|● ARTHA EXPRESSニュース翻訳●
|ARTHA EXPRESS トップニュース
●Pizza Hut & KFC arrive in Nepal●
Posted on 2009-11-23
KATHMANDU, November 23:Devyani International, under the umbrella of Ravi
Kant Jaipuria’s RJ Corp, here today announced the arrival of Pizza Hut
& KFC restaurants here, marking the first multinational chain of restaurants
coming to Nepal.
RJ Corp is the biggest bottler of Pepsi brands in India and Nepal and also
largest franchisee for YUM brands in India namely, Pizza Hut and KFC. Devyani
International along with YUM Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company
with five dynamic global brands and 35,000 outlets across 105 countries,
is excited to make their entry in the Nepalese restaurant circle and has
extensive plans for growth and expansion in this market.
With the belief that consumers in Nepal are ready for international eating-out
experience they have launched their first two outlets at Durbar Marg. As
stated by the officials of R J Corp, Nepal is a promising market for these
brands and their entry will give the Nepali economy a boost by creating
job opportunities for locals. The opening of these two outlets would give
Nepali consumers the first local experience of an international food chain.
They have promised an upcoming rush of announcements and product launches
that will make this an exciting time for consumers.
NMB Bank Limited is the financial partner of Devyani International for
bringing Pizza Hut and KFC to Nepal.
●Income tax exemption raised Disposable amount up by Rs 5,000 per couple●
Posted on 2009-07-14
KATHMANDU, July 14: Salaried and fixed middle income groups have threegood
reasons to cheer up in fiscal year 2009/10, starting July 16 2009.
First, the budget - planning to spend Rs 285.93 billion in the next fiscal
year - has raised the tax exemption limit for individuals to Rs 160,000
and to Rs 200,000 for couples. This has directly raised their net disposable
income by Rs 3,750 and Rs 5,000 a month respectively. Secondly, the government
has lowered the capital gains tax (CGT) to 10
percent from 15 percent, ensuring people a better return on share transactions
in the new fiscal year. This will encourage all share investors and spur
secondary market transactions as well. Thirdly, the government has annulled
the local development tax (LDT) from Monday. This will instantly reduce
the cost of imports by at least 1.5
percent, meaning the prices of imported goods will be slightly cheaper.
Revocation of LDT and dropping of CGT will also encourage business, industry
and other investors as well. Ups and Downs The budget that Finance Minister
Surendra Pandey presented at parliament
Monday slashed customs duty for essential goods, making sugar and other
consumable items cheaper. However, upper-middle income groups aspiring
to climb the economic ladder have been asked to pay more.
Hiking excise duty, the budget has caused the price of four wheelers to
go up by around 5 percent while motorcycles will become more expensive
by 6 percent. Rise in excise and customs duty has made liquor, beer, cigarettes
and cement clinker more expensive. Interestingly, however, the budget has
customs duty on white cement by 10 percent.
Moreover, the government has imposed value added tax (VAT) on the construction
of buildings, apartments and shopping complexes worth over Rs 5 million.
Ten percent CGT has also been imposed on transactions of land and houses
exceeding Rs 5 million. The government is bringing commodity futures market
transactions into the tax net as well. Industry and Trade
Aiming to support industry and spur trade, the budget has reduced the prevailing
40 percent customs duty to 30 percent and slashed the agriculture reform
fee. It has offered an income tax discount of 10 percent for special and
information technology industries employing 300 or more Nepalis around
the year. Similar
20 percent tax discount has been offered to industries employing 1,200
or more Nepalis around the year or providing direct employment to more
than 100 Nepalis including 33 percent women, dalits and the handicapped.
Industries using more than 90 percent domestic scrap have been offered
excise duty exemption. VAT and customs duty exemption have been offered
on the construction materials, machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts
for hydropower projects. The new budget, surprisingly, has made registration
for VAT mandatory for person importing taxable items exceeding Rs 10,000.
It has also offered various concessions and procedural simplifications
for export industries. For instance, lump sum VAT refund within 30 days
has been promised to an
individual or firm exporting more than 40 percent of monthly sale. Concession
has also been offered to industries importing raw materials through bank
guarantees or the pass book record facility. Firms producing, importing
and selling excisable items need no longer get an excise license except
in the case of the brick industry, stone crushers
and tobacco products. Tax Compliance Year The government has pushed fiscal
year 2009/10 as Tax Compliance Year for fostering the tax-paying habit.
Under the program, the government has made
it compulsory for all income earners and advance tax payers (under TDS
or tax deduction at source) to get a permanent account number (PAN). <BR>
To encourage compliance, the government has offered a scheme whereby income
earners not registered with PAN so far can enjoy a tax and fine exemption
for the previous year if they get their PAN and submit the tax returns
of 2007/08 and 2008/09. "Those who don´t file tax returns and pay
tax within this exemption period,
however, will be subjected to the payment of all taxes, charges, interest
and penalty right from the time they got involved in income generation,”
said Minister Pandey. New Service Centers and IRO In a bid to enable taxpayers
to clear their dues at the local level, the government announced establishing
of taxpayer service centers in Kathmandu Valley, Dhankuta, Surkhet, Baglung
and Jumla. “An Inland Revenue Office (IRO) also will be established in
Butwal.”In districts where the IRO is absent, the government is setting
up a taxpayer
service unit at the District Treasury Office for registration, distribution
of PAN, tax collection and providing of other taxpayer services. Pandey
also proposed setting up a high-level permanent Central Revenue Board within
the next fiscal year. He has mooted changes in the structure
of the Department of Revenue Investigation and announced immediate establishment
of additional unit offices in Thankot, Bardibas and Attariya. He further
announced formation of a separate revenue police as an emergency flying
squad for controlling revenue leakages.
Posted on 2009-07-2
NAC to finalize aircraft purchase soon
KATHMANDU: Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has said that the process of
buying two new aircraft was at the final stage and that the deal would
be approved by
its board of directors within 10 days.
NAC managing director K.B. Limbu said that management was studying the
facts and figures related to the aircraft purchase.
"We are giving priority to narrow-body aircraft. But the decision
whether to buy two narrow-body planes or one narrow-body and one wide-body
plane will be made by the board," said Limbu.
He added that a narrow-body aircraft would cost around US$ 45 million while
a wide-body aircraft would cost around US$ 90 million.
Addressing the anniversary function, chairman of the board B.K. Man Singh
said that discussions with the government were at the final stage. "Our
first priority is buying the aircraft. We should reach a logical conclusion
soon," he added.
"If we fail to buy aircraft this time, no bidders will respond to
our tender call for purchase of aircraft in the future," said Singh.
The chief guest at the function, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation
Sharat Singh Bhandari, said that expanding NAC´s fleet was crucial for
Nepal Tourism Year 2011, tourism promotion, development and creation of
"We urgently need at least one new aircraft. We should buy it in a
transparent manner as soon as possible," said minister Bhandari. Assuring
NAC of the ministry´s support, Bhandari urged the carrier to enhance internal
management and human resource management and provide its staff comprehensive
training to raise it competitiveness.
Currently, NAC owns a fleet of six aircraft and flies to six international
and 25 domestic destinations. Of the six aircraft, three are Twin Otters
which operate on domestic sectors. Two decades ago, the carrier possessed
21 aircraft and served 18 international and 32 domestic destinations. NAC
aims to expand its services to the Gulf and Southeast Asia as soon as it
gets new aircraft.
"Within the next five years, we will be operating international flights
with four narrow-body and three wide-body aircraft," said Limbu. NAC
plans to fly to Europe, Japan and Korea within five years. It also aims
to add a 50-70 seater aircraft for mountain flights.
According to NAC, it will be offering additional services to tourist spots
like Karnali, Manang and Kanchanjunga.
"I have been here only a month; give me two months to carry out reform
at NAC," said Limbu. The airline awarded gold medals to 42 employees
for completing 25 years of service during the anniversary celebration.
Speaking at the function, a representative of the NAC Employees Union stressed
the need for new aircraft and asked management to address its 11-point
demand at the earliest.
●Developing countries´ GDP to slow to 1.2 percent: World Bank●
Posted on 2009-06-23
The World Bank on Monday estimated economic growth in developing countries
of 1.2 percent this year, and said that without China and India, output
would shrink 1.6 percent. Amid the worst global financial and economic
crisis in seven decades, the multilateral institution eight days ago lowered
its outlook on global growth, to a contraction of 3.0 percent this year.
It slightly revised the global gross domestic product (GDP) figure Monday,
to a 2.9 percent decline.
