Page last updated at 2014-10-19 19:53:48 RSS
  OPINION
Time To Heal
REPUBLICA
Transitional justice

The government has again made a commitment in the Krishna Prasad Adhikari ‘murder’ case that it cannot honor. After the health of Ganga Maya Adhikari—who had been on a fast-unto-death along with her (now deceased) husband Nanda Prasad for nearly a year—started deteriorating, the government on Saturday made a five-point commitment to get her to end her fast. Some concessions like life-long health coverage for Ganga Maya and special relief package for the Adhikari family are commendable, in that they will help cushion the loss of two of the family’s breadwinners. But its commitment to ‘book the culprits’ involved in the killing of Krishna Prasad, the 18-year-old son of the Adhikari couple allegedly killed by the Maoists in 2004, is a bit dodgy. As we have maintained in this space before, it would be very risky to investigate wartime cases piecemeal. If not, many top Maoist leaders are likely to be in the dock; and so will successive government representatives and security forces who acted with brute force against the Maoists. If this happens, the whole peace process would be in jeopardy. We urge all the stakeholders in the peace process to desist from taking this slippery slope.
Study In Failure
Arun Pandey
Agriculture development

Agriculture is still a dominant sector in Nepali economy as it still contributes around 35 percent of our GDP. It also provides direct and indirect employment to 70 percent of the population. One would thus think agriculture would be given high priority; but that is far from the case.

The reality is that today 35 districts have food deficit throughout the year. Even Tarai districts, long considered the country’s bread baskets, are gradually turning into food deficit areas. The import of food and agriculture-related products are increasing alarmingly, making the nation a net importer of agro products. Government data show agriculture comprises 18 percent of total import: Nepal imported around Rs 127 billion worth of agriculture products last year.
Markets Gamed
Chandra Prasad Luitel
How many of us have noticed that these days a pouch of hazmola—a digestive candy—has only three pieces of the candy instead of the usual four? Similarly, are we aware that the weight of noodles and other packed food items has been decreasing by two to five grams almost every year, despite the price staying the same?

This technique of microscopic manipulation in quantity, especially in grocery and edible foods, is new kind of market exploitation practiced by companies. The quality of these products was always questionable but now the manufacturers have started fiddling with quantity as well. These changes are often so negligible that a buyer prefers to remain silent, even after it comes to his/her attention. In such cases, the external packaging is done in a manner that makes the product look attractive so that consumers disregard internal changes. The other part of the story is that consumers are led to believe that packaging determines quality. After all, today’s world is all glitter and no gold.
Bank On It
Suraj Sharma
Social security

Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) reads, “Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality”. This means each member of the society has the right to social security to live a life with self-respect. To trace the history of social security, England was the first country to introduce it. Germany, however, first implemented modern social security scheme in 1889.

Social security scheme was introduced in Nepal when on December 26, 1994 the then CPN-UML government brought the Old Age Allowance Program. Currently, senior citizens, endangered races, Dalits, and single women get allowance worth Rs 500 every month. The government will provide Rs 2,000 for medical treatment of all senior citizens above 70 from this year. The disabled are also eligible for social security allowance. Fully disabled and partial disabled get Rs 1,000 and Rs 300 a month respectively.
Trail And Errors
REPUBLICA
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