Centre to remove tax overlaps

  • Cabinet endorses high-level panel’s recommendations
PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Nov 14 2018
The government is preparing to scrap the taxes imposed unconstitutionally or illegally by the provincial and local governments with the Cabinet endorsing on Sunday a proposal to implement the report prepared by a high-level committee formed to suggest ways to resolve the row.
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Driving licence vendor hits speed bump

  • Contractor produces only 45,000 digital driving licences of the 500,000 ordered
SANJEEV GIRI, Nov 14 2018
Malika Incorporated, the private company that was awarded the contract to print smart driving licences for clearing backlogs dating back to almost a year, is unlikely to complete its task on time.
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Tamakoshi delay makes Nepal lean on power imports

    BIBEK SUBEDI, Nov 14 2018

    The delay in completing the much awaited Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project leaves Nepal no option but to rely on the electricity imported from India to eliminate power cuts this winter when output of the river-run domestic plants drops significantly.


    As the Nepal Electricity Authority’s plan to switch on at least one of the six turbines of the 456MW project to generate 76 megawatts by December didn’t materialise, reduction in power imports from India will not be possible soon, officials say.
    Currently, the state-owned NEA is addressing the peak electricity demand by importing around a third of the total national need from India via various cross-border transmission lines.


    On Tuesday, the peak demand for electricity was 1101MW, according to the power utility. Domestic hydropower plants owned by the NEA and private developers
    contributed 736MW while 365MW was imported from India via more than a dozen points.

    Although the total installed capacity of the domestic plants is 1027MW, actual power generation has dropped by around 29 percent since the water level in the rivers where the plants are located has gone down. As the currents will be weaker in the coming days, power output will plunge deeper, forcing the NEA to import more electricity from the southern neighbour.


    As a majority of hydroelectric stations in the country are run-of-the-river type, output drops sharply in the dry season. Only the Kulekhani I and II, with a combined capacity of 92 megawatts, are driven by reservoirs.


    “It is true that we will have to rely on electricity imported from India to meet our peak demand this winter too,” said Prabal Adhikari, the NEA spokesperson. The actual output would depend on the lowest water level on rivers. Last winter, when the output of domestic plants dropped by more than a half, the NEA imported around 500MW from India during peak hours. The NEA has made it clear however that the decline in generation will not lead to resumption of power cuts in the country. “As we have upgraded the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur line, we are in a position to import an additional 100MW from India,” said Adhikari.

    full story »

    Subedi new Social Development Minister of Sudurpachim Province

    ARJUN SHAH, Dhangadhi, Nov 13 2018
    Krishna Subedi has been appointed as Social Development Minister of Sudurpachim Province after Dirgha Sodari was relieved from his post on Tuesday.

    full story »

    Daraz hyped its sale. But online shoppers said it wasn’t worth it.

    KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu, Nov 13 2018
    An item on Daraz.com.np has three different prices for the same product.
    Daraz started out with a bang—a loud advertising campaign for weeks to promote 11.11, unofficially called the world’s largest online shopping day, for the first time in Nepal.

    full story »

    Scores of people reach Kanchanpur to support Pant couple’s sit-in

    BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR, Nov 14 2018
    Central member of Nepali Congress Dilendra Prasad Badu (left) along with Nirmala’s parents and women’s right activists at an indefinite sit-in in Mahendranagar, Kanchanpur, on Tuesday.POST PHOTO
    Scores of people from Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Butwal, Chitwan, Kathmandu, and other parts of the country have reached Kanchanpur to join in on an indefinite sit-in protest launched to press the authorities to identify and arrest the perpetrators involved in the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta.

    full story »

    Main News

    Man assaults sister, nieces in Taplejung

    ANANDA GAUTAM, Nov 14 2018
    A man attacked three persons with a Khukuri—a traditional Nepali sword—in Phungling Municipality-3, Taplejung, on Tuesday morning.
    full story »

    Mendicant donates Rs 500,000 to Old Age Home

    PRATAP BISTA, Nov 14 2018
    An 85-year-old mendicant Khina Giri of Syangja has donated Rs 500,000 to Om Old Age Home in Hetauda Sub Metropolis-2. He has been living in the old age home for the last 12 years.
    full story »

