoing tariff war between the US and China, saying it was against the principles of WTO, and China was forced to impose tariff only as a counter measure.
Trump administration is providing US $30 million to South Asian countries – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives – under ‘Bay of Bengal’ security initiative as foreign military financing. This is an additional amount to US $64 million that the US committed earlier. The sub-committee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on US Interests in South Asia and the FY 2020 Budget on June 13. The US is doubling its fund to US $468 million for 2020 for South Asia’s economic and regional assistance. Alice G Wells, senior State Department official for South Asia, said US along with India, Japan, Australia, and other trusted allies will work together for economic and political autonomy of IPS.
China’s Regional Summit
The 19th summit for Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO) is to be held on 13-14 of June in Kyrgyzstan, in which Nepal is a dialogue partner. The summit hold expectations to sign documents ‘to deepen interaction between regions, strengthen fight against drug trafficking, and establish cooperation in information technologies, environmental protection, health care, and sports’.
Important developments during 19th summit of SCO held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic:
Xi-Modi: Issue on Pakistan terrorism; Modi also appreciated China’s role in blacklisting Azhar; strengthening Sino-India relations and working in coordination for regional balance; resolved pending issue of opening a branch of Bank of China in India.
Putin-Modi: Modi thanked Putin for supporting the rifle manufacturing unit in Amethi; the two sides confirmed on holding future meetings as India started engaging with Russia on Arctic oil and gas; Russia-India-China (RIC) trilateral on the margins of the G-20 summit.
Modi- Ghani: Issue on security in Afghanistan; Ghani said India should control terrorism and drug as the neighboring countries are having its effect too; India committed to help Afghanistan to have them build a legitimate government through a democratic process.
China hosted China-South Asia Media Forum on June 11 to integrate ‘stronger media cooperation for the people-to-people exchange’ in Yuxi city. During the event Madhav Sharma, press advisor to Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari said Nepali and Chinese media should address the national interest servicing public rather than fulfilling exclusive interests. Krishna Murari Bhandary, executive chairman of Gorkhapatra Corporation of Nepal, said South Asia depend too much on foreign media for any global and regional issue and that the South Asian media should have their own perspective.
Nepal’s envoy to China, Leela Mani Poudyal said that the widening trade gap between Nepal and China is an issue of concern. Therefore, Nepal seeks China’s help to promote access to Chinese market by transferring technologies and enhancing production capacity.
Hong Kong Demonstration
People in Hong Kong clashed
with the police on June 11 while tens of thousands of people approached the
city parliament in protest of government’s plan to allow extraditions to China.
Police used tear gases, rubber bullets, and batons to control the crowd among
which most of them were youngsters and students. The debate on Beijing-backed
law was rescheduled when crowds seized major roads in Hong Kong.
Many protestors during the event are using Telegram to coordinate the
demonstration against the law. Telegram recently announced that the application
has been experiencing ‘Distributed Denial of Service’ attack, with large volume
of junk requests mainly sourcing from China.