The development lender´s preceding forecast, published in late March, put
developing countries´ annual growth at 2.1 percent, and at zero if China
and India were excluded.
In 2010, global growth was projected at 2.0 percent, and that of the developing
countries at 4.4 percent, according to the bank. Excluding China and India,
the developing countries would grow 2.5 percent.
China´s economy was forecast to expand 7.2 percent in 2009 and 7.7 percent
in 2010, while India´s forecast was for 5.1 percent followed by 8.0 percent.
The latest World Bank forecasts on gross domestic product (GDP) -- a measure
of goods and services output in a country -- came in a report, "Global
Development Finance 2009: Charting a Global Recovery," published to
coincide with a three-day Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics
opening Monday in Seoul.
The World Bank expressed concern about the thinning flow of private capital
into developing countries, which has fallen nearly by half this year --
49 percent -- to 363 billion dollars compared with 707 billion in 2008,
after a record 1.2 trillion in 2007.
The development lender also projected a 9.7 decline in global trade volume
this year, before a 3.8 percent growth rebound in 2010.
"The need to restructure the banking system, combined with emerging
limits to expansionary policies in high-income countries, will prevent
a global rebound from gaining traction," Justin Lin, World Bank chief
economist, said in a statement.
The anti-poverty bank called for "special attention" to "the
risk of balance-of-payments crises and corporate debt restructurings in
many countries," in order to "avoid another debt crisis as seen
in the 1970s and 1980s."
That was particularly the case in the hard-hit developing countries in
Europe and Central Asia, where GDP was projected to fall 4.7 percent this
year, before a slight recovery to 1.6 percent growth in 2010.
A similar pattern of decline and rebound was seen for Latin America and
the Caribbean, where a 2.2 percent GDP contraction in 2009 would be followed
by a 2.0 percent expansion the next year.
Other regions of the developing world continued to show growth but no contraction.
In East Asia and Pacific, GDP was expected to rise 5.0 percent in 2009
and 6.6 percent in 2010, while South Asia would expand 4.6 percent, followed
by 7.0 percent.
GDP in the Middle East and North Africa was expected to rise 3.1 percent
in 2009 and 3.8 percent in 2010.
Sub-Saharan Africa would expand 1.0 percent, then accelerate to a 3.7 percent
pace next year.
The relative economic weakness in the developing countries after recent
years of robust growth heightens the risks of social unrest and deepening
poverty, the 185-nation institution said.
●Handicraft exports up 17 percent● Posted on:８June2009
KATHMANDU: Exports of handicraft goods went up by 17 percent over the first
nine months of the current fiscal year. However, exporters noted that the
growth has come largely due to the weakening of the Nepali currency.
Handicraft exports up 17 percent
Between mid-July 2008 and mid-April 2009, Nepal exported handicraft goods
worth Rs 2.22 billion to around 80 different countries, compared with Rs
1.89 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to the Federation
of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN).
In terms of the US currency, however, exports in the nine months of this
fiscal year had fallen by 0.3 percent, to US$29.51 million.
Dilip Khanal, executive secretary of FHAN, attributed this discrepancy
in the overall picture to the gains made by the US dollar vis-à-vis the
Nepali currency. A dollar was valued at between Rs 68.85 and Rs 80.15 in
the first nine months of 2008/09, whereas it had averaged between Rs 64.45
and Rs 65.44 in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
But that same factor, the increase in the dollar´s value against the Nepali
rupee, does not provide a blanket explanation for the increments made by
certain export items. Pashmina products, for instance, saw a growth in
exports because pashmina companies diversified their products range. Exports
of pashmina products had gone up by 31 percent, to Rs 573.65 million, in
the nine-month period this year.
"This is because Nepali traders are now exporting not just pashmina
shawls, but a wide range of pashmina products, including sweaters and ponchos,"
This year, Nepali pashmina products--which made up 26 percent of the total
handicrafts exported--were exported to around 40 countries around the world.
Of this, Rs 200.95 million-worth of pashmina products, around 35 percent
of the total pashmina exported, had reached the United States alone, making
the country the largest importer of this prime Nepali product.
Exports of woolen products, which make up 15 percent of the total handicraft
exports, also went up by 27 percent to Rs 336.95 million in the nine-month
period. Exports of other textile items, such as felt, cotton, hemp and
dhaka products, also went up both in terms of Nepali as well as the US
Among non-textile items, exports of silver jewelry, which make up 12 percent
of the total handicraft exports, went up by a marginal eight percent to
Rs 265.05 million. But in terms of the amount of US currency generated,
that figure fell nine percent.
Similarly, handmade paper products, which constitute up to eight percent
of the total handicrafts exported, saw its exports go up by 17 percent
in terms of the Nepali currency but fall 2 percent in terms of the US dollar.
Top 5 importers of Nepali handicraft products:
The USA - Rs 633.12million
Germany - Rs 238.84 million
Japan - Rs 188.28 million
The UK - Rs 166.73 million
France - Rs 148.33 million
*Figures based on the first 9 months of current FY
●NT mulls rolling out 4G network●
Posted On: 1 June 2009
KATHMANDU: Nepal Telecom (NT) is mulling over rolling out in Nepal the
fourth-generation (4G) network, which provides a much faster, ubiquitous
and seamless access to internet services.
NT mulls rolling out 4G network
A team is currently conducting a feasibility study on the possibility
of launching this service in Nepal, Lok Raj Sharma, head of NT´s IT department,
told Republica. "We will get a comprehensive report within two months
and decide on whether to float a public tender notice and invite interested
parties to submit bid documents, or to roll out the next-generation network
by ourselves," he said.
The wireles broadband technology 4G, which provides peak internet speeds
of 160Mbps, was recently unveiled for the first time, in Sweden, by Ericsson
and TeliaSonera. It is expected to be commercially launched in that country
Although TeliaSonera has an 80 percent stake in Spice Nepal Private Limited
(SNPL), Chandi Shrestha, director of SNPL, has said that the company does
not have any plans of launching this service now in Nepal. "Our only
focus at this moment is on expansion and increasing the country´s teledensity,
not on introducing new services," he said.
If NT launches the cutting-edge 4G technology, the company--the first
to introduce 3G services in South Asia--will further consolidate its position
as the frontrunner in introducing the latest wireless internet technologies
NT was the first telecom company to introduce wireless internet services
that operated on the PDSN (Packet Date Serving Node) technology. This service
can be accessed using 1x USB modems or PCMCIA cards and offers a peak speed
of 256Kbps. NT is also launching another wireless internet service, called
EVDO (Evolution, Data Optimized), for the first time in the country very
soon; the EVDO offers a top speed of 2Mbps.
"But 4G is a different ball game altogether" said Sharma. "Due
to its high-speed connectivity and its wireless nature, this service will
give a completely different broadband experience, especially to users who
are on the move."
With this service, users can watch television over the internet, video
blog, play online video games, use mobile office applications and download
an entire movie in less than five minutes, without encountering any problems.
In other words, seamlessness will be the most important characteristics
of the 4G service, Sharma said.
●500 rupee note shortage likely to stay longer●
Posted On: 24 May 2009
KATHMANDU: The unexpected indifference shown by a French security printer
in accepting an additional note-printing order from Nepal Rastra Bank has
heightened the possibility that the current shortage of notes will extend
for a longer period than was expected.
500 rupee note shortage likely to stay longer
According to a central bank official, the French company, which had earlier
bagged a tender to print 40 million units of 500 rupee notes, has not seriously
responded to the repeated attempts by the central bank to come for negotiations
to increase the note print order.
"We requested the French company to send a team of representatives
for negotiations as soon as possible, but we received a cold response:
the company said it could send its representatives only in July,"
said the official.
Earlier, in the last week of April, the board of the central bank had
authorized the management of the central bank to raise the volume of the
existing printing order for 500 rupee notes to 100 million units and to
immediately invite the French company for negotiations.
The latest development has also raised the possibility of the central
bank´s floating a global tender for printing 100 million units of 500 rupee
notes, said the official, but he added that the management of the central
bank would probably wait till the end of this week before deciding on the
course of action.
"We will be left with no other options than to go for global tenders
among the pre-qualified security printers if the French company doesn´t
respond positively by the end of this week," said the official. He
also said that the NRB currently has a list of a dozen pre-qualified companies
who will participate in the tender process. NRB reviews its pre-qualified
companies every two years.
If the NRB opts for a global tender, the country will probably get the
first supply of fresh 500 rupee notes in May 2009, which will be three
months later than the earlier expected date. That delay, said the official,
is expected because the global tender will have to pass through various
The 40 million units of 500 denomination notes to be produced by the French
company will be supplied by the end of July, and according to the concerned
NRB officials, those notes will be enough to meet the higher demand that´s
generated during the festival seasons.
