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Monday, May 27, 2019

From the Kathmandu Press: Tuesday, May 28, 2019

PM KP Sharma Oli has been  invited by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to attend his swearing-in ceremony. This has been featured on almost national dailies along with the news of the government security agencies being in the know about the explosions that took place on Sunday night. News of another man dying on Everest also appeared in a few newspapers.

Here is a summary of important, ignored and interesting stories from the front pages of national broadsheets:

Important

OIi to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

Gorkhapatra, Annapurna Post and Kantipur report that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formally invited Prime Minister KP Oli, along with the heads of the government of Bimstec member states, and the chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to attend his swearing-in scheduled for May 30.

Diplomatic sources confirmed that Prime Minister Oli, along with executive heads of the government of other Bimstec member states including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bhutan were sent invitations on Monday to attend the swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister Modi assumes office for the next five years.

Kathmandu explosions:  Govt had prior knowledge of preparations 

Nagarik, Kantipur, The Kathmandu Post and Republica report that the government’s intelligence apparatus is being blamed for failing to track the activities of the Netra Bikram Chand-led outfit after bomb blasts in the capital on Sunday left four people dead and several others injured.

Highly-placed sources at the National Intelligence Department, said that the agency had cautioned the authorities about increasing threats from the Chand-led Nepal Communist Party.

Prime Minister KP Oli’s chief advisor, Bishnu Rimal, receives daily briefings from the NID since the department was brought under the Prime Minister’s Office in February last year. A special report that hinted at the outfit’s latest activities was also submitted to Chief Secretary Lokdarshan Regmi a week ago, said sources at the intelligence agency.

Other officials say that security agencies have failed in intelligence gathering, sharing and analysis. According to Binoj Basnyat, a former Nepal Army officer the government’s approach to dealing with the Chand outfit is faulty.

Ignored

Death toll continues to rise on Everest

Republica reports that death toll on Everest on the Nepal side this season has reached nine with the demise of an American climber at South Col on Monday evening.

Mira Acharya, director at the Department of Tourism, informed that 61-year-old Christopher John Kulish died while returning to the Base Camp after summiting the world’s highest mountain.

He had a sudden heart attack and passed away at Everest South Col while descending from the summit.

Nepal has 1 trillion in foreign debt 

Kantipur reports that the economic survey made public on Monday showed that Nepal owed various bilateral and multi-lateral donors Rs 1 trillion. The report stated that Nepal’s debt touched the trillion mark due to the strengthening of the US dollar. Officials at the Finance Ministry aren’t at all worried about it as according to international norms, countries take loans up to 50 per cent of their GDP.

Nepali woman living in cities still forced to follow menstrual restrictions

The Kathmandu Post reports that thousands of girls are forced to follow menstrual restrictions every month. Many aren’t allowed to sit with their family at the same table during meals, touch any vessels containing water or partake in any religious ceremonies.

The restrictions imposed on menstruating women living in the cities may fall into the “moderate” category, but the number of women adhering to such rules is as high—if not more—as those observing Chhaupadi. Nearly 50 percent of women living in urban areas said they avoid social gatherings during their period, according to the 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, a study focused on monitoring the situation of children and women in Nepal. Likewise, nearly a quarter of them stay in a different room when they are menstruating, the study found.

Interesting

Govt’s economic performance below satisfactory

Republica reports that government lags in the development of infrastructure and in spending money allocated under the development budget when compared to other governments in the past.

Driven by high agricultural output and robust growth in services and the trade sector, the economic growth is projected to attain 6.8 per cent. But growth has not generated employment as expected, as manufacturing is projected to grow by only 5.78 per cent compared to last fiscal year’s 9.17 per cent.

The survey estimates the number of jobs generated this fiscal year at 500,000, which is hard to believe. Growth in agricultural, the other real sector of the economy, is to be nearly doubled to 5.02 per cent.

Overall, most of the economic indicators have deteriorated in the first eight months of fiscal year 2018/19. The country’s foreign income has been dwindling. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has nearly halved to Rs 7.1 billion in the nine month period from Rs 14.41 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Infrastructure development not as good

The Himalayan Times reports that over 72,000 road projects are in limbo across the country, as their construction has not moved ahead for the last four months due to lack of coordination among the central, provincial and local governments. These projects are being built under the multi-year contract model, meaning work has been contracted out for more than a year. But, the economic survey report has not addressed this issue.

Meanwhile, the government has constructed 60,162 km roads at local levels. Of this, 6.5 per cent roads have been blacktopped, 21.9 per cent have been partially blacktopped and the remaining 71.6 per cent are gravel roads.

As per the report, the government has completed the detailed project report of the 945-km East- West Railway Link and has already completed the construction work of 41.6-km railway track. The report mentions that the Indian government has started work on the feasibility study of the Kathmandu-Birgunj electric railway project.

Construction work related to national pride projects, such as Pokhara Regional International Airport, Mid-Hill Highway and South-North Highway has been expedited, while work related to the construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairahawa will be completed by mid-July.

Meanwhile, the government has predicted an economic growth rate of seven per cent in the current fiscal 2018-19.



from OnlineKhabar http://bit.ly/2EEg4CC

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