NCell and Capital Gains Tax

News Digest(September 14-19, 2019)

CESIF Nepal Democracy and Federalism, Gender and Inclusion, Good Governance, International Relations, News Digest, News Digest, News Digest, News Digest, News Digest, Security and Strategic Affairs, Thematic Areas Leave a Comment

DOMESTIC POLITICS

A recent statement of NCP Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NCP leader Ghanshyam Bhusal, and NC leader Gagan Thapa on contemporary politics indicates that Nepal’s political transition suffers from self-centralism, the individual interest of leaders, lack of clear agenda and thoughts, and internal tussle and factionalism.[1] However, Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal claims that the communist party will lead the country for the next 50 years.[2] He reiterated that the communist party established the Federal Democratic Republic and guided the county to a new era of peace and prosperity.[3]  He indicated that Nepal, in the journey of prosperity, could take benefits from China’s BRI which is a purely economic approach, not a military alliance.[4]

The merger of erstwhile Maoist and the UML into NCP came to an end, but the party continues to struggle on the power-sharing decision of various party organizations.[5] Most of the party leaders have asked Chairman Oli to handover the executive role to another chairman, Dahal.[6] Amidst internal dispute, the party has not been able to call the central committee meeting for the last 15 months. The party also remains undecided on the eight-point memorandum submitted by leaders to the chairmen.[7] Further, regressive statement of the party’s youth wing has not only threatened the FDR but has also waned democratic norms and values. The party’s youth wing announced entry restriction in Kaski and Dhanusha district for Gyanendra Shahi, an activist who misbehaved with Minister Yogesh Bhattarai on his flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu.[8] Tourism Minister Bhattarai has apologized for the flight delay he caused.[9]

PM Oli warned of strong action against anyone if anyone threatens and attacks the FDR system.[10]

OPPOSITION POLITICS

Nepali Congress: Nepali Congress demanded punishment for those who attacked NC leader in Banke District.[11] NC residents of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur submitted the memorandum to the Home Minister seeking strict action against the Banke invaders.[12]  After the incident, lawmakers obstructed the House proceeding. On 12 September, NCP cadres attacked Banke President Kiran Koirala.[13]

Biplab: Police arrested outlawed group’s Bara district in-charge Atish Mishra,[14] and Dhading district secretary Buddha Gurung Ghale,[15] while Ilam district Secretary Dipen Rai resigned from the party and joined the ruling NCP party.[16]  

RJP-N & SP-N Party: RJP-N party put forth three demands for the merger with SP-N. Party leaders demanded that their leader Mahantha Thakur should be in the first rank, and the party be named Samajbadi Janata Party Nepal (SJP-N), and withdrawal of SP-N from the government.[17] The RJP-N celebrated the Constitution Day as a Black Day while SP-N remained neutral in terms of celebrating the Constitution Day.[18]

Sajha Party: Sajha Party leader Rabindra Mishra confirmed that his party will participate in the by-election. He also wished for his party to be in the government and then it will investigate political leadership and administrative corruption since 1990.[19] NC Kaski leader Rajani KC joined the Sajha party and is expected to contest in the upcoming by-election in Kaski-2.[20]

Bibeksheel Nepali Party: Ujjwal Thapa, Chairman of Bibeksheel Nepali Party expressed that he will not run for the second term for party leadership. Young leaders Ranju Darshana, Govinda Narayan, and Milan Pandey are said to be strong contenders for the party leadership.[21] 

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS

HoR considered a provision of curfew in the new Peace and Security Bill. As per the provision, if any person or group acts against curfew orders, chief district officers can sentence the violator for up to three months or a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both.[22] Likewise, the National Assembly endorsed the Land Related Bill (Eighth Amendment),[23] Passport Bill,[24]  Safeguards, Anti-dumping and Countervailing Bill-2075, Industrial Enterprises Bill-2075 and Economic Procedure and Financial Accountability Bill-2075.[25]

Transitional Justice: Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal charged the national and international community of interfering with Nepal’s peace process. He claimed that TJ is Nepal’s political issue and will be completed on its own.[26] Further, conflicts victims have urged the government to expel the TJ recommendation committee for their failure to carry out their task of fulfilling the TJ leadership that has been lying vacant for months now.[27]    