    Limbu declared official language in a local unit in Ilam

    BIPLAV BHATTARAI, Nov 14 2018
    The ward committee of Mangsebung Rural Municipality-5, Ilam, has declared Limbu language as the official language of the ward.
    full story »

    Money

    National

    Scores of people reach Kanchanpur to support Pant couple’s sit-in

    BHAWANI BHATTA, Nov 14 2018
    Scores of people from Dhangadhi, Nepalgunj, Butwal, Chitwan, Kathmandu, and other parts of the country have reached Kanchanpur to join in on an indefinite sit-in protest launched to press the authorities to identify and arrest the perpetrators involved in the rape and murder of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta.
    full story »

    Capital

    RJP-N renews call for statute amendment

    TIKA R PRADHAN, Nov 14 2018
    Fed up with the government’s continued reluctance to address its concerns including amendment to the constitution, leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal have warned the KP Oli administration of launching a struggle as part of preparations for the party’s first general convention.
    full story »

    World

    Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on Friday night and called a general election for Jan. 5 in a move that will likely deepen the country’s political crisis.

    The dissolution, which is expected to be challenged in court, was revealed in an official gazette notification signed by Sirisena which also set the next sitting of parliament for Jan. 17.

    The move comes after an intense power struggle in the past two weeks which followed Sirisena’s sudden sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the appointment of former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman, in his place.

    Following the sacking, the president suspended parliament in a move which Wickremesinghe said was intended to prevent the ousted prime minister from contesting the decision in the legislature.

    Later Sirisena agreed to reconvene parliament on Nov. 14, but that will now not happen.

    Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the official prime minister’s residence saying he is the prime minister and had a parliamentary majority.

    Before he signed the papers dissolving parliament and calling the election, Sirisena appointed allies of his and of Rajapaksa to cabinet positions.

    “This is a gross violation of the constitution,” Harsha De Silva, a lawmaker in Wickremesinghe’s party, told Reuters in reference to the dissolution of parliament.

    Independent legal experts had told Reuters that parliament could be dissolved only in early 2020, which would be four-and-half-years from the first sitting of the current parliament. The only other legal ways would be through a referendum, or with the consent of two thirds of lawmakers.

    Given those views, it was not immediately clear how Sirisena can legally dissolve parliament, though his legal experts have said there are provisions for him to do so.

    Sri Lanka’s Election Commission was quoted in some local media as saying that it will seek a Supreme Court opinion before conducting the election.

    Sirisena also put the police and government’s printing office under his defense portfolio, local media reported.

    Ajith Perera, a lawmaker of the Wickremesinghe-led United National Party (UNP) said the party will challenge the decision at the Election Commission first and then may head to the Supreme Court.

    Perera said the dissolution was carried out so that Sirisena could avoid defeat in parliament next week.

    Keheliya Rambukwella, a spokesman for Sirisena’s government, said the president’s coalition had the backing of 105 lawmakers as of Friday, eight short of a parliamentary majority.

    Sirisena has said he fired Wickremesinghe because the prime minister was trying to implement “a new, extreme liberal political concept by giving more priority for foreign policies and neglecting the local people’s sentiment.”

    India and Western countries have requested that Sirisena act in line with the constitution while they have raised concerns over Rajapaksa’s close ties with China. Beijing loaned Sri Lanka billions of dollars for infrastructure projects when Rajapaksa was president between 2005-2015, putting the country deep into debt.

    A gunman opened fire in a crowded Southern California bar popular with college students, killing 12 people, including a sheriff’s deputy, police said on Thursday.

    The gunman, identified by authorities as Ian David Long, 28, was also found dead on Wednesday night in the office of the Borderline Bar and Grill, located in Thousand Oaks, a suburb about 40 miles from Los Angeles, apparently having shot himself.

    Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference on Thursday morning that Long was a Marine Corps veteran and had apparently fired at random with a .45-caliber Glock handgun with an extra-capacity magazine. There was no known motive.

