Power has been restored in almost all districts in eastern Nepal as most of the damage caused to the distribution system by floods resulting from last week’s torrential rains has been fixed, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said.
The farm sector is expected to suffer losses to the tune of Rs2.86 billion due to flash flood triggered by heavy rainfall in the Tarai districts since last Thursday, according to preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Agricultural Development.
Parts of East Nepal crippled by floods
Massive flooding and landslides triggered by a continuous downpour since Thursday have knocked out power to many parts of east Nepal and crippled normal life.
A sub-committee under the parliamentary Bill Committee has concluded that Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) violated procedure when buying land to build fuel storage plants.
Nepali traders have started shunning the Bhairahawa border crossing point to conduct trade with India due to lengthy security checks on the Indian side which have led to higher transportation costs, delayed deliveries and deterioration in the quality of goods.
Gasoline stations have launched a protest by stopping to receive deliveries of fuel over a dispute with Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) regarding compensation for shrinkage loss.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has suspected foul play in deals sealed by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) at the time of buying land to build oil storage facilities at four locations.
India has agreed to reduce the price of electricity that is exported to Nepal.Electricity from India is imported from different Indian states via cross-border transmission lines.
‘NOC deliberately ignored procedure’
The parliamentary Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee has declared that Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) decided unilaterally and ignored procedure when buying land to build storage plants at four locations.
The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has ruled that there have been irregularities in Nepal Oil Corporation’s (NOC) controversial land purchase deal and directed the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to investigate and take action against those involved.
The four-decade-old dream of Pokhara residents to build an international airport in their city is coming closer to fruition, with the construction of the project formally beginning on Wednesday.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), which is under investigation over alleged embezzlement of hundreds of millions of rupees while buying land for construction of fuel storage facilities, has submitted documents related to controversial land purchase deals to the probe panel of the parliamentary Finance Committee.
Newly appointed Irrigation Minister Sanjaya Kumar Gautam visited the construction site of Sikta Irrigation Project, a national pride project which aims to irrigate 80 percent of the arable lands in Banke district, within a week of taking office and directed concerned authorities to expedite construction works.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been able to reduce its losses radically by controlling power leakage and hiking the tariff. The state-owned power utility posted a net loss of Rs970 million in the last fiscal year, a whopping 88 percent drop from the previous fiscal year’s Rs8 billion.
Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) gained 10.78 points to close at 1,646.53 points last week, after listed companies posted strong financial reports in the last fiscal year and attracted more investors. Similarly, the surge in demand for stocks of insurance companies also boosted the market last week.
Newly-appointed Minister for Agricultural Development Ram Krishna Yadav on Friday directed his officials to find immediate, mid-term and long-term solutions to address the problem of low paddy transplantation in five central and eastern Tarai districts.
Pioneer of eco-tourism Tiger Tops has stopped elephant-back safaris to end animal suffering. Adventure seekers will now follow the jumbos on foot to observe their activities instead of riding on their backs to sight-see in the jungle.
The Poor Household Support Coordination Board has finalised a draft social security scheme for holders of poverty identity cards. Under the proposed plan, householders will receive subsidised healthcare, education and self-employment training.
An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is being done for a cross-border oil pipeline that Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) plans to build to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply and reduce dependency on often unpredictable tanker transport.
The Tourism Ministry has finalised a draft Civil Aviation Bill which proposes splitting the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) into two entities, regulator and service provider.
The country’s imports and exports from Nepal-India border point at Bhairahawa in the west have been severely hit, as Indian border security personnel have started conducting thorough inspection of cargo vehicles.
More than 2.4 million small and large trees will have to be cut down to build the much ballyhooed modern international airport in Nijgadh, Bara, a draft Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report has revealed.
The Nepal Army, which has been authorised to build the Kathmandu-Tarai expressway, has indicated that it might use the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by an Indian consortium, as it has already started making preparations to excavate earth and blast rocks at the construction site of the 76-km roadway.
Seven hydropower companies and four financial institutions are in the process of issuing primary shares, the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) said.
The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday asked Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) Gopinath Mainali to return a vehicle and a mobile set issued to him while he was the secretary at the election governing body.