Apart from the 500 rupee notes, the central bank has also placed an order
for 100 million units of 1,000 rupee notes. But that consignment will be
arriving only in January 2010.
As a result of unusual withdrawals from banks and the delay incurred in
replacing old notes by the central bank, the market has been suffering
a shortage 1,000 and 500 rupee notes.
●Global fair trade conference starts in Kathmandu●
Posted on 2009-05-18
KATHMANDU,: The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) Global Conference
2009 started Sunday at the Hyatt Regency.
The five-day meet will discuss the current situation and other agendas,
said Padmasana Shakya, chairperson of the Fair Trade Organisation Nepal.
President of the WFTO Paul Myers said that it was not only Asian countries
that were striving for the welfare of the weaker sectors. But with top
companies like Tata, Starbucks and Cadbury on the run, the trading fair
will reach a level of progress and economic development.
He added that one of the objectives set by the WFTO this year was to exchange
products internationally and help the lower strata improve their socio-economic
conditions. The conference brings together delegates from different WFTO
member countries who were present there to uplift the standards of the
marginalised economies. Among the different means by which the standards
could be raised included facilitating Fair Trade Market expansion, enhancing
the capacity of member organisations of FTG Nepal and expanding and strengthening
the national, regional, and international network.
The main objective of the conference is to promote fair trade, capacity
building of BSOs, enterprises and produces, fair trade monitoring assessment
and development, said Myers.
Speaking about the changes in the weaker sectors, he said, "The smaller
organisations have become more confident and strong, and a few of them
have started their own business in fair trade which reflects progress."
WFTO liaison officer Carol Wills said that Nepal was rich in its culture
and heritage, and produces fine and quality products. Women have managed
to improve their social and economic conditions over the years. There were
various programmes scheduled for the day which were followed by a presentation
by Paul Myers and board members Moctar Fall and Paul Deighton.
Fazie Hasan Abed, the chief guest and founder and chair of the Bangladesh
Rural Advancement Committee, Bangladesh, gave the keynote speech.
●Recession to minimally impact tourism●
Posted on 2009-05-12
KATHMANDU: The global economic crisis, which has led to millions of job
losses worldwide, will not have a severe impact on Nepal´s tourism industry,
as had been expected by many, says a snap survey conducted by Nepal Tourism
The findings were released at a time when the tourism industry has seen
mixed results in tourist inflows, with declines recorded in the first three
months of 2009 and a sudden increment recorded in April. Although the survey
says that tourist arrivals will slightly decline this year and that the
mood is not very positive, it adds, "business is better than what
many have expected."
Pessimism had shrouded this sector since the second half of last year,
when the global financial crisis took its toll on households worldwide.
Gloom continued to dominate the Nepali tourism industry too through the
first quarter of 2009, with Nepal´s hotels reporting a 20 percent decline
in occupancy rates and many travel and tour companies complaining about
pre-bookings cancellations. In that period, the number of tourists coming
to Nepal also declined by 17 percent.
However, the survey has found that tourism-related businesses were in
better shape in March this year than in February, with 13 percent of the
respondents reporting that businesses had “improved a lot” in March and
another 37 percent saying businesses had “somewhat improved.” But when
asked whether business conditions would improve this year, only 26 percent
of respondents answered "yes," 35 percent said "no,"
while 39 percent said they were "not sure."
The survey also shows that one-star, two-star, three-star and tourist-class
hotels performed better than four- and five-star hotels, indicating a shortage
of high-end tourists. Likewise, tour operators seem to be in a comparatively
better position than trekking agencies -- 72 percent of trekking agencies
said business was lower this year, while only 53 percent of tour operators
said that business was worse this year. Trekking agencies are less optimistic
because they have seen a decline in the number of European and American
tourists, who are more adventurous and who constitute their most lucrative
The survey, however, notes that an increment in tourist arrivals will
depend on the country´s ability to promote Nepal as a value-for-money destination,
just as Thailand has. The survey also suggests that the government prepare
short- and medium-term measures keeping in mind the Visit Nepal Year 2011
plan. And "Tourism may not bounce back by 2011," states the survey,
warning that the government´s target of attraction one million tourists
in that year may remain unfulfilled if concrete measures are not taken
Nepal currently attracts only around 500,000 tourists a year, but this
sector provides employment to around 240,000 people and contributes around
three percent of the GDP.
The survey was conducted among 95 tourism-related institutions, including
hotels, tour operators, trekking agencies and airlines.
●Tourist arrivals up 15.8 pc●
Source：Artha Express Posted on 2009-05-05
KATHMANDU: After witnessing three consecutive months of declining arrivals,
the tourism sector has finally seen a glimmer of hope. Tourist arrivals
via air impressively went up by 15.8 percent in April, bucking the trend
forecast by many.
Earlier, in the wake of the global financial crisis, travel experts had
predicted that fewer numbers of tourists would be coming to Nepal throughout
the year. But figures from the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) showed tourist
arrivals for the month of April standing at 37,819, compared with 32,665
for the same month last year. "The figure in a way has challenged
the worldwide decline in tourist arrivals," Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)
said in a statement issued on Sunday.
The data compiled by NTB showed strong growth in the number of Indian
visitors. A total of 8,303 Indians visited Nepal in April - up 27.3 percent.
The number of British tourists coming to Nepal also went up by 38.9 percent,
to 3,509, while the arrival of German visitors reached 1,858 in April -
up 38.3 percent.
Even tourist arrivals from the US-- another country hard hit by the global
economic downturn -- posted a growth of 5.8 percent. NTB said a total of
2,693 Americans came to Nepal in April, compared with 2,545 of last year.
However, arrivals from some of the European countries like France, Italy,
the Netherlands and Austria continued to decline in April.
Among Asian countries, arrivals from all countries, except Japan, posted
a positive growth. The number of Chinese visitors went by up by 27.3 percent,
while the number of South Korean tourists went up by 73 percent.
"The remarkable growth in visitors´ arriving from India and China,
our immediate neighbors and major players in our intraregional tourism
sector, underscores the need to focus in the regional markets at the time
of economic crisis," NTB said.
Despite the growth in the arrival of tourists in the month of April, however,
the overall number of foreign visitors coming to Nepal in 2009 fell by
eight percent, to 117,949. This was largely due to declines recorded in
the first three months of 2009.
●Fuel shortage worsens●
Source：Artha Express Posted on 2009-04-28
KATHMANDU: Consumers already suffering from severe fuel shortage did not
get the fuel on Monday too as fuel supply worsened after the drivers of
NOC-hired tankers refused to transport fuel to the market, citing security
The drivers refused to transport fuel following an attack on tankers by
Tharuhat protestors while the tankers were being escorted from Birgunj.
A tanker helper was injured in the attack. The tanker staff stopped working,
saying that they did not believe in security arrangements made by the government.
They had demanded the government to compensate the damage to the vehicles
and staff, make arrangements to import fuel during day time and beef up
security if it wished them to return to work.
However, the returned to work after an emergency meeting of NOC Board
agreed to fulfill their demands. Though they returned to work late in the
evening, the day´s supply had already been affected.
Prior to the attack, officials had said that the corporation had transported
133 tankers (about 2,100 kiloliters) of petroleum products via Amlekhgunj
on Sunday. Of them, 96 tankers were dispatched to Kathmandu on Sunday night
However, owing to the lack of coordination between the drivers and the
security agencies in Chitwan, where curfew was imposed from 12 pm to 3
am to pass the vehicles, only half of them reached Kathmandu.
"Sadly, even that fuel could not be distributed till late in
the evening due to the strike," said Ramesh Koirala, deputy director
of the corporation.
As a result, some 103 private dealers had their refilling stations shut
down. Long queues were seen at the army and police run refilling stations.
The market has gone almost dry for the last few days after NOC distributed
a mere 30 percent of the required volume in the market over the last few
days, saying that its stock had dwindled and supplies badly affected due
to 35 days of highway closures during the last two months.
To prevent the market from going completely dry, the government has imposed
night curfew in Bara and Chitwan so that NOC could move tankers through.
"Yesterday we brought in 133 tankers of fuel. Today, 150 additional
tankers have already reached Raxaul for fresh consignment," said
Despite all these effort, sources at the corporation told myrepublica.com
that consumers would continue to suffer from the short supply. Reasons:
the volume of imports made amid odds always remains short than normal imports.
On top of that, the corporation has no stock to match with the demand.