    “Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this,” Dean said. “Obviously he had some sort of issues.”

    He said authorities were obtaining a search warrant for Long’s home.

    The Borderline is popular with university students and on Wednesday night was hosting College Country Night. California Lutheran University, located about 5 miles from the bar, canceled Thursday’s classes while Pepperdine University, about 20 miles away, planned a prayer service.

    One of the victims was Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department who died at a hospital, Dean said. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar and went inside just before 11:30 p.m. PST (0730 GMT).

    A statement from the sheriff’s office said there would be a procession in honor of Helus, who leaves behind a wife and son, on Thursday morning. “Ron’s selfless, heroic actions will never be forgotten,” the statement read.

    SCENE LIKE “HELL”

    Asked what the scene inside the bar was like, Dean said, “Like ... hell.” Earlier he had described it as “a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”

    Long first shot a security guard outside the bar, stepped inside and resumed shooting, Dean said. Witnesses said Long had used smoke bombs to create confusion but Dean said that had not been confirmed.

    Dean, speaking on his last day before retirement, said he had been told 150 to 200 people were in the Borderline at the time and that “it could have been much, much worse.”

    Dean estimated 10 to 15 people, including one with a gunshot wound, had gone to hospitals. He said he thought their injuries were minor, and that most of them were likely injured as they escaped, some by breaking windows.

    Dean told reporters that officers had gone to Long’s home in April in response to a disturbance call and had found him to be agitated. Mental health specialists talked with Long and determined that no further action was necessary.

    Family members of possible victims or survivors of the shooting gathered at a teen center in Thousand Oaks for news of loved ones. A visibly distraught man was seen entering the building.

    President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings and grounds.

    The Borderline massacre was the fourth mass shooting in the United States in less than two weeks. The others included two women killed at a yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida, two people shot at a grocery in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh killed by a man shouting “All Jews must die.”

    Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers would get to work on legislation including universal background checks when the House of Representatives convenes in January with a Democratic majority.

    “We must find a way to stop the senseless, and many times preventable killings that are robbing our country of innocent lives,” he said on Twitter.

    “CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE”

    Thousand Oaks, a leafy, sprawling suburb, was named the third-safest city in the United States for 2018 by the website Niche.

    “I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what community you’re in,” Dean told reporters when asked if he was surprised this happened in Thousand Oaks. “It doesn’t matter how safe your community is. It can happen anywhere.”

    Tristan Appleby, who was at the bar, told CNN that the shooter was dressed all in black and had fired off about a dozen shots, including at those already wounded and lying on the floor.

    Witness Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promoter at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hooded sweatshirt.

    “I heard what I thought was a balloon pop,” she told CNN. “I was confused because we didn’t have any balloons. I saw him, then I saw him fire his weapon one more time. I ran to the nearest exit and tripped and fell on the way and people kept running on top of me.”

    Witness John Hedge told ABC News he was near the front door of the bar when the shooting began.

    “I just started hearing these big pops. Pop pop pop,” he said. “There was probably three or four. I hit the ground. I look up. The security guard ... was shot, he was down. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back at the cash register and he just kept firing.”

    A gunman opened fire in a Florida yoga studio on Friday, shooting six people and killing two of them before class members fought back and the attacker killed himself, police and authorities said.

    Police received a call at 5.37 p.m. (2137 GMT) of multiple victims at the Hot Yoga studio at an upscale shopping center in Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, Police Chief Michael DeLeo told reporters.

    The shooter pistol-whipped one man in the yoga class who rushed him after he opened fire, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported.

    “There were indications that several people not only fought back but tried to save other people,” DeLeo told reporters, confirming that one man was pistol-whipped.

    Three of the wounded were in critical condition, said Danielle Buchanan, spokeswoman for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

    The gunman appeared to have acted alone and there was no immediate threat to the Tallahassee community, DeLeo said.

    Police have tentatively identified the shooter and are looking for any links between him and the victims, he added.

    “All evidence points to a single actor who has stayed on scene and is deceased at this time so there is no additional threat to the public,” DeLeo said. City Commissioner Scott Maddox was among officials who went to the incident.

