Kathmandu, December 29, 2006 CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal today ridiculed political parties which have not yet decided whether or not to ask people to vote for republic in the election to constituent assembly. “Certain parties have not yet decided what they would be asking the people to vote for in the election to constituent assembly. We are the only party in the alliance which have done it already,” Nepal said while addressing a rally of the Nepal Republican Newa Sangh in the capital today. Nepal, who said this while insinutating at the Nepali Congress (NC) and NC (D), was of the view that certain parties are not yet aware of the fact that two-third of voters favour a republican order. “In fact, all this (nation going to a republican order) had become apparent even during the early phase of the mass uprising with all the demonstrators baying for abolition of monarchy,” Nepal said, adding that the political parties which are in favour of retaining the monarchy in some form or the other will be rubbished by the people. Nepal, who has long been insisting that the there should be referendum along with election to constituent assembly to decide the fate of monarchy, also said that the nation was already heading towards a republican order even if not many bother to decide the fate of monarchy in a referendum. “One thing is for sure: No one can make a controversy of the outcome of the constituent assembly.

Nepali tea producers urged to expand market Nepali tea is, no doubt, winning the hearts of consumers across the globe. However, domestic tea producers are still awaiting better marketing strategy to boost production volume to meet increasing demands — both in the domestic and the global market. The current production of orthodox tea in Nepal stands at 1.6 million kg and CTC at 11 million kg. Of the total 1.6 million kg of orthodox tea produced in Nepal over 96 per cent is exported overseas, according to tea producers. Only a nominal volume is consumed at the local market. “Rest of the domestic demand has been fulfilled by CTC tea,” said producers at a programme organised by the Himalayan Orthodox Tea Producers Association (HOTPA) held here today. “The domestic tea has immense market potentials, however, lack of research and development (R&D) has been a major obstacle in market expansion,” according to the producers. Prof Som Prasad Gauchan, a tea connoisseur, said that Nepal is self-sufficient in tea production. However, the market is flooded with imported tea due to lack of market promotion with effective marketing strategies.