Nepal Government Provides Information of VAT Scam

Freedom Forum, Kathmandu (October 30, 2011)

In what could be hailed as a landmark achievement in the Right to Information (RTI) movement in Nepal, the government has been compelled to provide with information about the multibillion Value Added Tax (VAT) scam adhering to the RTI laws.

The Finance Ministry on Sunday submitted the list of tax evaders to the Kathmandu-based Freedom Forum (Chaired by Yaranath Dahal) acting upon the National Information Commission (NIC)'s directive.

The NIC had issued verdict to provide with a photocopy of the VAT evasion study report-2067 BS including its annexes 1, 4 and 7 free of cost by upholding the spirit of the Right to Information (RTI Act-2007 within 15 days on October 27.

The act has clearly established the overriding effect of RTI laws by making all other laws governing VAT and Income Tax nullified, said information requester Dahal, adding that the landmark decision will help promote information culture in Nepal thereby making the public agencies more accountable to people.

The information demonstrated that some 437 reputed industries and enterprises were involved in the VAT scam.

Mr. Dahal had filed an appeal with the NIC in line with the Right to Information (RTI) Regulation-2008 on August 15 2011, citing dissatisfaction over the Finance Ministry's decision of non-disclosure of information on tax evaders.

Through the verdict, the NIC has not only issued directives to the Finance Ministry to uphold the letter and spirit of the RTI as a commitment to promote openness and transparency but also explained the overriding effect of RTI laws on other legal arrangements.

Mr Dahal, as per the Right to Information Act, had filed an application in the Finance Minister on July 10, 2011, seeking detail information the tax evaders and a complete photocopy of a report of a probe committee on VAT evasion but in vain.

After all, the act t has come to protect and promote information culture. Freedom Forum welcomes the move and urges all the information activists and media to march ahead in the greater campaign of RTI in Nepal. (Freedom Forum)

Moammar Gaddafi buried in secret desert location

By Mary Beth Sheridan, Tuesday, October 25, 3:42 PM


TRIPOLI — Former Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi was buried in a secret location on Tuesday, officials of the interim government said, ending a four-day spectacle in which his bloody body was displayed to a public celebrating his gory death as a fitting end to decades of repression.


Suliman Fortia, the representative of the city of Misurata on the national governing council, said in a telephone interview that Gaddafi’s body was put in an unmarked grave “somewhere in the desert” at dawn. Libyan officials have said they wanted to prevent his tomb being desecrated or turned into a pilgrimage site.


Western officials and human-rights groups are calling for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Gaddafi’s death in his hometown of Sirte last Thursday. Cellphone footage has shown revolutionaries punching and kicking him, and a new video obtained by Global Post appeared to show one man trying to shove a knife between Gaddafi’s buttocks as he walked, clad in a blood-spattered beige shirt and trousers, between revolutionaries.


Gaddafi’s body, along with the bodies of his son Mutassim and former Defense Minister Abu Bakr Younis, had been brought to Misurata by triumphant fighters from the city and placed in a frozen-food locker at a supermarket.


Thousands trooped by Gaddafi’s decomposing corpse in recent days, staring in wonder and loathing at the remains of the man who had ruled them for 42 years.


Mutassim Gaddafi and Younis were also buried in the desert Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.


Interim Prime Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil said Monday that he had requested an investigation, but he continued to insist that Gaddafi suffered a fatal shot to the head in an exchange of fire between his supporters and revolutionaries after he was captured. There has been no confirmation of such a firefight, however.


A spokesman for the Transitional National Council, Jalal al-Gallal, acknowledged Tuesday that “there is no particular mechanism” for an investigation. It would be extraordinarily difficult for Libya’s weak central government to conduct an impartial probe, given the popularity enjoyed by revolutionaries who killed Gaddafi.


“I wish I killed him myself. But they took this wish away from me,” said Abdul Mufta Saleh Omemi, 45, who was in a massive crowd Sunday in Benghazi celebrating the end of the eight-month war to topple Gaddafi. “As a Muslim, I’m not supposed to kill. But he forced us to do it. I’m very, very happy.” -  The Washington Post

The New Libya's First Mistake: Killing Qaddafi

Muammar Qaddafi should not have been killed, and his surviving son should be captured.

By Christopher Hitchens|Posted Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at 11:07 AM ET

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi speaks at a ceremony of loyalists to mark 34 years of "people power" in Tripoli on March 2, 2011.

Photograph by Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images.

