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China announces 7.6 percent rise in defence budget

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BEIJING — China on Saturday announced the country’s lowest defence budget increase in six years in the wake of rising economic gusts and last year’s massive drawdown of service people.

According to a budget report to the national legislature annual session, the government plans to raise the 2016 defence budget by 7.6 percent to 954 billion yuan (about $146 billion), Xinhua news agency reported.

Last year, defense spending was budgeted to rise 10.1 percent to 886.9 billion yuan. On Friday, the spokesperson for China’s parliament said the 2016 ascent would be around 7 to 8 percent.

Friday’s report neither offer further breakdown of the figure nor clarify the method of reasoning behind the abated growth, albeit some officials and military experts have pointed to slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy.

General Chen Zhou linked the forecast-beating slowdown with China’s “economic and social status quo” in an interview with Xinhua.

The cut of 300,000 service people announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2015 might also have helped drive down the defence budget growth figure.

The government put this year’s growth target between 6.5 and 7 percent, compared with last year’s “approximately 7 percent” goal.

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Tenure of NA members determined though lucky draw

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KATHMANDU — Tenure of members of the National Assembly has been determined through a lucky draw method on Monday.

As per the lucky draw conducted at the Federal Parliament in New Baneshwor today, the term of opposition party Nepali Congress lawmaker Surendra Pandey has fixed for two years, while the term of Nepal Communist Party lawmaker Dinanath Sharma has been fixed for four years.

Similarly, Nainkala Ojha, Shashikala Dahal, Udaya Sharma Poudel, Shanti Kumari Adhikari, Komal Oli and Taradevi Bhatta would serve as NA members for four years.

Likewise, the tenure of members — Bina Pokharel, Pramila Kumari, Dil Kumari Rawal, Deepa Gurung, Anita Devkota, Nanda Chhapai and Indu Kadariya — was determined for six years.

The term of Sarita Prasain, Mukta Kumari Yadav, Dhan Kumari Khatiwada, Binda Devi Ale, Mina Budha, Yutal Tamang and Kamala Kumari Oli has been determined for two years.

Of the 59 NA members, 56 were elected from seven provinces—eight from each province, with three others being nominated by the President on the recommendation by the government.

All the clusters have been divided into three categories of two years, four years and six years and the lawmakers should pick one of the three categories.

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