ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Friday, April 26

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 26, 2019-

Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (April 26, 2019).

Amid reservations, government bent on amending Human Rights Act

Despite serious reservations from the constitutional rights watchdog, the government looks bent on forwarding the bill to amend the National Human Rights Commission Act-2012, some provisions of which human rights defenders say undermine the commission’s authority.

The government two weeks ago approved the amendment bill, making it mandatory for the commission to recommend the cases it has investigated to the attorney general who then decides whether or not to proceed the case. The existing Act authorises the commission to write directly to the respective person or agency to execute its recommendations made after the investigation.

The proposed bill, which has been registered at the federal parliament, undermining the existing jurisdiction, gives every authority regarding the implementation of the recommendations by the constitutional body to the attorney general.

The commission has publicly expressed reservations about the bill and asked the government for its revision.

The government, however, looks adamant on its position and committed to presenting the bill for endorsement without revision.

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Court tells authorities not to collect tax from Ncell for the time being

When the Supreme Court on April 9 issued the full text of its February verdict on Ncell capital gains tax issue, it was largely believed that the matter was finally put to rest and that the long-drawn-out debate as to who should clear the tax liability—buyer or seller—had come to an end.

In line with the court order, the Large Taxpayers Office on April 16 determined capital gains tax for Ncell and its parent company, Axiata, and asked them to clear the outstanding amount in seven days.

But the mobile company argued the toss and moved the top court on Monday challenging the tax authorities' way of determining the tax.

But the Supreme Court on Thursday passed an interlocutory order and issued a show cause notice to authorities in a move which many say gave a sense that the debate on capital gains tax was still alive.

A single bench of Justice Bam Kumar Shrestha issued a show-cause notice to the Large Taxpayers Office and asked both parties—the tax office and mobile company—to appear before the court on May 6 to discuss the matter.

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Crowded Kathmandu’s few remaining open spaces are being steadily encroached upon

Situated in the heart of Kathmandu, the historic Khula Manch, or ‘open theatre’, was once 48 ropanis (24,406 square metres) of public land, one of the city’s largest open spaces. Now, half of Khula Manch has been turned into a bus park while the remaining half is being used to store construction materials for the nearby Durbar High School and Bir Hospital. Even before it become an ad-hoc storage area, the Metropolitan Traffic Division was using it as a parking lot to control traffic jams in New Road, Mahaboudha, Ason, Bhotahiti and Ratnapark areas.

In 2016, Jaleshwor Swachhanda Bkoi Builders reached an agreement with the Kathmandu Metropolitan City to build a view tower in the old bus park, and accordingly, the bus park was moved to Khula Manch. According to the agreement, the view tower should have been completed in three years. However, no substantial progress has been seen and the bus park continues to grow inside Khula Manch.

On Thursday, a group of locals, conservationists, activists and politicians, gathered at Khula Manch to ask, “Where is Khula Manch?” The protesters, around 300 in number, shouted slogans against the authorities for allowing Khula Manch, one of the city’s most vital public areas, to be parcelled and sold off.

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Nepal and UAE agree on zero investment jobs for Nepali workers

Nepal and the United Arab of Emirates have finalised a labour agreement that guarantees zero investment jobs in the Gulf country for Nepali workers.

After months of negotiations, the governments of two countries on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding on Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers.

The new deal was signed by Ram Prasad Ghimire, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security and Abdullah al-Muaimi, director of International Bilateral Relations under the Department of Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation of the UAE.

As per the latest understanding, Nepali workers will not have to bear any financial burdens—whether cost or any fees—for jobs in the emirates.

“Nepali workers will not pay any amount in cost or fees for jobs in the UAE. The employer will be paying all the expenses on behalf of the worker,” Ghimire, who is also the chief of labour relations and the social security division under the Labour Ministry, told the Post. “Employers will bear the cost of recruitment to the recruitment agencies, employment and residency of Nepali workers in the UAE.”

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Nepal Airlines receives fare clearance for Osaka flights

Japan Civil Aviation Bureau approved the passenger fare filed by Nepal Airlines Corporation on Wednesday, opening the way for the national flag carrier to make preparations to operate direct flights to Osaka. At most international airports, foreign carriers are required by law to file passenger fares.

Navaraj Koirala, deputy spokesperson for Nepal Airlines, said they had received fare clearance for Kansai International Airport, Osaka from Japan’s civil aviation agency. “We filed the fare tariff last Friday.” Koirala said they were yet to receive flight permission to serve the airport.

“The fare filing approval means the carrier can begin selling tickets. We think it will take at least two weeks to get the operating permit,” he said, adding that Nepal Airlines would not open ticket sales until it gets the flight permission. “We have targeted to operate non-stop flights to Japan by the first week of July.”

Last February, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau informed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal that it would conduct safety checks of Nepal Airlines before allowing it to resume flights to Kansai International Airport which were suspended in 2007 for lack of aircraft. This forced the state-owned carrier to postpone the relaunch. Nepal Airlines had originally planned to resume its Japan service in November-end, but the date was pushed back to February 2019 due to incomplete preparations.

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Published: 26-04-2019 18:52

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