I/NGO funding scrutiny on anvil

    PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Aug 19 2018

    Financial transactions and activities of non-government organisations and international NGOs will come under increased scrutiny as the government prepares a new national strategy for combating money laundering and terror financing.
    The strategy that would supersede the National Strategy and Action Plan on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (2011-2016) will bring I/NGOs under the anti-money laundering purview for the first time.

    The move, according to officials, is in line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering body. The FATF states that non-profit organisations (NPOs) may be vulnerable to abuse by terrorists as they enjoy public trust, have access to considerable sources of funds, and are often cash-intensive.

    “The new strategy will ensure proper monitoring of funding sources and spending by the I/NGOs as they are not being properly regulated due to weak regulatory institutions,” an official involved in drafting the strategy told the Post.  

    Since there is no strong state control over I/NGOs operating in Nepal, the official warned, unwanted groups might misuse the situation in the name of supporting some social or economic causes.

    As countries like India and China are also concerned about possible misuse of Nepal’s territory by “unwanted groups”, officials said the new strategy is expected to allay the fears. More than a hundred registered INGOs are currently operational in Nepal while the number of NGOs is over 20,000. Sector regulator Social Welfare Council (SWC) faces an uphill task of monitoring all the organisations.

    According to the Finance Ministry, Rs24.95 billion has been proposed through 204 INGOs for various activities in the fiscal year 2018-19.

    SWC Information Officer Hari Tiwari said, “In the last fiscal year, I/NGOs transferred Rs44 billion into Nepal through their projects and programmes.”

    The I/NGO sector is worried about the controversial National Integrity Policy on the anvil. NGO workers say the organisations need not be brought under the anti-money laundering regime as there was no incidence of money laundering from the organisations currently operational in Nepal.

    Arguing against supervision, NGO Federation of Nepal President Gopal Lamsal said, “As I/NGOs submit audited reports to the SWC every year, I don’t think they should be watched for money laundering.”

    Lamsal insists that the transactions of most NGOs are transparent, suggesting that the few that may have violated norms should be dealt with separately.

    The National Integrity Policy being discussed at the Cabinet envisages far-reaching restrictive measures and controls on I/NGOs. The organisations have advised the government to form an autonomous Social Develop-ment Council led by the prime minister to replace the SWC.

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    Investors flock to Nepse, up 29.69pts

      Post Report, Aug 19 2018
      Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) added 29.69 points to close at 1,210.32 points last week after investors flocked to invest in commercial banks and insurance companies in particular, expecting to receive handsome dividends in the future. These companies had posted good financial health in the last fiscal year.
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      Parts of Capital to get water five times a week

        CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Aug 19 2018

        Residents of several parts of Kathmandu will get a much needed respite as the water utility makes supply more regular. In the northern parts of the Capital, water will now be supplied five times a week—two hours at a stretch. Earlier, tap water was received only once a week.

        The upsurge in supply was possible after the government diverted 30 million litres of water daily from the Bagmati river to the Valley that has waited two decades for Melamchi water. The pipeline laid by the Melamchi Water Supply Project will be used to channel the additional water.

        Water is brought from Sundarijal to the Mahankal reservoir through the Bulk Distribution System (BDS) of the Melmachi project. It is treated at the Sundarijal plant, which will be used to process water diverted via tunnel from the Melamchi river in Sindhupalchok.

        Inaugurating the arrangement, Water Supply Minister Bina Magar said the government was working on a war footing to deliver the Melamchi water. “We still hope more water from Bagmati can be diverted,” she said. The Project Implementation Directorate (PID), responsible for laying the pipeline for distribution of water from Melamchi, had used the Bagmati water for washing the BDS network in the Sundarijal-Dhobikhola section.

        After flushing the pipes, the water has been used for household supply, PID Project Director Tiresh Prasad Khatri said. The new measure will benefit nearly 840,000 people through 70,000 taps of the 216,000 installed by the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL), according to the PID.

        However, the water will not reach every part of the Valley. Areas like Kapan, Saraswatinagar, Bouddha, Jorpati, Chabahil, Handigaun, Gyaneshwor, Naxal, Baneshwor, Anamnagar, Putalisadak, Dillibazaar, Bagbazaar, Maitighar, Tripureshwor, and New Road—supplied from the Mahankal reservoir—will be supplied more regularly. The KUKL will soon release a new timetable for supply to these areas.

        Running taps

        • Additional 30 million litres diverted to KUKL supply
        • Household taps to be supplied five times a week
        • Nearly 840,000 beneficiaries
        • 70,000 KUKL taps to get water in extra time
        • Areas to receive water more frequently: Kapan, Saraswatinagar, Bouddha, Jorpati, Chabahil, Handigaun, Gyaneshwor, Naxal, Baneshwor, Anamnagar, Putalisadak, Dillibazaar, Bagbazaar, Maitighar, Tripureshwor, and New Road
        full story »

        Gorkha Earthquake victims loan issue: Centre, central bank in funds duel

        Post Report, Kathmandu, Aug 19 2018
        The government and the central bank seem to be on a different page over the issue of concessional loans provided to victims of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.

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        Constitution not scripture can be revised, says PM Oli

        AJIT TIWARI, SANTOSH SINGH JANAKPUR, Aug 19 2018
        Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said the government is ready to amend the constitution in accordance with the needs of the country and the people.

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        Main News

        Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan dies

        Post Report, Aug 18 2018
        Former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has died. He was 80.
        full story »

        Nepal’s ship will reach Kolkata via Province 2: PM Oli

        Post Report, Aug 18 2018
        Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that a ship that will leave from Nepal to Kolkata of India will be operated from Province 2.
        full story »

        Bishwokarma re-arrested after court frees him

        Post Report, Aug 18 2018
        Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma ‘Prakanda’, the spokesperson of Communist Party of Nepal, was taken into police custody soon after he was released by the Supreme Court on Friday.
        full story »

        Money

        Entertainment

        Sports

        Nepalese Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness is organising the second Mr Everest Nationwide Bodybuilding Championship on August 18.