Province 2 will not see much development activities in the next few months as it will not be able to utilise a big chunk of the budget provided by the central government due to postponement of local level elections and upcoming festive season.
The Investment Board Nepal’s (IBN) plan to initiate global bidding process to develop the much-awaited Tamakoshi 3 Hydropower Project is in limbo, as the government has failed to approve the project’s implementation modality.
Nepal, China trade halted due to landslide
Rasuwagadhi-Kerung, Nepal’s only gateway to land trade with China has been obstructed due to landslides. The Pasang Lhamu Highway in Rasuwa district has been hammered by incessant rainfall since Thursday, triggering landslides.
The government of Nepal will sign a $630-million investment agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic development, in September to build a robust energy and transport infrastructure in the country.
The government has been mulling to tighten the criteria for new airline permits with the view of streamlining the industry amid intensifying competition and difficulties in maintaining acceptable safety levels.
The pace of paddy transplantation has slowed in the Central and Eastern development regions due to fluctuations between the active and weak spells of the monsoon. However, the transplantation rate in the Far and Mid-Western and Western regions has been better than expected.
Nepalis holding banned Indian banknotes of IRs500 and IRs1,000 denominations may not be able to exchange them for legal tender as India remains silent on the issue, Nepal Embassy officials in New Delhi said.
Consumer prices grew at the slowest pace in almost 13 years in June, as food prices fell and non-food prices went up moderately.
Nepal’s budding e-commerce business is expected to get a much-needed shot in the arm soon, as two banks are introducing platforms that will enable debit and credit card holders to purchase goods and services from online stores based in the country.
TIA Modernisation Project: Govt blacklists ousted Constructora Sanjose
The Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) has blacklisted the ousted Spanish contractor of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Modernisation Project for failing to complete government projects within the deadline and non-cooperation with authorities.
Nepal-made footwear products are on the cusp of losing a big chunk of share in the growing domestic footwear market, as smuggled products, under-invoicing of imported products and lack of incentives for manufacturers have started eroding their competitive edge.
The government’s capital spending bunched towards the end of the fiscal year this time as well, as an average of Rs3.5 billion in capital budget was spent per day in the last three weeks, as against the daily average of 0.6 billion in the entire financial year of 2016-17.
Officials at the Visakhapatnam Port have urged Nepali traders to make more use of the seaport in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh citing cost of ferrying goods from the port is lower.
Nepal is seeing an unprecedented boom in hotel construction that will add 4,000 star category rooms by 2020. The building spree has spread concern among the existing hoteliers who fear that the new entrants will eat into their markets.
Govt team to visit India for GST talks
Showing concern on the possible impact on Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed by the Indian government, a high level government team is holding talks with the Indian government officials on Tuesday.
Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) gained 18.3 points to close at 1,582.11 points last week, with investors expecting the central bank to introduce new monetary policy with a number of provisions to boost the secondary market.
The Kaligandaki Road Corridor—one of the national pride projects—connecting China and India has achieved a major breakthrough with the opening of the most difficult section in Baglung district on Friday.
The Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) will be entering a new era on November 7 when it goes fully automatic.
Nepal has secured third position in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index among South Asian nations, indicating the country is better-off in attaining the United Nations-backed targets within 2030 than many others in the neighbourhood.
Nepal imports 13 times more than it exports
Nepal has been forced to increase imports due to low domestic productivity stemming from labour problems and failure to promote import substitution industrialisation.
Paddy transplantation has been slow across the country this year due to a late monsoon, and even after the rain clouds arrived, there was little precipitation for nearly two weeks.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has slashed gasoline prices effective from midnight. The state-owned enterprise has reduced price of cooking gas by Rs25 per cylinder, aviation fuel sold to domestic airlines by Rs4 per litre while petrol, diesel and kerosene saw a price drop of Rs2 per litre.
A two-member expert team of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) arrived in Nepal on Sunday to monitor the status of corrective measures taken by Nepal to address significant safety concerns (SSC) related to operations and other aspects of the civil aviation sector.
Ousted Spanish contractor for the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) improvement project has filed a Rs2.91-billion compensation claim arguing that it had been ‘wrongfully’ fired.
