Kathmandu, June 12, 2006 The International Labour Organisation, Nepal, along with trade unions and a number of local non-government organisations working in the field of child labour took out a rally from Basantapur this morning to mark the World Day against Child Labour. A large number of children took part in the rally many with the hope of getting a white cotton Tshirt with the slogan ‘The End of Child Labour: Within Reach.’ The rally went around the city and converged in the Academy Hall for other programmes. Pracha Vasuprasat, officer in charge of ILO Nepal, emphasised on the need to make a joint endeavour to put an end to child labour. He said progress was being made in the field. “If we come together to tackle the problem timely, we can put an end to it,” he said. “This lady brought me to the rally. I am already bored here,” 12-year-old Prakash Rana Magar, said, pointing at a lady. He said he has been living in the streets of Thamel for the past two years since he left home in Sindhupalchowk. Embarrassed with his comment, the lady who said she was associated with an NGO, Sath Sath, refused to say anything. Shyam Sundar Shrestha, the joint secretary of the Ministry of Children Women and Social Welfare, said the government has adopted “zero tolerance” towards exploitation of children. He said there is not a single instance of a person being punished for forcing children to undertake hazardous work.
NRB moots Nepali investment abroad The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), as an economic advisor to the government, has proposed that skilled Nepalis, who are capable to compete in foreign countries, should be allowed to invest abroad. NRB, in its budget suggestions for fiscal year 2006-07 submitted to the ministry of finance (MoF) recently, has suggested the government to annul the Foreign Investment Restriction Act (FIRA) and allow Nepalis to invest abroad as some Nepalis are taking interest in that direction, informed an NRB source to The Himalayan Times. This is the first time the central bank is suggesting the government to allow Nepalis to expand their investment sphere out of the country. NRB, also as a monetary authority of Nepal, has been facing various problems. Nepal does not have a sophisticated capital market and growth rate is low compared to India. Against this backdrop, NRB has suggested the government to introduce ‘corporate bonds’ either from the government side or the private sector, to safely park the money for a period of at least 20 to 30 years and mobilise capital, informed a source. “There should be a provision in the Company Act to facilitate corporate bonds to avoid legal hurdles.” NRB has unofficially been talking about merger and acquisitions in banks and finance companies,as they will be facing survival threats in post-WTO membership era.