Disturbance in the supply process just for a day affects the supply for
While officials admitted that the saga of present problem has to do with
the myopic and insufficient inventory management of the corporation, they
noted that solution out of it lies firstly on addressing the Tharuhat protest
and secondly on revamping NOC´s inventory management and operations once
the present shortage end.
●Where Nepali currency has no value●
Posted on 2009-07-06
DANG: During a recent visit to Sukauli of Bela VDC-3 in Dang district,
Ajaya Sharma of Ghorahi tried to buy a biscuit from a local shop. But the
shopkeeper, Bijaya BK, made him return the biscuit because Sharma did not
pay in Indian currency.
“I was stunned when the shopkeeper initially refused to make the sale.
Later, I came to know that in this part of Nepal, our currency has no any
value,” says Sharma.
BK, on the other hand, has his own story to tell. “We have to go to India
even to buy a matchbox. What’s the use of our currency when the Indian
shopkeepers do not accept it?” BK says. “We are compelled to use Indian
The state of statelessness in the 22 villages bordering Dang district has
caused serious problems, such as the currency one, for locals.
The Nepali state does not provide basic facilities, such as education,
health, telephone services, and so on, to these villages, which are a two-day
walk from district headquarters Ghorahi. “This village is Nepal’s only
in name. We have to depend entirely on India to eke out our livings,” says
Junsari Gharti of Rajpur-7.
“And Indian border security personnel, because they provide the security
here, demand our chickens and goats,” she says.
And the Indian towns across the border are the only ones that the some
6,000 Nepalis here can turn to for medical facilities.
“We have to take our kids to India for regular vaccinations because we
don’t have a health post,” says Laxmi Budha of Bela-3.
“Imagine, what our plight would be if we didn’t have Indian currency suppose
somebody were to suddenly fall ill,” says Budha.
The locals seem little convinced with the government’s recent assurance
that it would provide various facilities, including security.
They have been demanding that the Nepali government work with Indian authorities
so that they can use Nepali currency in Indian border towns.
“Either the Nepal government should provide us with facilities here or
take initiatives so that we can use Nepali currency in India without any
hassles,” says a local at Koilabas-2.
●CG Manipal acquires Campion●
Posted on 2009-07-06
KATHMANDU: Chaudhary Group (CG), in partnership with Manipal Group has
acquired 90 percent shares of Campion schools and colleges leaving the
original owner to retain 10 percent shares.
CG is one of Nepal´s leading business houses and Manipal is India´s leading
business organisation involved in education sector. Their joint venture
---CG Manipal announced a partnership with Campion network amid a function
on Saturday. With this partnership, the CG Manipal will be running Campion
School, Campion Academy, Campion College and Campion Kathmandu Higher Secondary
School. This network at present caters to over 1700 students, according
to press release of CG Manipal.
CG-Manipal promised technology-based interactive and scientific education
system in Campion with their involvement.
"The fee structure will not be so different from earlier ones,"
said Pradeep Raj Pandey, vice president, special project at CG.
Chief Executive Officer of Manipal K-12 Education, Meena Ganesh said that
the students at Campion will be provided well-tested modern learning environment
During the programme, Minister for Education Ramchandra Kuswabaha and Indian
ambassador to Nepal wished all success of Nepal-India joint venture in
Sood expressed the hope that Campion would produce talented manpower Nepal
would proud of.
●Businessman abduction still under cloud●
Posted on 2009-07-03
Businessman abduction still under cloud
NEPALGUNJ, July 2 - The status of abducted businessman Gaurav Krishna Rastogi
is still unknown even five days after the ransom was paid for his release.
On the basis of cell phone numbers used by the abductors when they were
demanding the ransom, police recently arrested two people.
However, police have since felt that both the arrested persons could be
During the police interrogation, the arrested claimed that the real abductors
might have registered the cell phones used in making the ransom call by
producing their citizenship certificates. “I myself was abducted recently
and freed after my family paid a Rs. 100,000 ransom to the abductors in
Hetauda,” police source quoted one of the detainees as saying.
●Rhino poaching hits tourism●
Posted on 2009-06-23
SAURAHA: Tourism entrepreneurs here have been unable to make tourists lengthen
the stay of tourists in this popular destination, thanks to a dwindling
number of rhinos, a major attraction, and lack of fresh programmes.
The entrepreneurs have been relying too heavily on Tharu culture, Chitwan
National Park safari, elephant safari, sun-setting sights and village tour,
which comprise a three-day package. On top of all this, rhinos have become
a rare sight here due to rampant poaching of the endangered species. All
this does not bode well for Sauraha, which is rich in biodiversity.
Tour operators are already talking about the loss rhino poaching could
cause. Tourism expert Dr. Rudra Upadhyaya says rhino conservation is a
must for the survival of Sauraha´s tourism industry.
Tharu culture and lifestyle, another attraction, is also under threat.
Hari Bhakta Ghimire, president of the Regional Hotel Association, says
concrete houses are replacing Tharus´ traditional houses that are made
of Khariya and Khar (dried grass).
“These days, it is hard to get a full glimpse of the Tharu culture at one
place,” Ghimire laments. Elephant safari is quite popular among Nepalis,
but all is not well with this tourist attraction.
●FM stations to broadcast SLC results●
Posted on 2009-06-23
KATHMANDU: If all goes well, School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examinees
will be able to hear their results, likely to come out in the first week
of July, through FM stations.
Talking to the Post, Gopal Prasad Bhattarai, Deputy Controller at the Bhaktapur-based
Office of the Controller of the Examinations (OCE), said they were yet
to decide on some FM stations´ proposals to transmit the SLC results through
This year too, the OCE is planning to publish the result through a number
of mediums such as telephone, SMS, websites and newspapers.
Only The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post applied for the tender that
the OCE invited on May 7 for newspapers interested in publishing the results.
Like last year, the state-run Gorkhapatra did not bid this year as well.
According to Bhattrai, Gorkhapatra cannot publish the results unless the
Cabinet gives it a go-ahead.
He added they were about to complete the verification of data: The final-stage
preparation for the publication of the results, which according to Bhattarai
is likely to happen in the first week of July.
Altogether 412,081, including 364,591 regular and 47,490 exempted students,
sat for the 10th grade examination this year.
●Lagankhel bus park turning into dumping site●
Posted on 2009-06-19
Lalitpur: Locals and commuters alike are at the receiving end due to the
heaps of stinking garbage piled up at Lagankhel bus park. Every passer-by
has to close his nose while crossing the area, so does every passenger
getting off the buses at Lagankhel, thanks to the apathy of the authorities
to clear the garbage.
Shital Lama says she feels nauseated while passing Lagankhel. Though she
has to visit Lagankhel only occasionally, she catches flu after passing
through the area.
Over 15 tons of decaying garbage has piled up at the bus park area. Besides
affecting the health of locals and passers-by, this has caused difficulties
in parking public vehicles, says Ramji Thapa, a microbus driver.
Renu Karki, who has been selling vegetables near the bus park for a decade,
has however learnt to bear with the situation. "What else can I do?
I cannot just run away. I have to feed my family," says Renu.
In the past, the situation was not that bad, Renu says. She says the municipality
used to lift the garbage twice a day in the past, but it doesn´t even clear
the garbage once these days. Locals said a number of slaughterhouses dump
their waste in the bus park area.
Environment section chief of Lalitpur sub-metropolitan city Pradip Amatya
says the as the amount of garbage is increasing, the authorities are having
a tough time managing waste. He says even private sector garbage collectors
dump waste at Lagankhel, compounding the municipality´s problems.
●Gold import shots skywards●
Posted on 2009-06-16
KATHMANDU: The import of gold has soared in the last two years even as
gold dealers complain that they have sales of gold has not been very good
in recent times.
According to a Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) report, gold import increased by
301.5 percent in the nine months of the current fiscal year against the
same period last year. Moreover, the gold import saw an increase of 3048.4
percent during the same period last year against the corresponding period
the previous year.
The import of gold reached worth Rs. 9.6 billion during the nine months
of fiscal year 2008/09 against Rs. 2.4 billion during the same period in
2007/08. The last year´s import was up from Rs.76 million in fiscal year
Those involved in gold transaction have argued that the sudden increase
in the gold transactions here is due to the growing tendency of the Nepalis
to invest in gold although it has not as widespread as investing in shares.
Bijaya Satyal, former chief executive officer of Commodities and Metal
Exchange Nepal Limited (COMEN), which works in trading of gold like that
of shares, said that increased investment in gold as an alternative investment
portfolio over the last two years has been mainly responsible for soaring
import of gold.