PROVINCIAL AFFAIRS

Policies: Province 1 Chief Minister Sher Dhan Rai announced a procedure directing secretaries to prepare a plan targeted at completing all annual development program by June end in the current fiscal year. The new procedure is also expected to control corruption, enhance transparency, and effective utilization of public-oriented of provincial grant.[28]  

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of Province 3 has appointed 116 legal facilitators and mobilized them across local governments. The purpose is to facilitate the legal process for women, disabled, conflict victims, and poor. The province appointed 74 facilitators in the last fiscal year. The facilitators have been mobilized across all local governments except Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bharatpur metropolitan city in the current fiscal year.[29]

Province 3 government passed the act related to public, private, cooperative partnership tp open up windows of opportunity to the private sector allowing them to invest as much as 70% in development on the public-private partnership model.[30]

Budget Issues: In the last fiscal year, Province 5 has spent 66.89% of the capital budget while the other six provinces could not even spend as much as 50% the development budget. Karnali had a meager expenditure of only 35%. Ironically, province 3 was reported making as much as 80% expenditure of its recurrent budget while Province 2 had the lowest expenditure on the recurrent.[31]

Food Security and Health: Every year seven districts in Karnali, suffer from food insecurity. Karnali Province needs 0.352 million metric tons of food annually, but food insecurity is alarming. Nepal Rastra Bank has reported that there is food insecurity prevalent in 10.2% of the household in seven districts of Karnali.[32]

Health facilities in Jajarkot do not even have basic medicines to provide patients with viral fever, typhoid, and flu. Despite the medicine crunch, the province has not taken serious steps in procuring medicines in the current fiscal year. The government provides 72 types of medicines in health facilities across the country but Jajarkot lacks even the basic ones.[33]  

Social Development Committee of Province 5 Provincial Assembly sought details of medicine procurement and health equipment from the Health Directorate after complaints were filed accusing the Directorate officials of irregularities. The Directorate hasn’t submitted the details yet.[34]

Conflict: Locals of Hanspur Municipality are deprived of facilities due to the absence of representatives.[35] Six representatives of Hanspur Municipality have been absconding after murder case of a local man were lodged against them.[36]

SECURITY AND STRATEGIC AFFAIRS

ATM Hacking: Nepal officially raised the issue of the ATM hacking scandal with Chinese officials in Nepal. The Chinese, who were arrested, are involved in ATM forgery and hacked Nepal Electronic Payment System (NEPS), linking 11 banks in Nepal. According to Bam Bahadur Mishra, chief of the Payment Systems Department at NRB, approximately Rs 34.5 million was withdrawn by the hackers.[37]

Nepal’s foreign minister briefed the issue to its Chinese counterpart during his visit and told that this could ruin China’s reputation internationally. He also added that these kinds of incidents will weaken China’s business interest in Nepal. 

Citizenship: Lawmakers in the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representatives provided two options on the Citizenship Bill. That is to provide naturalized citizenship to foreign women immediately after getting married or after seven years of marriage. Until then, the women will be given identity cards to ensure cultural, social, and economic rights, but no political rights. However, foreigner married to Nepali women will have to wait for 15 years to obtain Nepali citizenship.[38] 

GENDER AND SOCIAL INCLUSION

Child Abuse: Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) report revealed that over 600 cases of children-related issues of abuse, trafficking, labor, and missing were recorded from January to June 2019. Thirty-five children were murdered, 242 raped, 282 trafficked, and 108 cases of child marriage were reported. CWIN recorded 2,000 such cases in 2018 and 3,828 cases in 2017.[39]

Reproductive Health: Meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals – to reduce maternal mortality ratio to 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030 – is a big challenge for Nepal.  The targets will be a hard climb for the country as only institutional deliveries stand at 53% while 58% of illegal abortions are carried out in the country. Also, the country lacks birthing centers in many areas.[40]