        More than 150 bodybuilders are expected to participate in the one-day event, informed the Federation Vice-President Dinesh Amatya during on Wednesday. The main event will be preceded by pre-judging round which will be held in Whitefield School. The main event will be held at the National Sports Council covered hall.


        The tournament will include men’s bodybuilding and men’s physique along with women’s fitness events. The men’s bodybuilding will be competed in six categories—55kg, 60kg, 65kg, 70kg, 75kg and above 75kg. The men’s physique will be played between builders with 170 centimetre height and above.


        The overall winners will pocket a cheque of Rs 300,000. Most importantly, the tournament will also serve as bodybuilders’ selection for the upcoming World Bodybuilding Championship to be held in Spain later this year.


        According to the organisers, the men’s physique and women’s fitness winners will also get cash prizes. The two events are going to be held in Nepal for the first time. The estimated budget for the event is Rs 3 million.

        Health & Style

        Fiction Park

        The Lost Generation

        BIKASH GUPTA, Aug 12 2018
        For this generation, to cave in was to once again succumb to a centuries old status quo—unjust and no longer conscionable
        full story »

        Escalate

        HR conference to focus on unleashing national potential

        Post Report, Aug 13 2018
        Human Resources Society Nepal (HRSN), an umbrella organisation for HR professionals in Nepal, is set to organise the seventh iteration of the National HR Conference on August 24 this year. Having explored various themes in the past—like ‘Managing People during Crisis’, ‘Employee Care for Higher Productivity’ and ‘HR for Tomorrow, Trends and Transformation’—this year’s conference is set to be themed ‘Unleash HR for National Development’.
        full story »

        Saturday Features

        Banking on literature

        Hiranya Kumari Pathak, 73, spent 28 years of her life in the banking industry but that didn’t stop her pursuing her passion for writing.

        Crime and punishment

        Guffadi
        Let us congratulate our government for introducing the new civil and criminal code to replace the laws from when Jung Bahadur was still around. It’s funny that Jung Bahadur still stares at Singha Durbar while our so-called republican lads want to do away with anything related to the House of Shah. The only institution that still wants to give respect to the House of Shah is our Nepal Army. Prithivi Narayan Shah still gets respect by our Generals. But of course, somebody must have forgotten to remind them that in New Nepal, our President is the commander in chief. But it’s a good thing that at least some of us don’t want to forget our past. And our politicians need to understand that as well.

        Notes from khao san

        SANDESH GHIMIRE
        Khao San, one of the oldest streets in Bangkok, is—to a Nepali eye—an amplified version of Thamel. For a price, anything can be made available—from relaxing foot massages, helium gas highs, sultry hookers, deep fried scorpions and cockroaches to carefully manufactured sojourns to hamlets where bewildering traditions are kept alive for tourists. And as the moon climbs in the sky, the street turns into one big party with delirious dancing and drunken debauchery.

        Thinking about educational leadership

        Pranab Man Singh
        What do we understand by leadership? Do you become a leader by holding a position of authority or is it your actions, irrespective of authority, that make you a leader? And is leadership consistent across all domains? Is corporate leadership the same as educational leadership? The literature on leadership is as vast as it is old. Leaders and the problems of leadership have shaped and continue to shape our communities, social orders and histories. It is important that we critique our understanding of leadership, for the work our leaders do shape the future of things to come.

        A city and its people

        Sanjog Manandhar
        Kathmandu is so many things all at once. As a concrete dustbowl hemmed in by green hills, the city is a confluence of the old and the new, the privileged and the disenfranchised, the inanimate and the dynamic.

        Rastriya Nachghar and its discontents

        Timothy Aryal
        When the Gurukul Theatre was dissolved in 2012, many thought it sounded the death knell for private theatres in the Valley. Led by playwright Sunil Pokharel, Gurukul had become an institution, producing plays, training actors and helping popularise Nepali theatre. There were fears among the public that with the closing down of Gurukul, the nascent theatre scene in Kathmandu might collapse. These fears turned out to be unfounded. Since then, the theatre scene in Kathmandu has boomed, with Sarwanam, Mandala, Shilpee, and new entrants Kunja and Kausi churning out quality plays on a regular basis.

        An illusion of harmony

        OBIE SHRESTHA
        Coming from a writer-director whose previous credits had been limited to middling action/romcom fare—including the ineffective Shah Rukh Khan-as-superhero flick Ra.One from 2011—the new drama Mulk is a pleasant surprise, bearing little similarity to Anubhav Sinha’s earlier efforts. Mulk is a moving, timely examination of the dogged persistence of prejudice against Muslims in India.

        Achyutananda: Meet Nepal’s forgotten aviator

        PRAWASH GAUTAM
        When playwright Balkrishna Sama first met Achyutananda in 1919, he was still an impressionable teenager. Yet the interaction with Achyutananda in his one-room workshop in Teku was so arresting that Sama would go on to dedicate a section of an autobiography penned in the twilight of his life to the chance meeting.

        Trekking towards modernity

        Kul Chandra Gautam
        In 1959, I returned home from Banaras to Amarpur. While I was there, one of my step-uncles, Baburam Aryal, came to visit. He was working in Kathmandu as a clerk in the secretariat office of Nepal’s first elected parliament and I had long conversations with him about my education and experiences in Banaras, what he was doing in Nepal’s civil service and what life was like in Kathmandu.