Surrendering to a feeling of deep impotence and slight absurdity, I borrowed an iPad on Thursday afternoon and used it to send my first-ever message by this means. It was addressed to one of those distinguished Frenchmen who have been at the fore in pressing the outside world to remove Muammar Qaddafi from the obscene toadlike posture in which, for more than four decades, he has squatted on the lives of the Libyan people. Please, I wrote, intercede with your friends on the National Transitional Council, plus any other revolutionary tribunal however constituted, in order to stop the killing of the Qaddafi family and to ensure smooth passage to the dock at The Hague for those who have already been indicted for crimes against humanity.

Simple enough? It is some time since the International Criminal Court in The Hague has announced itself ready and open for business in the matter of Libya. But now Muammar Qaddafi is dead, as reportedly is one of his sons, Mutassim, and not a word has been heard about the legality or propriety of the business. No Libyan spokesman even alluded to the court in their announcements of the dictator’s ugly demise. The president of the United States spoke as if the option of an arraignment had never even come up. In this, he was seconded by his secretary of state, who was fresh from a visit to Libya but confined herself to various breezy remarks, one of them to the effect that it would aid the transition if Qaddafi was to be killed. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who did find time to mention the international victims of Qaddafi’s years of terror, likewise omitted to mention the option of a trial.



Among other things, this tacit agreement persuades me that no general instruction was ever issued to the forces closing in on Qaddafi in his hometown of Sirte. Nothing to the effect of: Kill him if you absolutely must, but try and put him under arrest and have him (and others named, whether family or otherwise) transferred to the Netherlands. At any rate, it seems certain that even if any such order was promulgated, it was not very forcefully.

At the close of an obscene regime, especially one that has shown it would rather destroy society and the state than surrender power, it is natural for people to hope for something like an exorcism. It is satisfying to see the cadaver of the monster and be sure that he can’t come back. It is also reassuring to know that there is no hateful figurehead on whom some kind of “werewolf” resistance could converge in order to prolong the misery and atrocity. But Qaddafi at the time of his death was wounded and out of action and at the head of a small group of terrified riff-raff. He was unable to offer any further resistance. And all the positive results that I cited above could have been achieved by the simple expedient of taking him first to a hospital, then to a jail, and thence to the airport. Indeed, a spell in the dock would probably hugely enhance the positive impact, since those poor lost souls who still put their trust in the man could scarcely have their illusions survive the exposure to even a few hours of the madman’s gibberings in court.

And so the new Libya begins, but it begins with a squalid lynching. News correspondents have been quite warm and vocal lately, about the general forbearance shown by the rebels to the persons and property of the Qaddafi loyalists. That makes it even more regrettable that the principle could not be honored in its main instance. At the time of writing, Seif-al-Islam Qaddafi, one of Muammar’s sons, is said to be still at large. It will be quite a disgrace if he is also killed out of hand, or if at the very least the NTC and the international community do not remind their fighters that he needs to be taken into lawful custody.

This is not to display any undue sympathy for Seif, or others on the wanted list. But he in particular is the repository of an enormous amount of potentially useful information, about the nature of the dead regime and perhaps even of the whereabouts of strategic material—to say nothing of vast illegal holdings of money that are the rightful property of the Libyan people. In more senses than one, it would be a crime to be party to this destruction of evidence. As for the usefulness of Qaddafi senior in the still-underdeveloped field of the study of megalomania, I should have said it was beyond price. And yet his numberless victims have to take such satisfaction as they can from seeing a blood-streaked and incoherent figure, handled roughly and in a panic and then put out of his misery by a shot that added exactly nothing to the security of the country.

I was in Romania on the day that Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu were hastily done away with, and I was in Mosul on the day before Uday and Qusay Hussein were surrounded and submitted to lethal shot and shell in a house from which there was no escape. In both cases, the relief felt by the general population was palpable. There can be no doubt that the proven elimination of the old symbols of torture and fear has an emancipating effect, at least in the short term. But I would say that this effect is subject to rapidly diminishing returns, which became evident in Iraq when Moqtada al-Sadr’s unpolished acolytes got the job of conducting the execution of Saddam Hussein. There are sectarian scars still remaining from that botched and sordid episode, and I shall be very surprised if similar resentments were not created among many Libyans on Thursday. Too late to repair that now. But it will be a shame if the killing of the Qaddafis continues and an insult if the summons to The Hague continues to be ignored. (Slate)

Soon, Digital Advertisers Will Have Their Eyes on Your Eyes

Have you ever eyed a pair of shoes on a website, only to find them haunting you at every next stop on the World Wide Web? Do you find it creepy? Then be prepared, because advertising online is about to become smarter.