Trafficking and Rape: Maiti Nepal, with support of Nepal police, rescued five Indian women from Kathmandu who were trafficked to Nepal for commercial sex. This is the first time Indian girls were rescued from Nepal.  A rescued girl said that she was sold in Gaushala area three years ago, and there are hundreds of other Indian girls in the area. The procedure to repatriate them is ongoing.[41]  

On the current provision on the new penal code that limits the filing of a report in rape cases of minor, that an FIR should be filed within a year from the incident, the lawmakers said that the time limitation should start from the day when the juvenile victim becomes 18 years old.[42]

Dengue: Health Minister Upendra Yadav said that there was no need for the government to declare a medical emergency for the dengue outbreak as the mortality rate was very less. He also said that the government’s health mechanism is able to tackle dengue.[43] Since August 17, over 5,000 people have been diagnosed with dengue, out of which seven people have lost their lives.[44] Minister Yadav claimed the disease is coming under control and the number of infected people is decreasing. However, doctors claimed new patients are increasing. Lawmakers criticized Yadav for traveling frequently to foreign countries while the country is reeling under health crisis.[45]

There is also a high concern about the outbreak of dengue as it could affect the upcoming Visit Nepal 2020. However, Nepal Tourism Board CEO Deepak Raj Joshi assured necessary measures are in place to guarantee tourists’ health.[46]

DEVELOPMENT WORK DELAYS

Construction of Melamchi is on hold due to tension between the Nepali workers, local vendors, and supplier company representatives and officials of the Ministry of Drinking Water. An agreement has been reached to stop all the protests and strikes that even if one element is missed in the amount provided to the Nepali workers, then they should submit the report to the technical committee in the form of proof to the Melamchi Drinking Water Development Committee. One of the 500 workers who have claimed the relief amount to be provided to Nepali workers will be given a free request to the technical committee with proof of the amount received, provide free treatment to the injured workers in the protest, and support in running the project. [47]

Upper Karnali hydropower project, an export-oriented 900-megawatt scheme is located in western Nepal taken over by the Indian company GMR Group is still in limbo. As a result, the Investment Board Nepal has invited the GMR Group to discuss the development, completion, deadline, and financial issues this week. The contract was signed in September 2014 and the deadline, which was in September 2018, has already been postponed. The Board has not decided whether to extend or postpone it for the second time.[48]

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Nepal-China: In an event organized by Karl Marx Birth Bicentennial Celebration Committee in Kathmandu on September 21, leaders of NCP talked much about China’s achievements to possibly create a new and progressive world order.[49] Janardan Sharma, a standing committee member of the NCP, said China is responsible for working for world’s economic development and peace by initiating projects like BRI, and Nepal can learn a lot from reform and opening-up policy of China. Sharma also added that China’s new world order will be in favor of those who are underprivileged in the current world order.[50]

The co-chairman of NCP Baburam Bhattarai, in an event on September 15, lauded BRI as a project for mutual cooperation rather than being a military alliance.[51]

NCP’s connection with China is progressing and both countries are looking for benefits from the relation. NCP and Communist Party of China are jointly organizing a synopsis on September 24 and 25. Both countries will be discussing their experiences besides signing MOUs.[52] Around 40 members from CPC and 200 members from NCP will be attending the program.

Xi’s upcoming Nepal visit: The Deputy PM and Defense Minister of Nepal Ishwor Pokhrel confirmed that Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Nepal. Pokhrel claimed that Xi will be signing an agreement to build a road including tunnel from Jhor to Nuwakot via Gurjebhanjyang to connect Kathmandu with Keyrung.[53]

The Chinese delegation led by Hong Lei, director general at the Department of Protocol under China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arrived in Kathmandu for the preparation of Xi’s visit.[54]


[1] https://kathmandupost.com/politics/2019/09/15/lack-of-meaningful-political-discourse-is-helping-neither-parties-nor-democracy

[2] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/dahal-declares-communist-rule-in-country-for-next-50-years/

[3] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/communists-will-rule-country-for-50-years-says-dahal/

[4] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/bri-purely-an-economic-cooperation-initiative-

https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/belt-and-road-initiative-is-not-military-alliance-says-ncp-co-chairman-dahal/

[5] http://annapurnapost.com/news/136981

[6] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/pressure-mounts-on-oli-to-cede-party-reins-to-dahal/

