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Royal Bengal tiger increased in Nepal

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GULARIYA — The number of royal Bengal tigers has increased in Nepal lately according to a representative survey carried out in Bardiya.

A census carried out in 2013 had counted as many as 120 royal Bengal tigers in Chitwan, 50 in Bardiya, 17 in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve , seven in Parsa and four in Banke.

Though the poaching of the endangered species persists, the survey has shown a satisfying growth in the number of tigers, after the tiger conservation campaign kicked off recently.

“After the establishment of Banke National Park, the conservation of tigers in Bardiya National Park has been more effective,” said Chief Warden of Bardia National Park Ramesh Thapa.

Earlier, the tigers could be spotted in various forest areas of Tarai and Chure regions. However, in recent times, the big cats have been limited to conservation areas only.

Among the nine species of tigers, Balinese tigers (Panthera tigris balica), Caspian tigers (Panthera tigris virgata), and Javan tigers (Panthera tigris sondaica) have already gone extinct.

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New govt likely to have 18 ministers

Gorkha Post

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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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