Fresh Challenges For 2011: ESCAP Report
VOL. 04, NO. 22, May 13, 2011 (Baishakh 30, 2068)
Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada launched the Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011 which shows the economies of Asia and the Pacific recovered strongly in 2010 from the Great Recession of 2008/09, but they faced fresh challenges in 2011.’
These include the return of the food and fuel price crises, sluggish recovery in the advanced economies and a deluge of short term capital flows that is leading to volatility in capital markets, asset bubbles
and appreciating exchange rates. The 2011 edition of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the
Pacific, the oldest annual review of development in the region, analyzes the economic recovery of the region thus far and the critical issues, policy challenges and risks facing the region in the coming
months. The flagship publication of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) – the regional arm of the UN – outlines a policy agenda for sustaining dynamism and inclusive
development for an Asia-Pacific century.
Dr. Posh Raj Pandey, Executive Chairman of SAWTEE and Robert Piper, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator also highlighted the report.
BoK Launches Two New Branches
Bank of Kathmandu Ltd opened its two new branches in Tamghas of Gulmi District and Sandhikharka of Arghakhanchi District.
Narendra Kumar Basnyat, chairman of the bank, inaugurated the branch in Tamghas and Director of the Bank Govinda Prasad Sharma amidst two different functions recently. The newly opened branches in Tamghas and Sandhikharka will provide service of deposit; loan, remittances and several other facilities offered by the Bank, it has been informed.
With addition of two new branches Bank of Kathmandu now has a total of 39 branches and 6 counters throughout the country. Apart from this, the customers can utilize the facility of its network in 50 ATM counters.
The bank has taken the policy of expanding its branches throughout the country, especially focusing in the rural and agriculture based areas. The opening of these two branches in Lumbini Zone justifies the above policy. The bank is actively working towards introducing newer service and in rural sectors to serve the community residing in those areas.
The Embassy of India along with Anandalok and B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation organized a four day film festival to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate and India’s best loved poet Rabindranath Tagore. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav inaugurated the Rabindra Sangeetanjali, along with launching “Geetanjali” in Nepali recited a short excerpt from his father’s book.
Various Nepali artists paid tribute to Tagore’s life and legacy by performing his tunes in Nepali, along with singers and performers from the Anandalok choir and the students of Kendriya Vidyalaya. The artists sang in Bengali yet the smoothness and meaning of the poetic lines was understood perfectly by the audiences.
Screening of Tagore’s various plays such as Teen Kanya, Kabuliwala, Chrulata and Chokher Bali were screened. Sarwanam group also presented a paly Rabindranath Ka Patraharu during the festival.
Indian Embassy Reacts
Indian Embassy reacted media reports baseless stating that Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has agreed to provide an extended credit facility to Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). The Embassy has also seen reports suggesting that ‘NOC should claim reimbursement of NRs 14 Billion due to it’. The Embassy categorically stated that this statement is also baseless. The IOC supplies petroleum products to NOC in accordance with their bilateral agreement for which a weekly statement of accounts is carried out and that there are no dues to the NOC pending with IOC.
Merger Guidelines Approved
The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has passed the guidelines to motivate merger of banks and financial institutions. The central bank board of directors approved the guidelines that gives high priority to voluntary mergers. “There is no provision in the guideline that can force merger. But there is a provision whereby the NRB can give strong advice to the banks for merger,” said an official. The guideline lays down three-step approval for merger. Initial approval will be given upon receiving applications, followed by agreement in principle and final approval. The guideline also spells out facilities such as single customer credit limit, rural credit, branch expansion, upgrading, credit-deposit ratio and so on.
Custom Duties Of 3000 Products Increased
The Department of Customs has increased custom duty for around 3000 products imported from India and other third countries. As the government struggles to meet the revenue growth target, it increased the duty by 10 to 25 percent. Products that will attract increased rate include soft drinks, biscuits, spices, chocolates, cosmetics, bakeries, and so on.