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Parliament passes condolence motion on Koirala’s demise

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Parliament meeting on Thursday endorsed the condolence motion on the demise of Parliamentary Party leader of main opposition Nepali Congress and former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

Speaker Onsari Gharti tabled the motion which was passed unanimously. The meeting has expressed deep sorrow over the demise of Member of Parliament and the former Prime Minister and also the leader of the main opposition party, stating that he had played a vital role in drafting and amending the new constitution.

The motion further reads that he had a clean political image and was a man of simplicity.

The motion states that former PM Koirala was the main opposition leader who was elected to the parliament in 2048 BS and 2056 BS from Banke and to the constituent assembly (CA) in 2070 BS from Banke-3 and Chitwan-4.

The motion further expresses deep sympathies to the bereaved family. The meeting also observed a minute’s silence in memory of Koirala.

Koirala died at the age of 76 on Tuesday early morning and was cremated on Wednesday at Pashupati Aryaghat with state honors.

Koirala served as Nepal’s 37th Prime Minister from February 2014 to October 2015.

The next meeting of the parliament is scheduled for 11:00 am on Tuesday.

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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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