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ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Tuesday, April 23

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 23, 2019-

Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (April 23, 2019).

Ruling party says unification concludes, but leaders see more challenges

The two parties, which followed completely different ideologies, formed an alliance in October 2017, months ahead of the historic general election under the constitution promulgated in 2015.

After sweeping the elections, the unified Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has the mandate to govern for a full five-year term, something which has not happened in more than two-and-a-half decades.

The delayed unification process, however, had become a major cause for concern.

Leaders termed Monday’s announcement a major development, but they were quick to add there are more challenges ahead.

Concerns are already growing among leaders over the way two leaders are running the party, as they say decisions are being made without following a proper system.

Many leaders--from both the erstwhile CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre)--have long said the unity in 2018 was not a result of conviction but rather a marriage of convenience.

Amid all this, the two parties, especially Oli’s UML, got a factional feud in legacy, which was a major stumbling block to conclusion of the party merger.

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Ncell lodges petition at Supreme Court challenging tax amount set by Large Taxpayers Office

A day before the expiry of the seven-day deadline to pay its capital gains tax, Ncell, a private telecom giant, on Monday lodged a petition at the Supreme Court, saying the Large Taxpayers Office has wrongly determined their tax liability at Rs39.06 billion.

In line with the Supreme Court order to authorities to collect capital gains tax from the private sector mobile company and its parent firm, Axiata, the Large Taxpayers Office on April 16 determined their capital gains tax liability at Rs39.06 billion and and asked it to pay Rs39.06 billion within seven days after deducting the amount it had paid earlier.

Although the telecom company did not question the order to pay tax, it has said its outstanding tax stands at Rs14 billion. It should not be liable to pay fee and interest as determined by the Large Taxpayers’ Office, says the writ.

After TeliaSonera, which earlier owned Ncell, exited Nepal after selling the telecom company to Axiata on April 11, 2016, as per the acquisition deal—the biggest in Nepal’s corporate sector—signed in December 2015, the capital gains was determined at Rs143.6 billion. And the capital gains tax was to be determined accordingly.

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School reconstruction faces a huge funding gap of Rs27 billion

Four years after the devastating earthquake, the government is yet to ensure necessary budget, which amounts to billions of rupees, for the reconstruction of school buildings, which could mean thousands of students will have to study in makeshift structures for a few more years.

The Post-disaster Recovery Framework prepared by the National Reconstruction Authority in 2016 had estimated that Rs180 billion would be required for the construction of the quake-destroyed academic institutions and that Rs167 billion would be needed to rebuild schools and classrooms.

The budget was later revised to Rs119 billion, out of which Rs50 billion has been pledged by donors as loan and grant.

Construction works worth Rs23 billion are being carried out by non-government agencies and foreign government agencies. It’s the Nepal government’s responsibility to ensure the additional Rs44 billion required to complete the reconstruction of the school infrastructure.

As of the current fiscal year, the government has allocated Rs17 billion from the national budget.

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Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project: Installation of penstock pipes likely to be completed in early May

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project: Installation of penstock pipes likely to be completed in early May

The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project expects to finish installing the penstock pipes by the first week of May. These immense tubes carry water from the reservoir to the turbines to generate electricity, and the complex task of fitting them is one of the most challenging parts of the project’s hydro-mechanical component.

The 456 MW national pride project located in Dolakha district in north central Nepal plans to start commercial generation of electricity by the end of December. The project will switch on the first unit which will generate 76 MW, project officials said.

This is the fourth time the project has revised its completion deadline. Earlier, it had planned to generate electricity by mid-November, but the deadline had to be pushed back due to the poor work executed by the hydro-mechanical contractor, Texamo Railway Engineering.

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Government extends registration deadline for employment scheme

The government has extended the deadline for registration of unemployed population under the Prime Minister Employment Programme by a month.

The Labour, Employment and Social Security Ministry has extended the application deadline until May 14 in a bid to allow more time for potential beneficiaries to get enrolled under the scheme, which was launched in February this year to ensure a minimum 100-day of paid work for productive age-group population.

According to Prakash Dahal, chief of the programme, the extension to the previous deadline of April 13 was made to gather more data on unemployed population and to provide them more time to sign up for the programme.

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Published: 23-04-2019 19:07

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