HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The debate over which of the two Nepali Congress (NC) factions—the one led by Girija Prasad Koirala or the one led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba —is entitled to the NC election symbol of tree and four-star party banner began here at the Election Commission (EC) on Monday. Representatives of the Deuba NC, presenting their argument before the EC, stated that they are entitled to the election symbol and the party flag. The precedent of the party convention was established in 1995, said Mahadev Yadav representing the Deuba camp. Did any one ever speak against it before the proposal was registered, he asked? Putting forth his points, Sunil Adhikari claimed that since the National Assembly is still “active” the parliament has not been dissolved. “The parliament consists of the House of Representatives, the crown and the National Assembly,” he added. Basanta Ram Bhandari, against the claim of the Koirala side that the emergency and dissolution of the House cannot go side by side, questioned: The Koirala group has stated that emergency and dissolution don’t go together. But did they anywhere speak against it, before the move was executed?
Rs 24 cr return on Rs 76 billion investment
KATHMANDU: If the government continues to finance the public enterprises which are a drain on the national exchequer, investment in priority areas would remain in shadow and development process will be affected, officials and policymakers have warned. “There is a need to liquidate some public enterprises which are insolvent and the rest should function purely on business basis,” Bimal Prasad Koirala, finance secretary, told a workshop of on public enterprises and policy organised by the ministry here on Monday. Of the total investment of over Rs. 76 billion till fiscal year 2000/01 in 40 public enterprises, the government has only received Rs. 245 million as dividend in the fiscal year 2000/01, which is only1.
27 per cent of the total share investment, according to the latest performance report of Public Enterprises, published by the Ministry of Finance. “Let alone the natural dividend, the government is still to provide loans to the enterprises unable to pay the salaries,” secretary Koirala told the workshop participated by chief executives of the public
enterprises. Out of 40 total public enterprises, only 15 were in profit and rest in loss, incurring over 1 billion operating loss in the fiscal year 2000/2001 alone, according to a Finance Ministry’s report, “Targets and performance of public enterprises” for the fiscal year 2000/2001 to 2002/2003. “We can make available drinking water facilities to every 75 districts with Rs.1 billion whereas the public enterprises loss is diverting the resources, meant for development expenditure,” said Koirala.