THT 10 years ago: Hurdles cleared for interim govt; new entity likely today

Kathmandu, March 29, 2007

Top leaders of the four major political parties — Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist and NC-D — today reached an understanding regarding the formation of an interim government before the Prime Minister leaves for New Delhi to take part in the 14th SAARC summit scheduled for April 3-4.

Sources within the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML claimed that the interim government could be formed by tomorrow evening, if everything went according to plan.

An NC source told this daily that a seven or nine-member cabinet could be announced if the seven-party leaders and the Maoists agreed on it. The UML and the Maoists are learnt to have pressed the PM to form a full-fledged government at one go. A UML leader said that NC still staked claim on the Home, Defence and Finance ministries.

“We proposed that the Home ministry be given to a member of the civil society who can handle the home administration impartially during the constituent assembly polls,” said UML standing committee member Jhala Nath Khanal who met the PM.

Sources said the leaders had agreed to hold assembly elections in mid-June, make necessary amendments in the interim constitution along with a provision to take action against the king by a majority of two-thirds vote of the interim parliament, restructure the Election Constituency Delineation Commission as per a consensus and keep a provision for deputy PMs.

Govt plans to install own ‘security press’

Come next year, the government will have its own ‘security press’ in the country for the first time. The three year-old plan to set up the same was on the priority list under the Secondary Education Support Programme (SESP). Rs 16 crore, 10 lakh for the project is being funded by the Asian Development Bank(ADB) and Danida.

While the ADB has provided 55 per cent of the funds as soft loan, Danida has provided the rest as a grant. “The security press is being installed for printing question papers for the School Leaving Certificate and other examinations and other confidential documents,” chief of the Physical Service Department, Department of Education, Shambhu Prasad Upreti, told this daily today.

“If all goes as planned, we will have the press by next year,” he added. After the press is set up, the government will not have to rely on neighbouring countries for printing question papers and other confidential government documents and will eventually save funds.

The government has been printing the SLC question papers in India for the past many decades, except last year when the question papers worth Rs 2 crore were printed.