Satyal, who was with the COMEN until recently, said that over 300 kilograms
of gold is being sold for jewellery a month whereas over 100 kg is sold
Tej Ratna Shakya, president of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association
(NEGOSIDA) was also of the view that as much as 25 percent of gold being
purchased was for investment although this practice was insignificant a
few years ago.
"The discrepancies between import and sales in the market show that
increasing quantity of gold has been purchased for investment instead of
utility," he said.
According to him, the gold sales saw a marginal increase this year compared
to last year whereas the import has gone up dramatically. "The average
sales of gold remained as high as 10 kg per day over the period of April
2008- April 2009," said Shakya. The sales figure was a little less
that 10 kg per day during the same period in previous year, according to
The open general licence (OGL) system the government introduced for gold
import two years ago also contributed to big increase in import in the
last two years. With the OGL, anybody willing to import gold and silver
can do so formally while people were restricted to import gold earlier.
Only those who stayed abroad for a certain period could import gold before
OGL was introduced.
Their argument holds ground with the growing import and sales of gold by
the banks involved in transaction of gold.
According to NIC bank which has been involved in transaction of gold for
the last two and half years, its import increased by as high as 40-45 percent
and sales has grown by more than 50 percent in the last one year.
Saroj Guragain, chief at treasury and bullion department chief of NIC,
said that the gold market was growing due to enhanced purchasing capacity
of people and consumer culture.
NIC sells gold in 100 gram and 1 kg denominations. "There is a tendency
of purchasing gold when prices remain low as well as when the prices are
going up," Guragain said.
NRB executive director at the research department Trilochan Pangeni said
that the increase in gold import in terms of value was also due to due
to the rise in gold prices in the international market coupled with the
depreciation of Nepali rupees against dollar this year.
●Park ecology under threat●
Posted on 2009-06-12
CHITWAN: Over three dozen natural ponds inside Chitwan National Park (CNP)
have either dried up or turned swampy thanks to the long drought and invasive
plants thriving over the pools.
CNP officials are concerned that the park’s ecology could get disturbed
as natural water resources go dry.
Moreover, wild climbers have encroached upon large swathes of grassland
near the ponds, where animals like the one-horned rhinos and deer graze.
There are 41 ponds inside CNP. Some are artificially built, but the ones
drying up are natural ponds.
Mikania micrantha, a type of invasive plant species locally known as Banmara,
has grown over the ponds and flourished towards the grassland limiting
both food and water for animals, said Ashok Bhandari of CNP. “There is
pressing need to preserve water sources and grassland to maintain biodiversity
and ecological balance. Almost all the ponds are drying up rapidly and
this will have a terrible impact on animals and the environment.”
Currently, CNP is focused on grassland management inside the park area.
However, no initiative has been taken to save the ponds.
Local conservationists say improving ponds is equally important as grassland
management. They claim that many animals, including the one-horned rhino,
have been straying far off from their usual habitat in search of water.
●Parking woes spilling on roads●
Posted on 2009-06-09
KATHMANDU: Denizens of the Kathmandu Valley are facing traffic congestion
for want of parking lots and excessive number of vehicles, say officials.
Haphazard parking of vehicles is also contributing to this problem.
Valley´s roads have a total length of nearly 1,400 kilometres. However,
a huge number of vehicles do not have enough space to park.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Bikash Shrestha at Metropolitan Traffic
Police Division (MTPD) says, "There are nearly 4,20,000 vehicles registered
in the Bagmati Zone but 5,00,000 vehicles are running on the road."
According to him, a good number of vehicles registered in India are plying
According to MTPD, there are just 152 taxi stands in the Valley for a total
of 7,000 taxis. DSP Shrestha says, "Haphazard parking ultimately causes
Also, motorcyclists are avoiding the rules and regulations of parking which
add to the troubles of parking and bike theft. The traffic police at times
confiscate the illegally parked bikes but still the problem is prevalent.
"On an average, we About 20 to 22 vehicles are picked up every day
on an average," a traffic police officer says.
Haphazard parking is rampant in Thamel, Putalisadak, Kalanki, Tripureshwor,
New Road and Durbar Marg. Chief of the Enforcement Division of the Kathmandu
Metropolitan City Dhana Pati Sapkota says, "We impound vehicles parked
in no-parking zones to deter vehicle-owners from repeating the act."
Former Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan Keshab Sthapit says, "In the
Kathmandu Valley, roads can be built along river corridors. Roads having
total length of 1000 kilometres can be built along stretches that have
been lying unused. All these measures can ease traffic congestion."
Sthapit also dwelt on his plan to put in place a traffic control system
inside the Valley. The former mayor said he could not set up the system
because of the state´s inaction.
Sthapit says the city´s development has hit a snag due to shortage of funds
and other hurdles in the execution of policies.
On the other hand, Chief of the City Development Department Bimal Rijal
says "Every mayor comes with some vision but KMC cannot do justice
to everyone´s idea."
●Koshi embankment repair left incomplete●
Posted on 2009-06-07
KATHMANDU: The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) has asked the
government to initiate different measures that will help the industries,
including the adoption of the Multiple Value Added Tax (VAT) system. The
apex body of Nepali industrialists has suggested four rates--1, 4, 8 and
13 percent of VAT-- where the rates vary according to the nature of a business
"The existing single-rate VAT system should be changed into multiple
rates VAT to promote production-based industries and to increase investment
in the country”" CNI president Binod Kumar Chaudhary said.
The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Nepal
Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations have been putting
forward the demand for the multiple-rate VAT for a few years now. But the
government has been turning down their demands fearing that some goods
will gain undue benefit from lower rates of VAT. Under the existing VAT
system, the government is enforces a single rate of 13 percent VAT.
The CNI has suggested that a four percent VAT be imposed on food commodities,
including sugar, refined flour, mustard oil and vegetable ghee. CNI has
also suggested the enacting of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act to establish
SEZs in Jhapa, Dhanusha, Birgunj, Panchkhal, Jumla and Dhangadhi, with
the provision for product-specific, service-specific and area-specific
development in those areas.
To promote the industries that use local resources, the CNI has also demanded
99-year leases for limestone quarries, besides keeping the royalty amount
unchanged for 10 years. The CNI also wants the scrapping of the 13 percent
VAT scheme on dairy industry and wants the government to declare tea estates
In a meeting held to discuss the CNI´s issues, CNI president Chaudhary
demanded that the government exempt the income tax for companies that employ
more than 200 workers; he also said that a similar facility should also
be given to the business enterprises that employ the most number of women.
The government has already adopted a policy to provide income tax exemptions
for industries that employ more than 500 workers.
"The government should also give continuity to the popular programs
initiated by the earlier government," said Chaudhary.
The CNI also demanded that the government focus on increasing investment
in infrastructure and on encouraging public-private-partnership in productive
ways that benefit the state and the private sector. In reply, Finance Ministry
Surendra Pandey gave assurances that the government would incorporate in
the upcoming budget the suggestions made by the private sector.
●Garbage collection to resume●
Posted on 2009-06-02
KATHMANDU: Following the Okharpauwa locals’ agreement not to obstruct garbage
disposal, garbage collection will resume on Tuesday after being halted
over the last five days, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) said on Monday.
“Garbage disposal will resume from tomorrow,” said Rabin Man Shrestha,
chief at the Environment Section of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC).
“We reached a three-point agreement with the locals addressing their demands,”
he added. Their demands include repairing the road, construction of hospital
and irrigation canal, provision of drinking water and employment for each
household of the Soldole area.
He also informed that the KMC is considering a master plan on garbage management.
Different groups of people with various demands have obstructed the disposal
for 100 days since 2005, said KMC.
●Gold up by a goodly hop●
Posted on 2009-06-02
KATHMANDU: Gold became costlier by Rs 340 per 10 gram this week. The precious
yellow metal this week closed at Rs 24,005 per 10 gram from last week’s
closing of Rs 23,665. The domestic market witnessed a gradual hike in the
price of gold, pushed up by the international price.
“The international market has pushed up the price of gold here,” said Nepal
Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA). A strong global share
market and rise in oil price have pushed the international price of gold,
making it costlier here. Gold was traded at $951 per ounce in the world
market last Friday and was $963 per ounce — a rise of $12 per ounce — today
on Friday. Due to high international price, domestic transactions are likely
to be hit.
The price rise has taken toll as during November-December 1998, around
1,050-kg of gold used to be transacted in a month — 35 kg per day — it
being the wedding season. It worsened in 2007, with the transaction of
gold per day hovering at around only five to 10 kg per day. This past season
again, transactions picked up to around 15 kg per day sale. However, the
recent increase in gold price has again started hitting transactions.