A rush on gasoline stations in the Kathmandu Valley has eased with Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) boosting deliveries. Panic buying triggered by talk of a possible shutdown led to petrol pumps going dry over the last few days.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been mulling to terminate the contract with China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) as it has been putting off establishing a joint venture company to construct the West Seti hydro project in far west Nepal.
Indian CA graduates to be barred from practicing
Chartered accountants, who get enrolled in the Indian chartered accountant institute after mid-July ’18 will not get a licence to practice chartered accountancy in Nepal.The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN),
The construction of international airport in Pokhara will formally begin from Thursday, a day after the second phase of the local elections, the project official said.
Despite recording a bumper harvest, six districts in the country grappled with the problem of high food insecurity in between mid-November and mid-March because of poor summer crop production, rapidly depleting household food stocks, geographic remoteness and poor income, says a latest report.
Increasing numbers of thrill seekers are choosing paragliding among the diverse adventure tourism activities offered in Pokhara.
The foreign consortium selected to supply two Airbus A330-200 to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has formally placed an order for the aircraft with the manufacturer, indicating that they will be delivered on time.
It has been more than seven months since the Indian government pulled 500- and 1,000-rupee banknotes out of circulation, but it has not provided exchange facilities to Nepali citizens holding the demonetized bills.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, has significantly slashed down electricity imports from India with the surge in power generation in the country.
Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) plunged 25.6 points to close at 1,589.59 points last week, as investors declined to purchase shares amid the uncertainty of holding the second phase of local election on prescribed time.
Heli Air Nepal will soon be launching a gyrocopter, a one-passenger rotary-wing aircraft, for the first time in the skies of Pokhara, adding a new adventure tourism product in the lake city, the company said on Saturday.
Stringent new guidelines on forest land acquisition have upset potential hydropower developers as they expect land acquisition costs to swell.
Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi has called for limiting the number of ministries at the central level to 16, stating initiatives taken so far to empower local bodies will not yield desired results unless the big network of government’s administrative organisations is dismantled.
NAC secures Rs12b loan from CIT
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Monday secured another Rs12 billion loan from the Citizen Investment Trust (CIT), a day after signing a credit deal for Rs12 billion with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to buy two wide-body Airbus A330 jets.
Nepal has registered the Nepal Coffee collective trademark in seven more markets—South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The brand had been registered only in the European Union (EU) previously.
The government has expedited process of connecting the entire nation with broadband internet service within two years. The move is in line with the long term plan devised by the Ministry of Information and Communications for increasing communication accessibility.
More than 5,000 climbers have set foot on the summit of Everest from the Nepal side since Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa first conquered the world’s tallest mountain in 1953.
The Ministry of Finance is mulling over extending allowances, rather than fixed salaries, to elected representatives of local bodies to reduce the financial burden on the government.
It was a sunny afternoon on May 27 when Captain Paras Rai piloted Goma Air Flight 409 from Kathmandu to Lukla, the gateway to Everest.
Prices of goods and services should not rise by more than 6.4 percent per year if Nepal wants to maintain price and financial stability, and ensure economic growth and currency peg with India do not come under pressure, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has said.
Institutional deposit rates, or interest rates on money parked by institutions at banks, have gone through the roof, with the latest auction launched by Nepal Telecom drawing offers for returns of as high as 14 percent per annum.
Clean feed unlikely to be implemented as planned
The budget statement for fiscal 2017-18 has said that a clean feed system will be implemented which will require foreign pay TV channels to remove commercials from their programmes, but stakeholders including the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) doubt it will happen as planned due to lack of preparations.
The government on Monday launched budget of Rs1,279 billion for the next fiscal year.
Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) slid 14.29 points last week as investors lost confidence in the market’s ability to give high returns coupled with the uncertain political situation gripping the country.
The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the telecom sector regulator, has said it would abide by the fresh directive issued by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and bar Ncell from launching the 4G service.
Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) did not receive a single bid for its 30-year-old Boeing 757 that was put up for auction on April 10. The deadline for submitting tender documents ended on Wednesday.
The parliamentary Finance Committee on Friday directed the government to allocate adequate resources to the local bodies by creating a specific criteria in the budget to be announced on Monday.
