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ICYMI: Here are our top stories from Monday, June 24

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 24, 2019-

Here are some of the top stories from The Kathmandu Post (June 24, 2019).

How Nepal’s communications minister went from being a fierce reporter to a hardline politician against free press

For Gokul Baskota, the last twelve months have been particularly busy. Since taking the helm of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, which had been without a leader for several months before his appointment last June, Baskota has eagerly placed himself at the centre of a nonstop media storm, defending every controversial bill the government has tabled or passed—from the Medical Education Bill to the Media Council Bill and the Guthi Bill.

Last week, he made headlines again, this time for referring to guthis as “lingering remnants of feudalism” during the weekly press conference on June 13. He strongly denied making such a statement in Parliament on Friday.

But Baskota wasn’t always the way he has appeared in public since joining the KP Sharma Oli administration last year. Until ten years ago, the man who belittles and taunts the media during the administration’s weekly press briefings and at other public forums was sitting across the dais, firing a volley of questions at those in power. Baskota was a journalist.

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Government bans import of Red Bull and flavoured synthetic drinks

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies published the order to ban the import of energy drinks and flavoured synthetic drinks in the Nepal Gazette on June 17. The ministry has come up with the step as a measure to check the widening trade deficit. In the new law, Nepal has completely barred import of caffeine mixed energy drinks. With the Cabinet providing green signal to the national working guideline 2019, related to minimising the trade deficit, the ministry has issued the order.

The move is likely to affect sales of Red Bull, one of the most popular energy drinks in Nepal. On Sunday, the Indian agent of Red Bull wrote a letter to the Nepalese Embassy in India to clarify the government’s move to restrict the import of the energy drink.

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This social enterprise is tackling malnutrition, one bead at a time

Khatun is one of hundreds of mothers who have undergone an education and awareness programme on nutrition conducted by the social enterprise Social Changemakers and Innovators (SOCHAI). At the end of each programme, participating mothers are provided with the Nutribeads bracelet, which SOCHAI produces.

From 2017 to early 2019, more than 900 mothers have attended SOCHAI’s community-based learning programmes, designed to create nutritional awareness.

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China urges Nepal to wait, as Kerung-Kathmandu railway could take more than seven years to begin

Chinese railway officials have said that the much-awaited detailed project report on Kerung-Kathmandu cross-border railway will take a lot more time to materialise due to technical, engineering and geological reasons, urging Nepalis to wait.

During the fourth Nepal-China Railway Cooperation Committee meeting in Beijing, Chinese railway officials categorically told Nepali officials that they would have to determine and settle a number of technical, engineering, geological and environmental challenges before even preparing a detailed project report for the proposed railway line, according to a Nepali official present at the meeting. The official refused to be identified citing the sensitivity of the matter.

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Supreme Court clears the deck for tax authority to recover unpaid taxes from controversial businessman Sumargi

The Supreme Court on Sunday paved the way for the tax authority to collect unpaid capital gains tax from controversial businessman Ajeya Raj Sumargi for selling 75 percent of his shares in Nepal Satellite Telecom seven years ago.

The tax authority has determined tax liability of Rs4.31 billion for Sumargi after he failed to pay capital gains tax when he sold the shares to Cyprus-based Airbell Service, which was later purchased by Teliasonera, the previous owner of Ncell—the private sector telecom giant in Nepal.

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Published: 24-06-2019 19:00

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