Labour approval sticker

KATHMANDU: The ministry of labour and transport management has made it clear that persons going for work abroad should compulsorily take approval from the

department of labour and employment promotion. The ministry stated that provision has been made for sticking a labour-approval sticker on the passport of each and every person going for foreign employment from April as a sign of such approval.— RSS

Serving farmers’ groups

KATHMANDU: The ministry of agriculture and cooperatives has introduced a programme for the implementation of the provision of providing technical services, planned irrigation, agricultural roads, marketing services and subsidy on interest of more than 25 farmers’ groups organised themselves and register as cooperatives.As the budget speech for the fiscal year 2003-04 has laid emphasis on the concept of cooperative farming, special provision of subsidy of Rs 35 million has been made in this regard, the ministry stated yesterday. — RSS

UK to take on India, China

LONDON: Britain’s Chancellor of Exchequer Gordon Brown has warned that Britain needs to face stiff challenges if it is to compete with growing economies such as India and China.Addressing the annual convention of the Institute of Directors, he spelled out the forthcoming challenges from developing nations as they take on a higher share of global production. — HNS

Elections to cost Rs100m

NEW DELHI: India’s ongoing general election, the world’s largest democratic exercise, is to cost a whopping Rs 100 billion (IC or $2.25 billion). The total spending by the Election Commission alone on the five-phase parliamentary poll that concludes on May 10 works out to Rs 55 billion ($1.2 billion) - against Rs 32 billion ($720 million) in 1999, the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) has estimated in a study. — HNS

Business confidence up

BRUSSELS: Eurozone business leaders are feeling better about the near future these days, thanks largely to a weaker euro, but overall growth in the region is likely to be modest given consumer unease over job prospects. Surveys conducted by the European Union’s executive commission showed that the corporate confidence level in the 12-nation eurozone improved sharply in April while consumer sentiment revealed no significant gains. — AP

SEC notice to Pepsi Cola

NEW YORK: The Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay divisions of PepsiCo Inc have been notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will recommend bringing a civil action against the units. The SEC alleges that a non-executive employee at Pepsi-Cola and another at Frito-Lay signed documents in early 2001 prepared by what is now called Kmart Holding Corp acknowledging payments of $3 million from Pepsi-Cola and $2.8 million from Frito-Lay. — AP

Reebok gets thumbs up

NEW YORK: An anti-sweatshop group gave Reebok International its stamp of approval after it verified that the shoe and apparel maker had implemented standards protecting workers at its footwear factories around the world. The Fair Labor Association, a nonprofit group formed in 1999 to promote adherence to international labor standards and improve working conditions, accredited Reebok for substantially complying with its requirements over a two-year period. — AP