    “In my public service career, I have had to be on some bad scenes. This is the worst. Please pray,” Maddox posted on Facebook.

    Alex Redding, a patron at a bar downstairs from the studio, said people came inside seeking assistance, saying a man had been acting strangely inside the yoga studio and then began shooting during the class, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

    Other victims, barefoot from their yoga class, came into the bar in clear shock and barely able to speak anything but the word “shooter,” the newspaper reported.

    Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for state governor, halted campaigning to return to the city.

    “No act of gun violence is acceptable,” Gillum tweeted.

    Tallahassee’s murder rate has been an issue in the governor’s race, with Gillum’s opponent Republican former U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis accusing him of being weak on crime.

    Megan Nixon said she was eating at a restaurant underneath the studio when she heard shooting and people running upstairs.

    “The gun shot six or seven times. I saw five different ambulances picking people up,” she told the Tallahassee Democrat. “It’s scary it’s so close to home.”  

    Entertainment

    General

    Law Ministry’s requests fall on deaf ears

    Binod Ghimire, Nov 14 2018
    The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has reminded different ministries to review the existing Acts to ascertain the laws related to them are consistent with the spirit of the constitution and revise any that are against the constitutional provisions.
    full story »

    Sports

    Canadian biker Cory Wallace claimed the title of the Yak Attack, the highest altitude mountain bike competition, for the third time in a row. 
    The 38-year-old Canadian clocked total of 12 hours 30 minutes 50 seconds to complete the 221km international race which runs through Thorang La, the mountain pass located at 5416m over five stages. Wallace had secured top spot in the 2016 and 2017 editions as well. “It gives me immense pleasure to win the race for the third time in a row,” said the Canadian in Pokhara on Sunday. 
    A total of 32 international riders, including four female, from 14 countries had competed in the event. Besides nine participants from Nepal, bikers from Canada, America, Austria, Costa Rica, Colombia, France, Australia, Italy, Spain, Ecuador, Germany, England, Switzerland and South Africa had tried their luck. 
    Nepal’s 24-year-old rider Buddhi Bahadur Tamang finished second clocking 13:31:46 and Okesh Bajracharya stood third with timing of 13:35:01. Tamang, who got injured during a training two weeks prior to the event, said that he could have thrown tough challenge for the title had he not got injured. “I got injured nearly two weeks before race began and had to depend upon liquid food for eight days. I felt I was running low on energy,” said Tamang. 
    The toughest section and highest altitude route of 27km, which falls in the fourth stage, saw stiff competition between Wallace and Tamang. The former clocked 2:21:03 to finish one second ahead of Tamang in a stage that started from Thorang La Phedi and finished at Kagbeni going through Thorang La Pass. “The fourth stage really was a thrilling competition between Wallace and Tamang,” said Ajay Pandit Chhetri, the race manager and director of Mountain Bike (MTB) Nepal. Chhetri who competed in all 11 previous editions did not compete in the current event as he took the managerial responsibility. 
    In the women’s event, Australia’s Karen Hill secured top finish in her debut clocking 17:59:21. “I have not participated much in the international bike competitions though I have raced in India and East Timor. It is my first race in Nepal and I am really pleased with the first place finish,” said the 31-year-old who finished ninth overall. Nepal’s lone female biker Laxmi Magar, also the defending champion, finished the 221km distance in 19:18:25 to secure second position. 
    It was sixth participation of Magar in the Yak Attack who was also the winner of the Asian Championship held last year in Sri Lanka. She stood 14th overall. Dutch biker Nienke Oostra was distant third at 26:36:58 and finished 26th overall. 
    The top three finishers in both the men’s and women’s category were rewarded with purse of $ 1,000, $ 500 and $ 250. Harka Lama of Nepal secured first position in above 40-year age category and Belgium’s Pierre Castagne took top spot in above 50-year age category.

    SS Events, an event management company, is organising the fifth Century Bank Corporate Super Sixes from November 26 to December 1 at the TU grounds in Kirtipur. 

