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Alleged mastermind behind the 88 kg gold smuggling case, arrested

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Police have arrested an alleged mastermind behind the 88 kg gold smuggling case from Swayambhu of the Capital.

The arrestee has been identified as Man Bahadur Tamang of Rasuwa. A police team deployed from Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) has arrested him on Monday.

Tamang, the Chairman of Nepal-Kerung Business Association, is in the name list from Nepali Congress under proportional representation for upcoming elections to the House of Representatives.

On September 4, a police team deputed from the MPCD had confiscated 88kg gold worth over Rs 340 million from Chhetrapati in the Capital. Police had arrested Manoj Adhikari of Makawanpur, driver of a Tata Storme jeep which was ferrying the gold, the same day.

Police claimed that Chinese smugglers, who are on the large, used to smuggle precious yellow metal to Kathmandu with the help of Tamang.

Then on September 6, police had apprehended two drivers — Dilip Khadka and Dampa Tamang — for their alleged involvement in assisting to smuggle the gold. Khadka was rounded up from Rasuwa and Tamang from Syaphrubesi.

Later, police arrested Subha Ratna Shakya, Nanda Kumar Margala,Satya Narayan Agrawal, Ganeshdutta Badu and Dinkar Salukhe from Kathmandu in connection with the same case.

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Economy

Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to award contract for the construction of the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki hydropower project, a national pride project, to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) once again.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday has decided to award the contract for the project to CGGCL reverting the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba government’s decision to develop the 1200MW project with internal resources.

The Cabinet meeting has directed the Energy Ministry to initiate the process to award the project to the Chinese company.

Following the government decision, the Energy Ministry will now invite the Chinese company for talks and prepare a draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) before signing it, according to multiple sources at the ministry.

As per the Cabinet decision, the ministry has been asked to hold talks with the Gezhouba, prepare a proposal, and strike a deal to execute the $2.5 billion reservoir project.

Earlier on May 15, 2017, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to construct the Budhigandaki project to CGGCL, juat nine days before he was to resign from the PM’s post.

The Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to CGGCL at a cost of Rs 260 billion as per a study carried out by a French company, Tractebel Engineering.

The agreement, however, invited controversy as the project was handed to the Chinese company without initiating a competitive bidding process.

The Budhi Gandaki hydel project has been touted as a key project to resolve the perennial power crisis in the country. The government has allocated Rs18 billion for compensation payments and operational expenses for this fiscal year.

The Gorkha and Dhading district administration offices are currently distributing compensation to owners of the land taken over by the project.

More than 8,000 households will be affected by the project, according to the latest report.

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