Japan Extends Grant Aid To Nepal
The Government of Japan has agreed to extend a grant assistance of two hundred and fifty million Yen (¥250,000,000), approximately two hundred fifty-nine million Nepalese Rupees (NRs. 259,000,000), or approximately three million ninety thousand US dollars (US$3,090,000), to the Government of Nepal for the Increase of Food Production (KR2), with special emphasis on underprivileged farmers, in Japan’s Fiscal Year 2011.
Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, and Krishna Hari Baskota, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, signed exchanged notes on behalf of their respective governments, in the presence of Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the government of Nepal.
According to the press release of the Japanese Embassy, the grant is extended for procuring items necessary to increase food production in Nepal with special emphasis on underprivileged farmers. The grant will be used for the procurement of fertilizers needed to boost agricultural production, thus enabling the country to meet its growing food demand. Good quality fertilizer is an important component for the growth of agricultural production. However, Nepal does not have domestic manufacturers of chemical fertilizers and is forced to depend on imports. The fertilizer procured under this grant will be utilized to cope with acute shortages and rising prices and will be supplied to farmers in remote regions where private market activities are inadequate.
The government of Japan has been extending grant assistance for the Increase of Food Production (KR2) to Nepal since 1977; one of the oldest grant programs from Japan to Nepal. The last such grant was extended in Japan’s Fiscal Year 2009, to the amount of four hundred and ninety million Yen (¥490,000,000).
New European IT App To Help Automate Air Safety
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has welcomed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to be part of the Safety Oversight Facilitated Integration Application (SOFIA), a new EASA IT application that will enable CAAN to reorganize its processes and streamline its technical tasks.
SOFIA, in its initial version, includes in full or part the safety oversight management as described in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) annexes. The four different annexes—1, 6, 7 and 8 cover the safety concerns linked to personnel licensing, operation of aircraft, aircraft nationality and registration marks and airworthiness of aircraft.
A module for examination results, aircraft inspections and reporting, as well as an elaborate work flow system, alert and tracking system are also part of the SOFIA application.
Nepal-India Bilateral Consultative Group Meet Concludes
The 9th meeting of the India-Nepal Bilateral Consultative Group on Security Issues (BCGSI) was held in Pokhara from 26-27 April 2012. Akhilesh Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India led the Indian delegation while the Nepalese side was led by Deepak Dhital, joint secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, government of Nepal. The meeting discussed security issues of mutual interest as well as ways to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in security matters.
India reiterated its commitment to continue its support for the upgradation and modernization of Nepalese security forces by making available the required technical and physical support in accordance with the needs and priorities listed by government of Nepal. India has agreed to enhance the slots made available for training of Nepal Army personnel in India in various fields. Government of Nepal has offered course vacancies to Indian Army in Nepal including for UN peace keeping operation. The two sides also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation between their security forces by undertaking joint training exercises and organizing joint sports and adventure activities.
EU, Norway, Switzerland & Australia Hail Peace Progress
Kathmandu-based EU missions together with Norway, Switzerland and Australia welcomed Nepal's progress on peace process.
“EU missions together with Norway, Switzerland and Australia welcome the present progress on the implementation of the peace process and the commitment to complete the Constitution drafting process within time," countries said.
US Special Representative In Nepal
Lorraine Hariton, the State Department’s Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA), arrived in Nepal for a five-day visit. She has met with Government of Nepal officials and local business leaders to discuss entrepreneurship and business development in Nepal.
On Sunday April 29, at the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Secretariat, the press was invited to a panel discussion on entrepreneurship led by Ms. Hariton and hosted by the FNCCI.
China Welcomes Peace Process
China welcomes the recent important achievements in Nepal's peace process. Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry of China Liu Weimin says China attaches great importance to developing the friendly cooperative relationship with Nepal, and firmly supports the efforts made by the Nepalese side in upholding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in achieving peace, stability and prosperity. China will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to the economic and social development of Nepal.
Envoy Takahashi Represents Japan In SAARC
Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, has been designated as the Permanent Representative to SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) by the Government of Japan. A copy of the Letter of Credence to this effect was submitted to Ahmed Saleem, SAARC Secretary General, on April 27th 2012.
According to a press release of the Japanese Embassy, Japan has been engaged in building friendly relationships with SAARC through various mechanisms including the SAARC-Japan Special Fund (SJSF), which was established in September, 1993.
Indian Ambassador Lays Road Foundation
Indian ambassador Jayant Prasad laid the foundation stones of two roads in Sarlahi District being built under India’s economic assistance programme in Nepal
During his visit to Sarlahi District, Ambassador Jayant Prasad laid the foundation stones of Barhathwa (Nayaroad) - Madhubani (40.3 km) and Nawalpur-Malangwa (26.6 km).
Speaking on this occasion, Ambassador Prasad expressed satisfaction at the progressive execution of the project. He also renewed India’s commitment to assist Nepal in the development of its infrastructure, which would lead to greater economic development in the area.