Kathmandu, January 3

The government has set the minimum retail price of sugarcane at Rs 536.56 per quintal for the fiscal 2018-19.

Sharing the decisions taken by meetings of the Council of Ministers on December 28 and 31, government spokesperson Gokul Prasad Banskota today said that the government also decided to give a grant of Rs 65.28 per quintal to sugarcane farmers. Likewise, the Sugar Mill needs to pay the sugarcane farmers Rs 471 per quintal on time.

Similarly, the government has formed a task force led by home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa in order to carry out a study on public holidays to be announced for the new year, and  recommend to the government.

Minister of Urban Development Mohammad Istiyak Rai and Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Prasad Adhikari are members of the task force.

The Cabinet also approved tabling of the bill designed to regularise advertisements to the federal Parliament and a concept paper on ‘Literate Nepal Year, 2019. Also approved was the bill designed to amend the Elderly Citizens Act 2006, to be tabled in the federal Parliament.

The bill includes a provision whereby the children need to allocate a certain percentage of their income for their parents.

Other bills approved for tabling in the Parliament are ‘Citizen Investment Fund Act 2006 amendment bill, the ‘President Women’s Livelihood Improvement Programme Operation Procedures, 2018 and ‘Local level sports infrastructure improvement programme operation procedures, 2018’.

According to Spokesperson Banskota, the government has decided to upgrade five hospitals including Koshi Zonal Hospital in Biratnagar, Narayani Sub-regional Hospital in Birgunj, Bharatpur Hospital in Chitwan, Bheri Zonal Hospital in Nepalgunj and Dadeldhura Sub-regional Hospital in Dadeldhura.

Spokesperson Banskota, who is also the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, shared that the government has directed Nepal Telecom to operate the 4G project within 12 months. Likewise, 5G service will also be piloted in Biratnagar, Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and Pokhara.

Another decision taken by the government is to appoint Gopal Khanal of Jhapa as the editorial adviser of Gorkhapatra daily. Minister Banskota said that if required the government would form a judicial committee to probe the alleged irregularities in the purchase of ‘wide-body’ aircraft for Nepal Airlines Corporation.

The report of the sub-committee under the Public Accounts Committee is not complete and if needed the government will constitute a separate judicial committee for the same, he said. “The sub-committee cannot hold a press conference on its own. Its report needs to be discussed in the PAC. Nobody can be declared guilty until a conclusion is reached.”

The government spokesperson said that MP Resham Chaudhary of Kailali 1, who took oath of office today, must face prosecution as per the law. As the case is sub-judice in the apex court, the government cannot comment on it.