THT 10 YEARS AGO: Speaker says House can declare republic

Kathmandu, April 26, 2007

Speaker Subhas Chandra Nembang said today he was ready to declare the country a republic from the parliament’s rostrum if all the parties decided to this effect.

Addressing a function organised to mark the eighth death anniversary of the first elected communist prime minister, Manmohan Adhikari, Nembang urged the parties to resolve their differences soon so that the interim parliament could start its business smoothly. Speaking at the same function, CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said the eight parties must reach a consensus to decide the future of monarchy, either by referendum or through the interim parliament, as constituent assembly polls were uncertain.

Nepal said it was possible to declare the country a republic through the interim parliament if all the constituents of the eight parties were ready to do so.

Another universally accepted process, he said, was to hold a referendum to decide the future of the monarchy, which could be held in June. “It is not necessary to wait till the constituent assembly polls to decide on the monarchy,” said Nepal, who also released a book titled “Manmohan Adhikari in Parliament” which includes Adhikari’s speeches in parliament from 1991 to 1995.

NRB readies new banking law

Kathmandu, April 26, 2007

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) is set to bring in a new Bank and Financial Institution Act with a view to facilitate mergers and acquisitions amongst financial institutions.

In the wake of opening up of Nepal’s financial sector as per the obligations made to the WTO, NRB is introducing a new umbrella act governing commercial and development banks as well as finance companies, said Krishna Bahadur Manandhar, acting governor at NRB. He was speaking at a programme organised by Independent Business News Pvt Ltd to mark its 14th anniversary on Thursday.

“The new legislation could come soon,” he informed, adding that Nepal’s commitment to Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) also requires to bring in a new law. Referring to the existing legislation, Manandhar said that the process and legal framework for mergers and acquisitions or amalgamation of financial institutions are not clearly spelled out right now. “The forthcoming law will address the current problem and pave the path for a smooth process for mergers and acquisitions,” he added. After enactment of the new law, merger of smaller and weaker institutions or acquisition of them by bigger and stronger institutions could take place smoothly, he said.

Manandhar admitted that the central bank’s recent decision to double paid-up capital requirement for financial institutions is also a part of this effort. He said financial institutions failing to meet the deadline to raise their capital would not be excused.