    A total of 24 teams are participating in the week-long tournament which be played with colour clothings and white ball. The champion of the tournament will get a free entry for next season, informed the organisers during a press conference on Monday. 

    The participating teams are divided into eight groups with each pool consisting of three sides. The top two teams from each group will make it to the pre-quarterfinals to fight for the quarter-finals, semis and final spot. SS Events Chief Executive Raman Shiwakoti said the tournament intends to bring corporate people together under same platform with a reason. 

    “This will help in engaging people from corporate sector into cricket and it will increase their involvement to the game. This will ultimately help Nepali cricket,” said Shiwakoti also the national team technical analyst. Shiwakoti added that the company is looking forward to organise college level cricket tournament in near future with a big magnitude. 

    Century Bank Deputy CEO Jeevan Bhattarai said: “This tournament will help in building good relations within the corporate sector. Additionally, it will also help us chip in for Nepali cricket as a whole and they are the reasons why we have continued to get associated. Century Bank is the title sponsor of the tournament.

    Civil Bank had claimed the title of the fourth edition defeating ICFC Finance in the final last year.

    Health & Style

    Fiction Park

    Up in the Hills

    BIBEK ADHIKARI, Nov 11 2018
    The bus that took us to Tansen from Butwal was ancient. We were under the impression that it was kept from falling by a generous use of Sellotape. Every nut and bolt crackled and rattled as it moved along the winding Siddhartha Highway.
    full story »

    Escalate

    You don’t go sell ice on Everest

    Nov 12 2018
    David Thirumur has been a life coach for the past 12 years, roving across the globe speaking to businesspeople, entrepreneurs and students. A social entrepreneur andleadership speaker, Thirumur was raised in India and was involved in a number of businesses before leaving to become a full-time speaker.
    full story »

    Saturday Features

    Wake up and smell the jamun

    Mohan Guragain
    Kathmandu sets numerous national records in Nepal. It is the biggest city of the country, most populated and most polluted. As the country’s largest metropolis, its population composition is also hugely diverse. Furthermore, as the Valley holds much of the country’s wealth, it is Nepal’s biggest market.

    Tea party

    Guffadi
    If you want to know how a political party would run this country were they to come to power, attend one of their tea parties. Don’t fall for their hawatari speeches because our netas have promised us thousands of MW of electricity in the past decade and we have not even managed to add a hundred.

    Existence small, not shrunken

    PRANAYA SJB RANA
    For any reader of this country’s English language newspapers, Shradha Ghale is a familiar name. Her non-fiction reporting has appeared in a great many periodicals and newspapers, including this one.

    Patronage of publics

    PRATYOUSH ONTA
    The end of Rana rule in 1951 was an important rupture in the history of public life in Nepal. In an important essay first published in 1970, the scholar of literature and history Kamal P Malla characterised the 1950s in the following manner:

    Briquette economy

    Small communities in around 25 districts across Nepal are heavily involved in the production of briquette/pellets.

    Celebrating type

    Abha Dhital
    In December 2017, Ratan Karna was descending Muldhai Hill—an off-the-beaten-path destination that’s a day’s trek from Ghandruk—when he stopped at a small village for tea. As he sipped away, he noticed a distinct flat rock right outside the hotel and decided to paint a mantra on it. He took his paint and paintbrush out and wrote “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah”—may all be happy, may all be free from diseases—in calligraphy.

    The birds and the bees

    NAYAK PAUDEL
    Going to school in Nepal, there is a certain section of a certain subject that many teachers and even students shy away from. At the secondary level, under health and population studies, is a chapter about sexual and reproductive health.

    Eat, pray, love (yourself)

    Alisha Sijapati
    Hemmed in by dozens of garment stores, this small shop at the corner of a street in Khichapokhari would easily go unnoticed on a busy day. But for 62-year-old Maya, this was exactly the store she was looking for.

    A home of one’s own

    Richa Bhattarai
    Home Going, the debut novel by Ghana-born author Yaa Gyasi, begins like distant lore—a myth, a dream even. It is the late eighteenth century in West Africa, when Effia Otcher is born into “the musky heat.”