[7] https://nagariknews.nagariknetwork.com/news/91987/

[8] https://kathmandupost.com/politics/2019/09/17/statements-by-ruling-party-s-youth-wing-against-democratic-values-analysts-say/

[9] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/tourism-minister-sorry-for-flight-delay/ https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/tourism-minister-yogesh-bhattarai-kicks-up-another-row/

[10] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/oli-vows-to-protect-democracy-like-a-tigress-protects-her-cubs/https://ekantipur.com/news/2019/09/19/156885740253318741.html

[11] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/nc-urges-government-to-punish-guilty-of-banke-incident/

[12] https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/nc-submits-memo-to-home-minister-thapa/

[13] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/main-opposition-nc-obstructs-house-over-banke-incident/ https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/banke-attack-prompts-nepali-congress-to-obstruct-both-houses/

[14] http://annapurnapost.com/news/137018

[15] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/biplav-led-cpn-dhading-secretary-arrested/

[16] https://www.nayapatrikadaily.com/news-details/25290/2019-09-15

[17] https://nagariknews.nagariknetwork.com/news/91771/

[18] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/madhes-based-parties-divided-over-constitution-day/

[19] http://annapurnapost.com/news/137043

[20] http://annapurnapost.com/news/137047

[21] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/bibeksheel-chairman-thapa-not-to-contest-for-party-chief-again/

[22] https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/security-bill-stipulates-harsh-punishment-for-curfew-violation/

[23] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/upper-house-passes-land-bill-amid-protest/

[24] https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/national-assembly-endorses-passport-bill/

[25] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/na-passes-three-bills-unanimously/

[26] https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/trc-used-as-tool-to-exact-revenge-dahal/

[27] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/conflict-victims-want-suspension-of-recommendation-committee/

[28] https://ekantipur.com/pradesh-1/2019/09/16/156863496797459143.html

[29] https://www.karobardaily.com/news/society/24436

[30] https://www.karobardaily.com/news/development/24279

[31] https://www.nayapatrikadaily.com/news-details/25237/2019-09-15

[32] https://www.karobardaily.com/news/economy/24288

[33] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/medicine-crunch-hits-patients-at-jajarkot-district-hospital/

[34] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/province-5-govt-accused-of-ignoring-own-legislature/

[35] https://ekantipur.com/pradesh-2/2019/09/17/156869319837756053.html

[36] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/mayor-deputy-mayor-in-dhanusha-accuse-each-other-of-murder/

[37] https://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-nepal-cautions-beijing-as-five-chinese-men-hack-into-atms-2791052

[38] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/govt-floats-options-on-naturalised-citizenship/

[39] https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/violence-against-children-on-the-rise/

[40] https://thehimalayantimes.com/kathmandu/reducing-maternal-mortality-ratio-in-nepal-still-a-daunting-challenge/

[41] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/indian-girls-trafficked-for-sex-trade-rescued/

[42] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/new-penal-code-fails-minor-rape-victims-lawyers/

[43] https://reliefweb.int/report/nepal/house-representativs-health-minister-makes-light-dengue-spread

[44] https://english.onlinekhabar.com/no-need-to-declare-medical-emergency-health-minister.html

[45] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/deputy-prime-minister-and-minister-of-health-and-population-upendra-yadav-rules-out-health-emergency/

[46] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/will-dengue-impact-visit-nepal-2020/

[47] https://suvadin.com/news/views-and-opinions/melamchi-5

[48] https://kathmandupost.com/money/2019/09/17/investment-board-summons-gmr-to-discuss-the-fate-of-upper-karnali

[49] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/ruling-ncp-leaders-stress-capitalizing-on-china-s-rising-influence-in-world-order/

[50] http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/22/c_138411843.htm

[51] https://myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com/news/bri-purely-an-economic-cooperation-initiative-dahal/

[52] https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/chinese-leaders-to-share-xi-jinping-thought/

[53] https://setopati.net/political/151457

[54] https://kathmandupost.com/national/2019/09/18/high-level-chinese-team-takes-stock-of-kathmandu-s-preparations-for-xi-s-visit

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