Average income of Nepalis, which is growing at a sluggish pace, may not even rise at the current rate in the coming years if productivity fails to improve rapidly across various sectors, public investments do not go up and agricultural yields continue to remain low, a latest World Bank report says.
NPC prepares formula for fund distribution
The National Planning Commission (NPC) has devised a formula for distribution of financial resources among local bodies, which, if approved, could end the confusion over allocation of funds for authorities at the grassroots and expedite the process of formulating budget for the next fiscal year.
Imports of vehicles and their spare parts jumped 59.7 percent in the first nine months of current fiscal year, as demand for heavy-duty vehicles and passenger cars surged following normalisation in supply situation after the end of the India-imposed trade blockade.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) does not plan to slash gasoline prices anytime soon even though import prices have dropped and its profits have jumped threefold.
The Gurkha Everest Expedition reached the top of Everest on Monday, becoming the first to scale the world’s tallest peak this year. The 14 summiteers included soldiers serving with the Brigade of Gurkhas and high-altitude mountain guides.
The Gurkha Everest Expedition reached the top of Everest on Monday, becoming the first to scale the world's tallest peak this year.
The World Bank (WB) has revised Nepal’s economic growth forecast upward to 7.5 percent for this fiscal year on the back of big jump in agricultural output due to a good monsoon, elimination of power cuts and higher government spending, among others.
One in two Nepalis use the internet, the Management Information System (MIS) report published by the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) shows.
Production of Jeevan Jal, the most well known brand of oral rehydration salts (ORS) in Nepal, has resumed after a hiatus of eight years.
The government will have to shell out more than double the amount of the bills as “cost reimbursement” for the detailed feasibility study (DFS) of the proposed Nijgadh International Airport in Bara it had owned in 2011, as it failed to pay the company that prepared the report on time.
The Chameliya Hydropower Project has achieved major breakthrough after it conducted a successful test of its dam on Friday. Project officials, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), filled the dam with water to check if its structure is robust enough to hold the water which will be used to generate electricity.
The telecommunications companies with a capital investment of Rs50 million are now required to go public, as per the amended Company Act 2007 that came into effect on Tuesday.
The international airport project in Pokhara is back on track after stalling for a year as issues over opening an escrow account have been settled.
The government has planned to implement the final expansion of Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at a cost of $500 million starting in 2019 when the existing first phase upgradation project will be completed, said Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan). “It’s the ultimate expansion of TIA.”
Ninety-four percent of the houses in earthquake-prone Kathmandu Valley do not meet the National Building Code and are vulnerable to seismic impact, a study conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) revealed.
The country’s economy is projected to expand at the fastest pace in over two decades in this fiscal year driven by a bumper agricultural output, sharp decline in number of protests and steady supply of electricity.
‘Key bridges could be badly damaged by another jolt’
Major bridges in earthquake-prone Kathmandu Valley have been found to be very vulnerable to seismic impact, raising suspicions whether they will be able to withstand another jolt like the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake.
The government has formally requested the US to add more products to the Nepal-specific trade preference programme which provides duty-free access to a range of Nepali goods, such as carpets, bags, headgear, shawls and scarves, to the American market.
The government has agreed to act as a loan guarantor for Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) for the procurement of two wide-body aircraft. A cabinet meeting on Thursday decided to this effect.
The government’s call to rope in a long-term strategic management partner at Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has received lukewarm response, as only one company, Germany-based Lufthansa Consulting, has taken part in the closed bidding.
“Hello, this is your captain speaking. Due to air traffic movement at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), we will be spending an extra 30 minutes in the air. We will keep you informed. Enjoy the flight.”
If things go according to plan, women entrepreneurs will soon be offered interest subsidy on loans they acquire to establish, upgrade or expand enterprises.
Capital expenditure only 36 per cent in nine months
The total capital expenditure in the country has stood at 36 per cent in the first nine month of the current fiscal year.
Nepal has secured the top spot in the list of 10 best places to travel published by the British newspaper, The Guardian. In its report titled, ‘How to plan a post-Brexit holiday-from Serbia to the Lake District’, the the popular newspaper placed Nepal in the No 1 spot.