The Economist reports that advertising companies like Realeyes are developing systems that would use your webcam to track your eye movements. If you see something you like and give a facial clue—say, smiling at that dress or pair of pants—the system will note it, and the product will keep appearing as you visit other sites. If you frown, though, the system will recognize the negative reaction and won’t serve the product for you again.

Clearly, this could raise privacy concerns. But many consumers are happy to swap personal information for something of value—even if it’s just a short web video; accordingly, the Economist suggests, “One way to persuade internet users to grant access to their images would be to offer them discounts on goods or subscriptions to websites.”

Read more on the Economist.


BIPPA Nepal India Full text


The Government of Nepal and the Government of India (hereinafter referred to as the “Contracting Parties”);

Desiring to create conditions favourable for fostering greater investments by investors of one State in the territory of the other State;

Have agreed as follows:


You can download full text here


(the following version is an excerpt published by The Kathmandu Post, on October, 25, 2011)



For the purposes of this Agreement:

(f) “territory” means:

(i) in respect of Nepal: territory falling within the sovereignty and jurisdiction of

Nepal under its constitution and international law.

(ii) in respect of India: the territory of the Republic of India including its territorial

waters and the airspace above it and other maritime zones including the

Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf over which the Republic of

India has sovereignty, sovereign rights or exclusive jurisdiction in accordance

with its laws in force, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

and International Law.



Scope of the Agreement

This Agreement shall apply to any investment by investors of either Contracting Party in the

territory of the other Contracting Party admitted in accordance with its laws and regulations,

whether made before or after coming into force of this Agreement, but shall not apply to any

dispute concerning an investment which arose, or any claim which was settled, before its entry

into force.


Promotion and Protection of Investments

(1) Each Contracting Party shall encourage and create favourable condition for investors of

the other Contracting Party to make investments in its territory, and admit such

investments in accordance with its policies, laws and regulations.


National Treatment and Most-Favoured-Nation Treatment

(1) Each Contracting Party shall accord to investments of investors of the other Contracting

Party, treatment which shall not be less favourable than that accorded either to

investments of its own investors or investments of investors of any third State.

(2) In addition, each Contracting Party shall accord to investors of the other Contracting

Party, including in respect of returns on their investments, treatment which shall not be

less favourable than that accorded to investors of any third State.

(3) The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) above shall not be construed so as to oblige one

Contracting Party to extend to the investors of the other the benefit of any treatment,

preference or privilege resulting from:

(i) any existing or future customs unions or similar international agreement to which

it is or may become a party; or

(ii) any matter pertaining wholly or mainly to taxation.



(1) Investments of investors of either Contracting Party in the territory of the other

Contracting Party shall not be subjected to nationalisation, expropriation or any other

measure having similar effects (hereinafter “expropriation”) except for reasons of public

purpose in accordance with the law, on a non-discriminatory basis and against fair and

equitable compensation.

(2) It is understood that:

(a) Indirect expropriation results from a measure or series of measures of a Contracting Party having an equivalent effect to direct expropriation without formal transfer of title or outright seizure;



Compensation for Losses

Investors of one Contracting Party whose investments in the territory of the other Contracting

Party suffer losses owing to war or other armed conflict, a state of national emergency or

insurrection or riots in the territory of the latter Contracting Party shall be accorded by the latter

Contracting Party, treatment, as regards restitution, indemnification, compensation or other

settlement, no less favourable than that it accords to its own investors or to investors of any third

State. Resulting payments shall be freely transferable.



Repatriation of Investment and Returns

Each Contracting Party shall, in accordance with its laws, permit all funds of an investor

of the other Contracting Party related to an investment in its territory to be freely

transferred, without unreasonable delay and on a non-discriminatory basis.


Settlement of Disputes between an Investor and a Contracting Party

(1) Any dispute between an investor of one Contracting Party and the other Contracting

Party in relation to an investment of the former under this Agreement shall, as far as

possible, be settled amicably through negotiations between the parties to the dispute.

(2) Any such dispute which has not been amicably settled within a period of six months

may, if both parties agree, be submitted:

(i) for resolution, in accordance with the law of the Contracting Party which has

admitted the investment to that Contracting Party’s competent judicial, arbitral or

administrative bodies; or

(ii) to international conciliation under the Conciliation Rules of the United Nations

Commission on International Trade Law.



