Top Economic news for this week- 9th Magh to 15th Magh

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Magh 18, 2072- Last week's main events that provide insight into current Nepalese economic environment have been briefly presented below:

  • The full-fledged operation of paperless trading system implemented formally since Sunday. Right now, the dematerializing service of securities is available only in 44 districts. However, investors will be able to dematerialize shares from any parts of the country from mid-July this year.
  • Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has stated that supply of petrol and diesel will be normal from next week. NOC has already instructed all its depots to send petroleum products to Kathmandu and will soon start distributing 300,000 liters of petrol and 500,000 liters of diesel in Kathmandu on a daily basis to normalize fuel supply. However, the supply of liquefied petroleum product will not be normalized soon as IOC is loading only around 15 bullets a day while the daily demand stands at 55 bullets. So, the distribution of 7.1kg LP gas will be in effect till another decision is taken by NOC.
  • Even though there was decline in total number of tourist arrival by 30 percent, the number of trekkers during the period fell by only 6.05 percent compared to figures of 2014. There was immediate impact of catastrophic earthquake, Terai unrest and economic blockade on tourist arrival. However, the data reflects that the ongoing economic blockade by India and the impact of earthquake haven't deterred adventure seekers from enjoying trekking in Nepal.
  • Bankers have opined that staff of any bank or financial institutions (BFIs) should not be denied five percent shares of the institution that they are working at the discussion on draft bill to amend Bank and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA). The amendment bill also proposes allowing a financial institution from lowering promoter shares and increasing public shares to 49 percent from existing 30 percent. Furthermore, bankers also take exception over a new proposed measure to limit the terms of CEO and Chairman of a bank in the draft amendment bill.
  • After the decline in price of fuel products in international market, Nepal Oil Corporation readjusted the price last Monday. Then, the Department of Transport Management also pledged to adjust the transport fare within a week. However, the pledge has not yet been materialized leaving commuters of the public transport in a state of neglect and confusion.
  • SEBON has instructed listed companies to provide bonus and rights shares to their shareholders directly into their dematerialized accounts after full-fledged implementation of central depository system. Currently, there are 172 listed companies out of 232 who have joined CDS and 315.81 million units of shares are already dematerialized for trading. The Companies that have failed to dematerialized their shares, have been suspended from trading. There are 153,616 demat accounts of investors have already been opened for trading.
  • Civil Bank Ltd and International Leasing and Finance Company Limited (ILFCL) have signed an agreement for merger. Issuing a statement, the bank said that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ILFCL for merger. The bank said that the name of the merged entity will be 'Civil Bank Limited' and the current composition of the Board of Directors and senior management of Civil Bank will continue. After the merger, Civil Bank Limited will have a paid-up capital of Rs 5.09 billion, deposits of Rs 28.22 billion, loans of Rs 25.14 billion, and total assets of Rs 36.93 billion. The bank will have 51 branch offices.
  • A Chinese company has started the feasibility study of gold mines on the banks of Bheri River in Jajarkot district. The team has already drilled 150 ft hole for the study but no progress is traced so far. The chinese team have also constructed 2km long road to reach the construction site.
  • Indian Customs office at Raxaul has said that there will be no obstruction from its side if Nepali importers import goods through the entry point. The Birgunj-Raxaul border point has remained obstructed since four months following protest by cadres of United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). However, Indian officials halted movement at Birgunj-Raxaul border point for two hours and the official did not respond on the reason behind the halt.
  • After the four-month-long halt in the project, the construction works of Upper Madi Hydropower Project of 25 megawatt capacity based at Sildajure in Kaski district have started. The work was halted due to crisis of fuel and other essential materials following India’s unofficial blockade and agitation in Terai region. The project is getting 1,500 liters fuel every day from the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
  • The interest rates of both of deposit and loans banking and financial institutions are driving down due to excess liquidity. In normal situation, drop in interest rates tempts borrowers to get more credit from bank, while it depositors to park their money in banks. However, borrowers are reluctant to take loans from banks despite rapid fall in interest rates in recent days.
  • The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has directed Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to update power cut schedule. The anti-graft body summoned the CIAA officials and issued such directive saying that there have been increasing complaints from the general public of irregular power outage. As the supply ceases 20 minutes before the scheduled time and resumes 20 minutes later.
  • According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2015 of Transparency International, Nepal falls among one of the most corrupt states in the world. The annual survey released by the Berlin-based watchdog has placed Nepal in 130 positions with a score of 27 among 167 surveyed countries. Nepal failed to improve both country wise ranking and score. Previously, it was placed 126th rank on the index among surveyed countries with 29 marks last year. The index shows Denmark has the lowest perceived level of corruption with a score of 91, while North Korea and Somalia have a score of 8 points and are jointly ranked as the most corruption prone countries.
  • Balaram Thapa has now joined drillers of Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) to cleaning natural gas well that have remained dormant for nearly two decades. 
  • The team started cleaning natural gas well near Pachali Bhairab in Teku from Sunday. It has cleaned 70 meters of the well so far. But they need to clear another 230 meters to ascertain whether the gas well can be brought to use or not. The effort to restore the gas plant has been made amid severe shortage of fuel for the past four months due to Indian blockade. Ministry of Industry has allocated Rs.600,000 for the purpose.
  • After the failure to return public deposits stuck in troubled cooperatives by making amendment to Cooperatives Act, Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoCPA) is introducing a provision of forming 'management committee' to look after the troubled cooperatives. The new provision of forming management committee is aimed at returning people's money parked at troubled cooperatives. Around 2,962 people are still to get deposits of around Rs.10 billion from 150 troubled cooperatives.
  • TeliaSonera was trying for a long time to repatriate Rs11 billion in dividends as of 2011-12.
  • Currently, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has stated that TeliaSonera, the majority shareholder in telecom giant Ncell, can repatriate the dividends it has earned in Nepal after submitting a complete document regarding its capital investment in the country.
  • The government is set to constitute a farmer’s commission with the aim of ensuring farmer’s rights and restoring pride and confidence in the agricultural sector. The body, the first of its kind in Nepal, will play a key role in protecting farmers and enhancing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of the farming systems of the country.
  • The joint standing committee meeting of energy secretaries of Nepal and India agreed on the import of 80 MW of electricity from the Dhalkebar-Mujjafpur cross-border transmission line within the next three weeks. In addition to that, the government is planning to import 300 megawatt of electricity from India within the next one and half year.
  • After five months of undeclared blockade and Terai unrest, total of five cargo trucks have entered Nepal through the Birgunj-Raxaul entry point ending the five-month long obstruction at the border point.
  • As Nepal is recognizing the importance of architecture, Society of Nepalese Architects (Sona) is hosting the 14th regional assembly of South Asian architects from the first week of February in which Nepal is taking over as the chair of Saarc Association of Architects (Saarch), a Saarc recognized body.
  • After Nepal government failed to forward a detailed project proposal for spending the grant amount provided Chinese government has decided to deduct the cost of 1.3 million liters of petrol from its Rs.12.8 billion grant. Furthermore, officials said Nepal is at risk of losing the additional grant support as it has failed to submit specific project proposals to China for spending the amount.
  • The 22nd edition of CAN Info-Tech began at Bhrikuti Mandap on Friday. The six day the six-day event is being held with the objective of imparting information about technological advancements and displaying the latest products in the market.

"This summarized news has been written on the basis of news published on The Kathmandu Post and My Republica"