Economic Digest Today (Jan. 14, 2020)


January 14, 2020


Economic Digest Today (Jan. 14, 2020)

KATHMANDU: Economic Digest, a daily morning email digest, is basically a relatable summation of important business news from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

18 fuel stations told to relocate to safer spots

The government has instructed a total of 18 gas stations operating at roadsides in the Kathmandu Valley to relocate their businesses to safer spots. A cabinet meeting held on December 10, 2019, endorsed a proposal put forth by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to instruct the gas stations to relocate.

This came after a detailed study carried out by the Department of Roads, Metropolitan Police Traffic Division, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Lalitpur Sub-metropolitan City. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has been entrusted with the relocation of the petrol pumps. Meanwhile, NOC spokesperson, Birendra Kumar Goit said that necessary steps will be taken after an official letter has been received.

Nepal to receive $10 Million from UAE for clean energy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to provide Nepal with subsidized loans worth USD 10 Million (RS. 1.13 billion) for the generation of electricity from urban waste.

During the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) event held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, it was announced that Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) would provide the funds as assistance to Nepal to generate electricity.

Different nations with assistance from IRENA competed to get the funds. Other countries shortlisted for the funds include the Maldives, Burkina Faso, Chad and Cuba.

Nepal’s Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun said that the assistance is important for Nepal, adding that the funds made available will contribute to the operations of waste to energy projects in 69 municipalities while also creating further employment.

Bhat-Bhateni among firms faking VAT bills worth millions: SC 

The Supreme Court (SC), in a decade-long dispute, found that Bhat-Bhateni Super Market, Shankar Oxygen Pvt Ltd and Mahesh Baniya among others faked VAT bills to avoid taxes.

Bhat-Bhateni had avoided Rs 38 million in the fiscal year, 2010 and 2011 through the faking of bills for a deal in items that it never imported. The firms were meant to pay millions in VAT.

The discourse then reached the Supreme Court. The Department of Revenue Investigation (DRI), had written to Bhat-Bhateni to pay the tax, the interest, and the fines.

Smuggled goods seized

The border unit of the Armed Police Force (APF) seized clothes worth Rs 2.6 million being exported to India without paying the duties.

The garments had been carried in a truck and passed through the customs of Mahakali municipality in Kanchanpur.

The border outpost of APF stopped the truck with Indian registration number UP 18 CA 3891, carrying towels worth the amount.

Soon after seeing the APF personnel, the driver of the truck escaped towards India, police inspector Ram Singh Bhandari said. The goods were seized at the Nepal-India bordering region. The seized goods including the truck have been handed over to the Kanchanpur Customs Office, Gadda Chowki for necessary action.

Tourists visit Janakpur in droves but stay only for a day

Lack of proper infrastructures, such as signages, toilets and street signs in Janakpudham to support tourism has put a limitation on tourist movement.

Most tourists come to Janakpudham after visiting the capital city, Kathmandu but never stay longer than a day there.

There are no banners, signages or tourist guides to assist visitors to find their way around the city, leaving most baffled for lack of clear signs as to where to go and how to get there.

Locals reckon that the duration of a visitor’s stay can be extended if the process of informing tourists about tourist destinations is streamlined.

Arrears galore at local level

The Office of the Auditor-General has pointed out arrears in all the ten local level governments in the district. The preliminary report showed arrears worth millions of rupees in the two municipalities and eight rural municipalities.

The Office took 18 months to review the financial transaction carried out by the local-level governments within the fiscal year 2075/76.

The report states that Aiselukharka rural municipality has arrears worth Rs 1. 4 million, Kopilasgadhi has Rs 16.2 million, Kotehang has Rs 31.8 million, Diktel Ripakot Majhuwagadhi municipality has Rs 13.1 million, Halesi Tuwachung has Rs 112.5 million while Rawabensi rural municipality has Rs 19.5 million.

Furthermore, Barahapokhari rural municipality has arrears worth Rs 11.1 million and Sakela rural municipality has Rs 12.07 million. The audit of Diprung Chuichumma rural municipality is yet to take place.

Nepse shoots up by 15.14 points

Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) went up by double digits on Monday, the second trading day of the week. The benchmark index shot up by 15.14 points to settle at 1,270.86 points.

Similarly, Sensitive Index, which assesses major companies, increased by 3.55 points to reach 276.28 points. With the increasing trend, Nepse also witnessed the transaction surge significantly.

A total of 5,518,636 units of shares of 183 companies were sold for Rs 1,705,060,664. Meanwhile, the shares of two sub-groups among those 12 sub-groups went down while that of 10 sub-groups increased.

Office of the Company Registrar starts SMS service

The Office of the Company Registrar will now be providing SMS service to all the registered companies. According to officials, this is a step towards the integration and acceptance of modern technology that will improve the services provided to registered companies.

The SMS service will convey messages about new rules and regulations of the Registrar Office along with information on taxes that need to be paid by companies, information on renewals and other information.

The Registrar Office also plans to use emails in the future for which companies will be required to provide their email addresses.

Multibillion-rupee strategy to revamp agriculture ‘directionless’

It has been found that the 20-year Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) strategy covering 2015 to 2035 and subsequent ten-year action plan, has been mostly disowned by the government as its key recommendations and provisions remain unimplemented.

Two major central level committees appointed to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the strategy are almost non-functional. Also, there is a lack of annual action plans and targets to balance the ADS, making it hard to track the trends and the intermediate progress.

A proposed ordinance, that seeks to specify the interrelation between the federal, provincial and local governments, is expected to further clarify the respective roles. The ordinance is under review in the National Assembly.

Locals Assist in Budhigandaki Project

Expressing their dissatisfaction over the land compensation provided by the Budhigandaki Hydroelectric project in the past, locals of Dhading and Gorkha districts have now offered to help the project by handing over their land ownership certificates.

The locals do not wish to allow the project to linger on after the government fixed the compensation. Meanwhile, there are protests in Khahare and Arughat of Dhading where locals that were affected by the project have voiced their dissatisfaction over the compensation amount. According to the Detailed Project Report of the project, 58,000 ropanis of land is required for the project.

(Compiled and prepared by Swastik Aryal, Akash Shrestha, Nitish Lal Shrestha, Diana Zulkifli)

Economic Digest is a daily morning email digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news and happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries. By realizing that readers are faced with a packed calendar, the Institute for Strategic and Socio-Economic Research (ISSR), Nepal’s independent think tank, and Khabarhub — Nepal popular news portal — have joined hands to disseminate news from Nepal by creating news summaries in the form of Economic Digest.

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