Gold price decreases

KATHMANDU: Price of gold in the local market has gone down by Rs 240 per 10 gram this week. The price of yellow metal opened at Rs 9,520 on Sunday but went down to close at Rs 9,280 on Friday, according Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association. Decrease in gold price has been attributed to improvement in the value of US dollar in the international market. Likewise, the price of silver has gone down by three rupees per 10 gram compared to the price on first two days. — HNS

IT conference for students

LALITPUR: Dr Dayanand Bajracharya, vice-chancellor of Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (RONAST) today inaugurated the second national students conference on information technology 2004 at Imadol, Lalitpur. The conference is being organised by Nepal College of Information Technology (NCIT). Bajracharya gave away prizes to Dhan Prasad Poudel, Chhitij Shrestha and Asim Babu Shrestha standing first, second and third respectively in an essay competition on the role of IT in the development of the country. The prize carries a purse of Rs 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 respectively. He also honoured chief of Amrit Science Campus, Madan Raj Shakya with a NCIT shield and gave away prizes worth Rs 1,000 each to Sharad Sapkota and Babita Bhattarai. — RSS

Search for ginger seeds

TANSEN: Local farmers are in search of improved ginger seeds as local varieties are of not good quality. Ginger is the main cash crop of farmers in Palpa district for the last few years. Farmers of Palpa have started ginger farming on a commercial scale giving up traditional crops for the last few years, said Lila Karki, chairman of Rural Economic Development Association. There is ginger farming in more than 1,100 hectares of land in the district. Farmers sell ginger worth more than Rs 10 million every year, he said. Ginger worth more than Rs 20 million can be produced if seeds of quality gingers are provided to farmers. Ginger is the main source of income to farmers in 38 village development committees, out of 65 village development committees in the district. — RSS

Orange for Indian centres

LONDON: Mobile phone giant Orange is in negotiations with third-party call centre operators in India to take over some calls during busy periods. But the company has stressed that these deals will not lead to job losses or call centre closures. Staff were told in February that the company wanted to contract out some phone calls during busy periods. — HNS

ADB meet on poverty

JEJU: A meeting of the governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) got under way on Saturday to deliberate on ways to reduce poverty in the Asia and Pacific region, Xinhua reports. The region has achieved remarkable progress in the past year with a GDP growth of 6.3 percent and is expected to witness a robust growth of 6.8 percent in 2004 and 6.7 percent in 2005, said Tadao Chino, the president of ADB. — HNS

S’pore, China FTA talks

SINGAPORE: Singapore and China will begin negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) in November with few obstacles expected, the city-state’s deputy prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said in remarks published on Saturday. Lee told Singapore reporters accompanying him on a visit to Beijing the talks would proceed regardless of progress made in theASEAN efforts to sign a regional deal with China. — AP