Entry and Sojourn of Personnel

A Contracting Party shall, subject to its laws in force, relating to the entry and sojourn of noncitizens,

permit natural persons of the other Contracting Party and personnel employed by

companies of the other Contracting Party to enter and remain in its territory for the purpose of

engaging in activities connected with investments.



Applicable Laws

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, all investments shall be governed by the

laws in force in the territory of the Contracting Party in which such investments are



Denial of Benefits

(1) A Contracting Party may deny the benefits of this Agreement to an investor of the other

Contracting Party and to investments of that investor, if persons of a non-Party own or

control such investor and the denying Contracting Party:

(i) does not maintain diplomatic relations with such non-Party; or

(ii) adopts or maintains measures with respect to such non-Party that prohibit

transactions with the investor or that would be violated or circumvent if the

benefits of this Agreement were accorded to the investor or to its investments;


Duration, Termination and Amendment

(1) This Agreement shall remain in force for a period of ten years and thereafter it shall be

deemed to have been automatically extended unless either Contracting Party gives to the

other Contracting Party a written notice of its intention to terminate the Agreement. The

Agreement shall stand terminated one year from the date of receipt of such written


(2) Notwithstanding termination of this Agreement pursuant to paragraph (1) of this Article,

the Agreement shall continue to be effective for a further period of ten years from the

date of its termination in respect of investments made or acquired before the date of

termination of this Agreement.

(3) This Agreement may be amended by the mutual consent of the parties through the

exchange of diplomatic notes.

Done at New Delhi, on this 21st days of October, 2011.

For the Government of Nepal


Anil Kumar Jha

Minister for Industry

For the Government of India


Pranab Mukherjee

Ministry of Finance


Joint Press Statement on Visit of PM of Nepal to India

October 23, 2011


The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Nepal, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai accompanied by his spouse, Hon. Ms. Hisila Yami paid an official visit to India from October 20-23, 2011 at the invitation of Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. The Prime Minister of Nepal was accompanied by Hon. Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha "Prakash", Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mr. Jaya Prakash Prasad Gupta, Minister for Information and Communications, Hon. Mr. Hridayesh Tripathi, Minister for Physical Planning and Works, Hon. Mr. Rajendra Mahato, Minister for Health and Population, Hon. Mr. Barsha Man Pun, Minister for Finance, Hon. Mr. Mahendra Prasad Yadav, Minister for Irrigation, Hon. Mr. Anil Kumar Jha, Minister for Industry, Hon. Mr. Deependra Bahadur Chhetri, Vice-Chairman, National Planning Commission, Hon. Mr. Hari Roka, Member, Legislature-Parliament, Hon. Mr. Om Prakash Yadav, Member, Legislature-Parliament and senior officials of the Government of Nepal. 

2. The Prime Minister of Nepal called on the President and the Vice-President of India. Shri S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance, Shri P. Chidambaram, Minister of Home Affairs, Shri A. K. Antony, Minister of Defence, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition and other Indian dignitaries called on the Prime Minister of Nepal. 

3. The Prime Minister of Nepal had a meeting with the Prime Minister of India followed by delegation-level talks. During the talks, the two Prime Ministers reviewed the state of bilateral relations and exchanged views on ways and means to further expand and consolidate the close, multi-faceted relations between the two countries. The talks were held in an atmosphere of utmost cordiality and warmth. The Prime Minister of India and Smt. Gursharan Kaur hosted a dinner in honour of the Prime Minister of Nepal and Mrs. Hisila Yami. 

4. The Prime Minister of Nepal elucidated on the peace process and constitution drafting. He appreciated and expressed thanks to the Government and the people of India for their support and expressed hope to receive India’s goodwill and understanding for Nepal's peace process and continued cooperation for its socio-economic development. The Prime Minister of Nepal also highlighted his ongoing efforts for consensus building on the peace process of Nepal. The Prime Minister of India expressed full support for efforts to build consensus on the peace process and constitution drafting to pave way for Nepal's transition to an inclusive, multiparty democracy in Nepal. 

5. The two Prime Ministers directed that all the bilateral institutional mechanisms be revitalized and convened regularly. They directed early meetings of the Joint Ministerial Commission on Water Resources and Home Secretaries. 

