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PM presses for propagating Buddha’s teachings

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KATHMANDU — Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has urged the Lumbini Buddhist University (LBU) to spread the teachings of Lord Buddha to deliver the lessons at the doorstep of each and every member of the public.

Addressing the 7th University Senate of the LBU here in Kathmandu today, PM Oli, spoke of the need for the University to introduce scholarly programmes that promote use of the useful teachings of Lord Buddha.

Oli, who is also the LBU Chancellor, underscored the production of competent and quality human resources from the University.

Meanwhile, in a meeting held at the PM’s official residence at Baluwatar today itself, Minister for Education Giriraj Mani Pokharel pledged that the government would provide its support to the University for the development of its physical infrastructure.

The LBU Vice-chancellor Prof Dr Naresh Man Bajracharya said that the University anticipated additional support for the physical infrastructure and educational programmes as per a master plan of the University.

The meeting has estimated a budget of around Rs 33 million for the University for the fiscal year 2016/017.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

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KATHMANDU — The new government is likely to have 15 to 18 ministries in total as Prime mInister KP Sharma Oli is preparing to give his cabinet a full shape.

As per discussion between Prime Minister Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the government may include Madhes-based parties to make the government inclusive and have two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

According to Article 76 (9) of the constitution, the number of ministers cannot exceed 25 in the federal Cabinet. With the new constitution limiting the size of Council of Ministers to 25, the new governing team could be limited to 18 members including three state ministers. A formal decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Speaking at a program organised in Kathmandu on Tuesday, UML leader Pradeep said: “Cabinet expansion is likely to take place on Wednesday. A few Maoist ministers will be joining the Oli government.”

“Our taskforce has recommended that the government form a 15-member Cabinet. Some of the ministries will be integrated and others scrapped.”

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Ishwor Pokhrel, Pradeep Gyawali, Rabindra Adhikari, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal and Padma Aryal are the probable ministerial candidates from the UML.

Like3wise, Maoist chair Dahal and senior CPN-MC leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa have been given the responsibility of selecting ministers from their party.

Probable ministerial candidates from the Maoist Centre include Ram Bahadur Thapa, Matrika Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, Devendra Poudel, Lekhraj Bhatta, Chakrapani Khanal, Pun, Girirajmani Pokhrel and Dev Gurung, according to the sources.

Thapa may lead the CPN-MC in the government as deputy prime minister. Yadav is being considered for appointment since he represents Madhes, Bhusal as a woman while Poudel is one of the leaders who joined the party lately. Poudel had left the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party to join the Maoist Centre just ahead of unification talks with the UML.

Leaders involved in discussions said the Maoist Centre could appoint up to eight ministers if the Cabinet size does not exceed 18.

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