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Cathay Pacific ends skirts only rule

Gorkha Post

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific has decided to end its 70-year-old skirts-only rule — that’s existent since the airline’s founding in 1946 — for female attendants after the flight attendants’ union won the right to wear trousers.

The current uniform for female cabin crew is an above-the-knee skirt with two slits at the back, black stockings, and black heels, which invites sexual harassment both on board planes and off.

“We welcome and appreciate the company’s decision on giving us an option in choosing uniforms,” said Pauline Mak, vice chair of the Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association.

She said many female colleagues had expressed concern over wearing short shirts while working, especially when putting passengers’ luggage into overhead compartments and also when taking public transport off duty.

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The news sees light of the day post Cathay Dragon reached an ‘understanding’ with employees that would allow all uniformed staff to choose between wearing trousers and skirts, reported the South China Morning Post.

According to the report, some 2,500 female Cathay Pacific cabin crew were in favour of wearing trousers. Cathay Pacific has about 7,000 female attendants out of a total cohort of 10,000.

With AFP Inputs

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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.

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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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