The trend of investing in gold for security had picked up in Nepal, giving
a boost to the transaction of the yellow metal in the domestic market.
The trend of holding gold had also increased by 10 to 20 per cent as against
only five per cent last year.
The domestic market saw the highest price of gold at Rs 25,500 per tola
last October since same year’s July, when it was Rs 25,450 per tola.
NEGOSIDA said that the bullish trend of gold is likely to continue. Meanwhile,
silver also followed the bullish trend as it closed at Rs 377 — Rs 10 higher
than last week’s Rs 367 per 10 gram.
●Sugar price now Rs 53 per kilogram●
Posted on 2009-05-28
KATHMANDU: Retailers have started selling sugar at Rs 53 per kg across
the Valley from Wednesday. The new rate is seven rupees cheaper than what
prevailed in the market till Tuesday. Amid shortage of sugar due to decline
in production, retail sugar price had shot up to Rs 60 per kg for last
couple of weeks.
“Retailers have begun selling sugar at the new rate after the government
decided to supply us at lower rate," Siddhi Gorkhali, office secretary
of Nepal Retailers´ Association told Republica.
Gorkhali said National Trading Limited, a government undertaking, and Salt
Trading Corporation, a semi government entity, have agreed to provide sugar
to retailers at Rs 51.75 per kg up to five quintals at a time on the recommendation
of the association.
“Member retailers of the association will get the recommendation through
its 33 area offices and the head office,” said Gorkhali. Retailers will
get recommendation for sugar through Patan Khadya Byapar Sangh and Bhaktapur
Retailers Association also.
The government effort to sell sugar at subsidized price was delayed due
to dispute between retailers and Salt Trading and National Trading about
commission. Originally retailers were offered a kg of sugar for Rs 52.75
per kg to be sold at Rs 53 per kg. Retailers had rejected the offer citing
that they can´t sell sugar with a meager commission of Rs 0.25 per kg.
The association has about 2,300 members. Each retail shop is estimated
to sell average 50 kg of sugar every day.
Nepal needs 110,000 tons for annual consumption with the domestic production
falling short of 50,000-60,000 tons as compared to total requirement.
Price of sugar has skyrocketed for the last few days due to drop in sugar
production in the country as well as in the world market.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MoAC), the
production of sugarcane nosedived to 2.48 million tons in 2008/09 from
2.6 million tons the year before.
In a bid to cool down the ballooning sugar price, the government had decided
to intervene in the market by distribution sugar through National Trading,
Salt Trading and Nepal Food Corporation at subsidized rate of Rs 51.5 per
kg. To ease the supply, the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies has already
decided to procure 50,000 tons of sugar from India. However, the decision
has yet to be endorsed by the cabinet.
International Sugar Organization (ISO) said sugar production across the
world is expected to fall short of production by 4.3 million tons as compared
to last year. The production was forecasted 161.53 million tons this year.
However, the global consumption is expected to go up by 1.5 percent to
160.9 million as compared 158.6 million tons the previous year.
●NRB stops printing polymer notes●
Posted on 2009-05-19
KATHMANDU, May 19 - Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has stopped printing polymer
notes after two press runs as they didn´t prove very popular with the public.
The central bank had introduced polymer notes of Rs. 10 denomination on
Sept. 30, 2002 and again on Sept. 12, 2005. It has gone back to paper notes.
Ashwini Kumar Thakur, executive director of the central bank´s currency
management department, said they had discontinued printing polymer notes
after difficulties arose in their exchange because of unnecessary rumours.
"We found that a number of shops outside Kathmandu were refusing
to accept polymer notes," he said.
After rumours spread that torn polymer notes would not be exchanged by
the central bank, people became reluctant to accept them even though the
NRB had clarified that damaged notes would be exchanged. According to an
NRB official, the notes printed in 2002 were not of a very good quality,
and the colour faded within a short time.
"This also may have made a bad impression on the people," Thakur
The central bank had gone for polymer notes thinking that its longer lifespan
would save it from having to print new notes each year. The lifespan of
polymer notes is estimated to be three times longer than that of paper
"But the cost of printing is almost twice that for paper notes,"
he said. NRB had planned to issue polymer notes of other denominations
if the Rs. 10 note became a success.
NRB is not sure if polymer notes will be reintroduced. "It is most
unlikely to happen anytime soon," said Thakur.
However, he said that the central bank could introduce polymer notes of
high denominations as they were virtually impossible to counterfeit. Counterfeit
notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denominations have surfaced at various times.
No Rs. 25, Rs. 250 notes
Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) never reprinted notes of Rs. 25 and Rs. 250 denominations
after introducing them in 1997 as they were not well received.
The central bank had printed paper notes of Rs. 25 denomination on April
11, 1997 and Rs. 250 on April 10, 1997. The central bank had printed 40
million pieces of Rs. 25 notes. Likewise, five million pieces of Rs. 250
notes were printed. Ashwini Kumar Thakur, executive director of NRB´s currency
management department, said that NRB discontinued reprinting these notes
as they could not be popular as expected.
He added that the central bank had no immediate plans to reprint these
notes. The Rs. 250 notes were printed to commemorate the silver jubilee
of ex-king Birendra Shah´s accession to the throne.
●Yamaha FZ16´s Everest campaign launched ●
Posted on 2009-05-18
Kathmandu: Morang Auto Works (MAW), the sole authorized dealer of Yamaha
motorcycles for Nepal, has announced a “Road Trip to Everest” campaign
in which its latest FZ16 bike will set out to conquer Everest base camp.
According to the information released amid a program on Sunday, three
lucky customers of FZ 16 chosen via a lucky draw, and three celebrities
will also accompany the FZ16--the most preferred and awarded bike in 150cc
This is first ever adventure of the kind planned so far for bikes in this
category. The campaign is led by three youth icons--Nima Rumba, Dipak Bista
& Suraj Singh Thakuri-- said a press release issued at the program;
the release also says that " the FZ16 is confident of conquering the
Himalayas through its new campaign."
To reach Everest Base Camp from Kathmandu, the riders will be riding to
an altitude of 5,200 meters and they will cover a total distance of 1,100
Km. "This is the first time in the history of Nepal that a bike in
the 150 CC category will be ridden to such high altitudes and on such a
route," said Vishnu Kumar Agrawal, chief executive of MAW.
Agrawal also informed the gathering at the program that since the FZ16
was designed to run on rugged and crater-filled roads, the bike should
be able to perform excellently. "The purpose of the campaign is to
establish the FZ16 bike as not only a means of transportation but as also
a bike that´s a pleasure to ride, even under adverse conditions,"
The trip to Everest Base Camp will start on the 18th of July and is expected
to end on around the 25th of the month.
●Dollar, gold expensive●
Posted on 2009-05-17
KATHMANDU: Nepali currency and bullion markets that are both directly
governed by the international market went through major upheaval this week.
While Nepali currency weakened against the US dollar, both gold and silver
prices continued their rally in the wake of gains recorded in the international
Nepali rupee slipped by 80 paisa against the US dollar, mainly as the
greenback appreciated vis-à-vis Indian currency with which it is pegged.
Nepal Rastra Bank, the monetary authority of the country, had fixed the
rupee at Rs 79.20 per US dollar on Sunday, when the market opened this
week. It, however, fluctuated by 10 to 20 paisa over the next three days,
and depreciated by 65 paisa overnight touching Rs 79.75 per dollar on Thursday.
Rupee further dropped by 25 paisa and was exchanged at Rs 80 per dollar
Nepali currency also recorded a sharp drop against euro and pound sterling,
the two major convertible currencies. It weakened by Rs 2.26 against euro
and Rs 1.92 against pound sterling over the week. On Friday, exchange rate
of a euro was fixed at Rs 108.55, while pound sterling was Rs 121.12. As
per the existing open market exchange rate policy, rates quoted by different
banks, however, may differ.
Gold became expensive by Rs 30 per gram over the week, as rise in international
prices pushed the price of this precious metal to Rs 24,135 per 10 grams
in the domestic market on Friday.
According to Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers´ Association (NGSDA), the yellow
metal was traded at Rs 23,835 per 10 grams on Sunday. It lost Rs 12 per
gram overnight on Monday, but the price started to rally over the next
four days. Gold became as expensive as Rs 24,265 per 10 grams on Thursday,
but its price receded by Rs 130 per 10 grams on Friday.
The price of silver also went up to Rs 368 per 10 grams on Friday. As
Nepal fulfills its bullion demand through imports, any fluctuation in gold
and silver prices in the international market directly impacts prices in
the domestic market.