6. The Nepalese side assured that the Government of Nepal would take further measures for creating and promoting an investor-friendly and enabling business environment to encourage Indian public and private sector investments in Nepal. The two Prime Ministers directed the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) of Commerce Secretaries to convene at the earliest with a view to identifying ways and means of further strengthening mutually beneficial trade and investment ties between the two countries and look into all trade and transit related issues, including trade imbalance, remaining issues of Trade Treaty, Nepal's request for waiver of 4% additional customs duty, issue of fixation of additional one-time lock by Indian customs between Kolkata/Haldia Port and Nepal and operationalisation of Vishakhapatnam port for Nepal’s trade. With regard to the issue of Duty Refund Procedure (DRP) under the new Treaty of Trade, the Indian side assured that the necessary notification in this regard is expected to be issued shortly. 

7. The two sides directed the relevant officials to hold comprehensive review of the Rail Services Agreement at the earliest to enhance cooperation in the field of railways and explore movement of additional stream of wagons to/from Birgunj ICD in Nepal. The two sides agreed to expeditiously complete procedural requirements for operationalisation of rail transit facility through Rohanpur-Singhabad and transit between Vishakhapatnam and Nepal. 

8. In response to Nepal's request for increase in the quantum of electricity export to 200 MW to cope with the power deficit during the dry season, the Indian side conveyed readiness to supply maximum electricity possible on existing transmission lines and suggested that technical experts of the two countries should meet to explore the options available for enhancing electricity trade between India and Nepal. With reference to the draft MOU on cross-border interconnection for electric power trade, the Indian side conveyed that it would expeditiously examine the draft. 

9. The two sides reiterated that the open border between Nepal and India has greatly facilitated exchanges among the peoples of both countries, and that it is equally important to manage the border effectively and efficiently to control cross-border criminal activities. The two sides discussed security concerns related to the open border between the two countries. The Nepalese side assured that it would not allow its territory to be used for any activity against India and the Indian side also gave the same assurance to the Nepalese side. 

10. The two Prime Ministers committed to extend all necessary support to facilitate expeditious completion of construction of roads, rail links and the Integrated Check Posts in the India-Nepal border areas. 

11. The Nepalese side requested the Government of India to allow three additional inbound air routes from Janakpur, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj in view of increased air traffic to and from Nepal and for facilitating international air service from the regional airports of Nepal in cost effective manner. The Indian side proposed a meeting of the civil aviation authorities of Nepal and India to discuss and address various issues in this sector. 

12. The Prime Minister of Nepal requested the Prime Minister of India for India's assistance in implementing priority development projects in Nepal. The Indian side indicated willingness to favorably consider priority development projects in various sectors as requested by Nepal and suggested that these may be reviewed and considered in detail at a meeting of the Joint Commission at the earliest. 

13. The Prime Minister of India offered to increase the ITEC slots for Nepal to 200 every year. 

14. In presence of the two Prime Ministers, the Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investments, Agreement for dollar credit line of US$ 250 million between Government of Nepal and Export-Import Bank of India and Memorandum of Understanding regarding Indian grant assistance of ` 1.875 crore for the goitre control programme in Nepal were signed. 

15. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the two sides have considered and reached agreement on the text of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and committed to sign the DTAA at the earliest possible on completion of the respective legal procedures. 

16. The two sides expressed concern at the human suffering and loss of lives and property caused by floods and inundation at the border areas during the monsoon and agreed to strengthen coordination and consultation to deal with the problem. They agreed that the Joint Ministerial Commission and Joint Commission on Water Resources should convene at the earliest and discuss the current pressing issues and identify the measures for immediate correction. 

17. The two sides agreed to further promote exchange of Parliamentarians. 

18. The two sides proposed establishment of an Eminent Persons Group to look into the totality of India-Nepal relations and suggest measures to further expand and consolidate the close, multi-faceted relations between the two countries. The modalities of the proposed Group would be worked out through mutual consultation at the earliest. 

19. Both sides noted that the multi faceted and deep rooted relationships between the two countries needed further consolidation and expansion in a forward looking manner to better reflect the current realities.

It was in this broader context that the two Prime Ministers agreed to review, adjust and update the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship and other agreements,

while giving due recognition to the special features of the bilateral relationship. A High-Level Committee at the level of Foreign Secretaries will be set up for this purpose. 

20. The Prime Minister of Nepal addressed a business luncheon meeting jointly organised by ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI and attended a programme at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. 

21. The Prime Minister of Nepal also visited Dehradun and visited the State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarkhand in Haridwar. The Hon’ble Governor of Uttarkhand hosted a lunch in honour of the Prime Minister. 

22. The Prime Minister of Nepal renewed the invitation to the Prime Minister of India to pay an official visit to Nepal at an early date. The Prime Minister of India accepted it with pleasure. The dates of the visit will be decided through diplomatic channels. 

New Delhi 
October 23, 2011


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