Transparent dealings:

Due to the price hike in petroleum products, the cost of transportation and consumer goods has already gone up. If on the one hand, the economy is bleeding due to on-going conflict and political instability, the government has increased VAT to 13 per cent on the other.

This is going to cost the economy dearly. According to the government, the increased VAT rate is a means of compensating security expenses. At a time when the investment climate is far from settling, it is difficult to comply with this decision. On top of this, the government has recently started collecting Rs 500 as tourism service fee besides the 13 per cent VAT on it. This rate of tax exceeds that of several other countries. It can have adverse impact on the tourism industry. We also know that the government is pressurised by the donor agencies to pay back loans. This has happened because while taking loans the government blindly agrees to several contracts without understanding the repercussions of such deals. And the public is unaware of the utilisation of the money. The money is not always used in the way the public would like to. But in the end, it is the public that has to pay taxes to pay back the loans. The best way to tackle this problem is to engage in transparent deals. The officials must understand the national interest before getting into any foreign contracts.

Ramesh Neupane, Mahankal


The Himalayan Times deserves full appreciation in covering wide gamut of issues, information and entertainment alike. Its broad coverage on sports including updated results of the world cup matches — be it cricket or football — is worth mentioning. However, it fails to live up to the cricket enthusiast’s expectation at times. The on-going test series between South Africa and England has not been given enough space except for the snippet carrying only the result on January 18. Hope it will not disappoint us again and impart due coverage of the fifth and the final Test match.

Ganesh Khaniya,

Min Bhawan


The government has made a good decision by privatising the historical and ancient Dharahara and its adjoining area. This will at least mean sufficient cleanliness and conservation of this site. There are plenty of other sites too in the country which direly need renovation. If the private sector can help in taking adequate care of these sites, it is not at all a bad idea to privatise those heritage sites. However, care needs to be taken that such sites are not unduly exploited endangering those very sites that the private sector promises to take care of.

Kiran Sapkota, Kathmandu

Peace rally:

I was happy to read the news “Prachanda’s father pitches for peace” published in THT on January 18. It is a good idea that Maoist supremo Prachanda’s father will lead a peace rally soon. This will give more weight to the people’s voice for peace. But it is difficult to miss the irony of the situation. While the son is engaged in spreading terror, his father will now put all his effort for peace. Of late, the public has been unjustly subjected to a spate of strikes and a cycle of violence. Prachanda’s father’s initiative must prove fruitful during these disturbing times in several ways. We can only hope that the message will be taken positively by the son.

Ambika Bhattarai, via e-mail