●BOOT schemes kick it up a notch●
Posted on 2009-05-15
KATHMANDU: In Kathmandu--a city that still has a traditional facade--large-scale
shopping complexes have reshaped both the shopping habits of the city´s
denizens and the city´s landscape. This aspect of Kathmandu´s push towards
modernity has come about mostly because of what´s called the BOOT scheme.
The acronym BOOT stands for Build Operate Own Transfer. And a great majority
of the larger complexes that one sees in Kathmandu today were built under
Thanks to these complexes--where almost any product that a shopper desires
can be bought in premises that boast state-of-the-art facilities and amenities--shopping
in the valley has become a delightful affair.
To purchase their preferred brands of products, Kathmanduites now no longer
need to wiggle through traffic-congested streets to get to their preferred
shops, scattered in different corners of the city. “Many of the popular
shops of yesterday have conveniently assembled themselves in complexes
like UWTC and Share Market Complex, both of which were built under the
BOOT scheme,” says Sukunta Lal Hirachan, builder and operator of United
World Trade Center (UWTC).
The conveniences provided keep piling up too. For example, since ATMs
and banks are built into the complexes, shoppers today do not have to carry
hunks of cash. Furthermore, with shopping complexes offering so much, these
complexes have become whole markets unto themselves--their shops peddle
everything from daily consumable goods, care and wear items, and travel
accessories to financial and logistics services. These days even barber
shops and restaurants clubbed with the other shops, all under one roof.
The developers, who are as giddy as the shoppers, know what has made all
this possible. “In this space-constrained city, empty land is either owned
by the government or public institutions. Hence, without BOOT, a majority
of the large scale complexes that have enhanced shopping experiences would
have never materialized,” says Ichha Bahadur Wagle, a commercial complex
Kathmandu´s BOOT schemes first saw the light of day about a decade ago.
The first complex to be built under a BOOT scheme was the Ranamukteshwor
Business Complex, popularly known as RB Complex, in New Road.
This leading crowd-puller, which offers products from leading Asian manufacturing
countries, such as China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, and also from
European and the United States, was built by RB Complex Private Ltd on
land leased by Guthi Samsthan.
The second major complex built under the BOOT scheme was the Share Market
Complex, in Putalisadak. The third one was Lalitpur Bishalbazar, which
could not bring in the crowds the way that its two forerunners have. The
other notable BOOT venture is the Kantipur Mall, which serves the needs
of the lower-middle income groups; it too was built on leased land--from
the Kathmandu Metropolitan City office.
But the landmark BOOT venture is undoubtedly UWTC, the fifth up in the
lineup among these mega projects. It´s also the biggest shopping complex
in the country. Built on about 0.56 hectares of land leased out by Tribhuvan
University for 32 years, this six-storey building houses hundreds of outlets
in its 61,538 square meters of usable space. For that space alone, the
builder pays Rs 7.2 million a year to the university.
To go with its prime size, UWTC it offers the most prime of amenities:
Four lifts, six escalators, 24-hour power supply with generator backup,
a fire-fighting system, accidental insurance provided for both shoppers
and shopkeepers, an underground parking lot that accommodates about one
thousand vehicles, and 65 CCTVs for security, among others.
The success of BOOT ventures has been such that close cousins, who follow
the basic BOOT blueprint but not the clients targeted, are also being spawned.
So far, Kathmandu´s complexes have catered to the needs of the consumers,
but an upcoming venture-- Trade Tower of Nepal (TTN), being built on more
than 11 ropanis of land belonging to Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) in Thapathali--will
cater to corporate clients. TTN has been designed to specifically meet
the spatial and logistics needs of corporate offices.
“Unlike the past BOOT ventures, ours will house offices of banks, hydropower
companies, non-governmental organizations and other service-sector players,”
says engineer Shiva Hari Dangal of Makalu Developers, the company that´s
developing the complex.
TTN will be an eight-storey complex with 25,000 square feet of usable
space on each floor and it will offer to its clients a common corporate
secretariat, CCTV coverage, broadband internet, fiber optic linked telephones
and common meeting spaces.
The developer is investing Rs 400 million for the construction and is
paying NFC Rs one million a month for its lease. TNN is planning to open
its space for booking in about six months, and the offices can be leased
for up to 30 years.
For years on end, the people in Kathmandu have been told that the city
would be turned into a Singapore. Singapore, the city certainly hasn´t
become, but with BOOT schemes leading the way, at least the people in Kathmandu
are shopping like Singaporeans do, and some may soon be working out of
the kinds of offices that are there in Singapore.
●TIA security personnel fallen ill●
Posted on 2009-05-12
KATHMANDU: More than two dozen security personnel deployed at Tribhuvan
International Airport (TIA) have fallen ill simultaneously.
They have been suspected of being affected by swine flu strain- known
as H1N1- however, it has not been confirmed.
They have been taken for treatment at the Teaching Hospital in Maharajgunj
after some security personnel started felling unwell this morning.
The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) had urged the public to stay
alert in the wake of swine flu outbreak in some of North American, western
and Asian countries last week.
It had called on all to take safety measures in order to keep swine flu
at bay. TIA had also beefed up surveillance security following the threat
of swine flu.
The H1N1 virus has sickened more than 2,300 people in 24 countries.
●Gold edging towards ascending trend●
Posted on 2009-05-10
KATHMANDU: The gold market this week closed Rs 390 higher on Friday than
its opening price of Rs 23,360 per 10 gram on Sunday.
On Monday, gold priced at Rs 23,405 per 10 gram. It increased by Rs 255
to Rs 23,660 on Tuesday but fell by Rs 85 on Wednesday to drop to Rs 23,575.
Gold traded for Rs 23,660 again on Thursday and closed at Rs 23,750 on
Friday. According to Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA),
gold priced $885 per ounce in the international market last week and closed
at $913 per ounce this week.
Meanwhile, silver opened at Rs 351.50 per 10 gram on Sunday and traded
for the same price on Monday.
With an increase of Rs 4.50 silver priced Rs 356 per 10 gram on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, silver traded for Rs 358 with another hike of Rs 6 on Thursday.
Silver closed at Rs 366 per 10 gram, registering an increase of Rs 14.50
over the opening price
●Rupee gains, gold price drops●
Posted on 2009-05-03
KATHMANDU: Nepali currency vis-à-vis US dollar strengthened over the week,
as greenback depreciated against the Indian currency, with which Nepali
rupee is pegged. Decline in the price of gold in the international market
caused the price of precious metal to drop in the domestic market, while
Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) index also dropped in the midst of gloom running
deep in the country´s sole stock market.
Partially convertible Nepali rupee strengthened by 28 paisa vis-à-vis
US dollar over the week and closed at Rs 80.12 per dollar on Friday as
Indian rupee appreciated marginally against the greenback.
Nepal Rastra Bank, country´s monetary authority, had fixed the exchange
rate of a US dollar at Rs 80.40 on Sunday. It appreciated to Rs 80 per
dollar on Monday, but soon caught depreciating trend over the next two
days, with exchange rate of dollar climbing as high as Rs 81.15 on Wednesday.
It, however, appreciated to Rs 80.50 perB dollar on Thursday and further
strengthened on Friday.
Nepali rupee, however, weakened against the euro by Rs 2.32 over the week
and was closed at Rs 107.06 per euro on Friday. It depreciated vis-à-vis
pound sterling by Rs 2.18 over the week and closed at Rs 119.07 per pound
sterling on Friday. As per the existing open market exchange rate policy,
rates quoted by different banks, however, can differ.
Gold price dropped by Rs 60.50 per gram over the week and closed at Rs
23,360 per 10 grams on Friday in the domestic market. Nepal Gold and Silver
Dealers´ Association attributed the decline to the drop in the price of
gold in the international market.
According to the association, gold was traded at Rs 23,965 per 10 grams
on Sunday. While the price rose to Rs 24,135 on Monday, it spiraled downwards,
dropping all along the remaining days of the week. On Wednesday, it dropped
to Rs 23,660 per 10 grams. It was traded as 23,575 on Thursday and further
dropped by Rs 115 per 10 grams overnight on Friday.
Though the price of silver saw upheavals in the middle of the week, it
closed at Rs 351.50 on Friday, same as the price at which it was traded
on Sunday. As Nepal meets its bullion demand through imports, any fluctuation
in gold and silver prices in the international market directly impacts
the prices in the domestic market.
●NRB celebrates 54th anniversary●
Posted on 2009-04-30
KATHMANDU: Nepal Rastra Bank has stated its commitment to work continuously
to minimise the risk of global financial recession in Nepal. The bank has
assured to maintain financial stability for which it has been implementing
regulatory and supervision works.
