Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shankar Nayak is an MP belonging to CPN (Maoist Center) from Siraha district. Nayak, who is a close aide of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, was actively involved in drafting the two constitution amendment bills (the one that has been withdrawn and the one registered in parliament last week). Republica’s Mahabir Paudyal and Ashok Dahal asked Nayak why the Madheshi parties were opposing the newly-tabled amendment bill, when it was aimed at taking them into confidence. And how will the government hold local election on May 14 in the face of Madheshi Morcha’s decision to disrupt election?

Coca-Cola, a multinational company which produces food and beverage, is not just focused on doing business. It has also been involved in different projects as per its commitment and sustainability agenda. The company is involved in projects such as water recharge, women empowerment, improving education, and water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) issues, among others, as per its sustainability agenda. Republica talked Ishteyaque Amjad, vice-president public affairs and communications and Subha Shekhar, director sustainability of Coca-Cola India Pvt Ltd (CCIPL) and India and South West Asia (INSWA) Business Unit to know more about the company's sustainable agenda. Excerpts:

Inclusion has been enshrined as a fundamental right. A Nepali can file a writ at the court if the state fails to live up to this promise. Second, the constitution has institutionalized federalism as a tool for self and shared rule. It has provided for three levels of government. The third tier, which is local government and which has direct bearing on lives of people at the grassroots, has been given special powers and functions.

Shyam Krishna Bhurtel served as a member of Local Level Restructuring Commission and has worked as an expert in Nepal’s recent efforts in decentralization. He was also involved in preparing the Local Self Governance Act (1999). Mahabir Paudyal caught up with veteran local government expert to discuss the prospects and challenges of local governance after the May 14 local election.

There are only 45 days for the much-awaited May 14 local level election. But doubts remain about whether the Election Commission will be able to successfully hold election in every part of the country on that date. What is the commission doing to dispel these doubts? And what happens if, for some reason, there can be no election in certain parts? In an interview with Republica’s Mahabir Paudyal and Bhadra Sharma, Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav assures Nepalis that election will happen on the appointed date and contingent plans are in place in case of unforeseen events.

Kenichi Yokohama, chief of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Nepal Representative Mission (NRM), has completed his tenure in Nepal. He is moving to New Delhi, India for his next assignment. Before flying to New Delhi to take over his next assignment, Yokohama talked with Kuvera Chalise of Republica on his experiences in Nepal, ADB-funded projects and the long-awaited Melamchi Water Supply Project. Excerpts:

Republica talked to Sean Lee, product director of Air Conditioning and Energy Solutions with LG Electronics Singapore and Virendra Rana, senior manager of Air Conditioning and Energy Solution with LG Electronics Singapore, to know more about ‘Multi V IV’ air conditioners. Excerpts:

Rohini Pande, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Director of Evidence for Policy Design, is reputed for her pioneering research into economic costs and benefits of informal and formal institutions in the developing world and the role of public policy in affecting change. Michael Callen, who is an assistant professor at University of California San Diego, specializes in political economy, development economics and experimental economics. The two were recently in Kathmandu to train senior government bureaucrats on designing evidence-based policies. So how does Nepal benefit from such evidence-based policy-making? And what can it learn from other countries? Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal caught up with the two while they were in the capital.

Nabindra Raj Joshi, who was the deputy mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City after the democratic movement of 1990, is the Minister for Industry. He has been actively engaged in endorsing long-stalled Acts and Policies, including SEZ Act and Company Act (Amendment), which are part of the second generation economic reforms in Nepal, through the parliament. Joshi, who has received applause from all quarters for hosting 2nd Nepal Investment Summit after a gap of 25 years, talked to Kuvera Chalise and Santosh Neupane of Republica on various issues related to business environment in Nepal. Excerpts:

After five people were killed in Saptari last Monday, Madheshi Morcha has been especially aggressive toward CPN-UML. It also withdrew its support to the Maoist-Congress coalition government after it failed to amend the constitution and postpone local level election. Is it the case that its protests are directed more at UML than the government?