NRB expressed this on the occasion to mark its 54th anniversary on April
27. Economists and finance experts speaking at the anniversary function
of NRB stressed the need to expand its outreach to the remote and rural
parts of the country.
Acknowledging its role, NRB said that it would formulate monetary and
fiscal policies so as to support the target of achieving high economic
●Nepse down 7.8 points●
Posted on 2009-04-27
KATHMANDU: Nepal Stock Exchange started this week on a pessimistic note
with Nepse index declining by 7.89 points on Sunday. The controversy regarding
the possible removal of army chief Rookmangud Katawal is one of the reasons
for the downfall of index, according to stock analysts. When the transaction
was closed, Nepse index slid to 649.04 points. Sensitive index and float
index were also down by 2.92 points and 0.84 points respectively. Howe-ver,
Shanker Man Singh GM of Nepse said, "There is no economic reason
for the down fall of Nepse. It is probably because of political uncertainties."
The fall in share price of KIST Merchant Banking and Finance also had
impact on the market. The price of KIST fell by 9.95 percent. Likewise,
SBI Bank, Gorkha Development Bank and Global Bank were among the losers
on Sunday. Bhrikuti Develop-ment Bank and Prabhu Finance were among the
top gainers. Shares worth Rs. 42.9 million were traded on Sunday.
●Rupee weakens, gold price soars●
Posted on 2009-04-26
KATHMANDU: Nepali currency vis-à-vis US dollar weakened over the week,
as greenback appreciated against the Indian currency, with which Nepali
rupee is pegged. Rise in the price of gold in the international market
steeply pushed the price of the precious metal upward in the domestic market,
while Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) index also dropped in the midst of gloom
running deep in the stock market.
Partially convertible Nepali rupee weakened by 50 paisa vis-à-vis US dollar
over the week and closed at Rs 80.40 per dollar on Friday as Indian rupee
with which Nepali currency is pegged depreciated marginally against the
Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank, had fixed the exchange rate of a
US dollar at Rs 79.90 on Sunday. However, Nepali currency continued to
depreciate over the next five days. On Tuesday, the exchange rate dropped
to Rs 80.50 for a dollar and declined further to Rs 80.85 on Thursday.
However, rupee gained marginally on Friday and was closed at Rs 80.40 per
Nepali rupee gained nine paisa against the euro over the week and was
closed at Rs 104.74 per euro on Friday. But it depreciated by Rs 1.46 vis-à-vis
pound sterling over the week and closed at Rs 116.89 per pound sterling
Friday. As per the existing open market exchange rate policy, rates quoted
by different banks, however, may differ.
Gold price soared by Rs 98.50 per gram over the week and closed at Rs
23,835 per 10 grams on Friday in the domestic market. Nepal Gold and Silver
Dealers´ Association attributed the steep rise in the price to the rise
in the price of gold in the international market amid downturn in major
stock exchanges across the world.
According to the association, gold was traded at Rs 22,850 on Sunday.
While the price remained constant on Monday, it gained Rs 650 per 10 grams
overnight and was traded at Rs 23,500 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the price
dropped by Rs 50 per 10 grams, but only to gain Rs 210 per 10 grams overnight
on Thursday. It further went up by Rs 175 on Friday, when gold was traded
at Rs 23,835 per 10 grams.
Likewise, the price of silver also increased from Rs 344 of Sunday to
Rs 351.50 per 10 grams on Friday this week. As Nepal fulfills its bullion
demand through imports, any fluctuation in the prices of gold and silver
in the international market directly affects the prices in the domestic
●Prices of pulses go up, rice and oils go down●
Posted on 2009-04-24
KATHMANDU: Prices of different varieties of split pulses have sharply
gone up in the market over a week, following a rise in price in India coupled
with increasing export to third countries. Despite huge rise in production
of pulse crops in the country over six years, domestic market has been
witnessing skyrocketing prices of the pulses.
Grocers said price of lentil, one of the widely used pulses, went up by
Rs 20 per kg to Rs 96 per kg on Thursday as compared to the price a week
Rahar dal or red gram and Maas or black gram also become dearer to Rs
92 and Rs 70 from Rs 76 and Rs 70 per kg, respectively. Similarly, price
of Moog or green gram also soared up to Rs 92 from Rs 76 per kg.
Production of lentil has increased by about 1200 tons during the past
fiscal as compared to 149,963 tons in the fiscal year 2002/03.
Exports of lentil, which covers 60 percent of total pulse production in
the country, increased by 522 percent to Rs 1.3 billion during the year
2007/08 as compared to six years ago.
However, price of edible oils fell significantly in the period of one
month in line with the dipping international prices of raw materials. More
than 90 percent of total domestic demand of rapeseed is fulfilled from
According to Rajendra Tuladhar, an oil seller at Asan, mustard oil is
selling at Rs 120 per liter. The price of mustard oil was Rs 155 per liter
a month ago. Sunflower oil and soybean oil also became cheaper by Rs 10
and Rs 15 per liter to Rs 120 and Rs 90 per liter respectively.
"Falling international price of mustard, soybean and sunflower
seeds pushed down the prices of edible oils," said Tuladhar.
In the same tune, prices of rice also edged down over a month. The price
of Jeera Mansuli, a popular variety among the middle-class consumers, went
down to Rs 35 per kg from Rs 38 per kg a month ago. Sona Mansuli, another
widely used variety also became cheaper to Rs 26 per kg from Rs 31 per
Satish Kumar Bohara, joint secretary of Nepal Rice, Oil and Pulse Industries´
Association, said prices of rice slid marginally down as the major rice
mills in mid and eastern Nepal have begun to mill newly harvested paddy
with the beginning of hot season.
"Price began to go down gradually from last month. But the price
will rise soon due to a ban of rice export by India and rising demand of
rice due to sharp decline of winter crops, mainly wheat," Bohara
●Highest altitude net service●
Posted on 2009-04-22
SOLUKHUMBU: A cyber cafe has started providing Internet service from Gorakse
of Khumjung, which lies at an altitude of 5,180 metres in Solukhumbu district.
The operator of Sherpa International Cafe, Chhetan Sherpa, claims the
cafe provides Internet service from the highest altitude in the world.
Gorakse is about one hour away from the Everest Base Camp. "We
have started the service to enable tourists to communicate with their families,"
Sherpa is also planning to extend the service to Dingbuche and Pheriche
●Rupee gains, gold price drops●
Posted on 2009-04-19
KATHMANDU: The Nepali rupee made gains on the US dollar over the week,
as lowered demand caused the greenback to depreciate against the Indian
rupee—to which the Nepali rupee is pegged. A decline in the price of gold
in the international market also dragged down the price of precious metal
in the domestic market, while for the first time in months, Nepal’s sole
stock market this week showed signs of a recovery.
On the Indian rupee’s marginally strengthening against the greenback,
the partially convertible Nepali rupee gained 35 paisa against the US dollar
and closed at Rs 79.90 per dollar on Friday.
Nepal Rastra Bank, the country’s monetary authority, had on Sunday fixed
the exchange rate for the US dollar at Rs 80.25. But the Nepali currency
mounted a rally over the next four days: On Tuesday, the exchange rate
dropped to Rs 80.15 per dollar and on Thursday further declined to Rs 79.85.
On Friday, however, the rupee depreciated marginally and closed at Rs 79.90
Over the week, the Nepali rupee also gained Rs 1.60 against the euro and
on Friday closed at Rs 105.26 per euro. But the rupee depreciated by Rs
1.16 against the pound sterling and closed at Rs 119.53 per pound sterling
on Friday. As per the existing open-market exchange-rate policy, however,
rates quoted by different banks may differ.
The price of gold dropped by Rs 30 per gram over the week and closed at
Rs 22,975 per 10 grams on Friday in the domestic market. The Nepal Gold
and Silver Dealers’ Association has attributed the dip in the domestic
prices to the global decline in the price of gold, a result of the dollar’s
and the global stock market’s both doing better.
According to the association, gold was traded at Rs 23,275 on Sunday.
It gained over the next two days and reached as high as Rs 23,535 per 10
grams on Wednesday. On Thursday, however, it dropped Rs 215 per 10 grams
and further went down by Rs 345 per 10 grams on Friday.
Likewise, the price of silver also dropped to 347 per 10 grams on Friday
from Rs 350 on Sunday. As Nepal fulfills its bullion demand through imports,
any fluctuation in gold and silver prices in the international market directly
impacts the prices in the domestic market.