Province 5 government has decided to pick Dang as its provincial capital. A meeting of the Council of Ministers of the province on Friday approved Deukhuri of Dang district as the permanent capital of the province, according to Provincial Minister for Internal Affairs and Law, Kul Prasad KC. The proposal has been tabled at the Provincial Assembly for endorsement. The meeting also decided to pick Lumbini as the name of the province. Any proposal to determine the permanent capital city and name of the province needs to be endorsed through a two-thirds majority of the provincial assembly. According to sources close to the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), the top leaders including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Executive Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal reached an agreement to pick Deukhuri of Dang as the permanent capital of the province.
The three districts in the Kathmandu Valley witnessed as many as 1,638 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the past 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). Of the newly-confirmed cases on Friday, Kathmandu district alone added 1,280 new COVID-19 patients, while 196 other people in Bhaktapur and 162 in Lalitpur tested positive for this viral infection. This is the highest single-day spike of coronavirus infections in the Valley since the country first reported the first case on January 24 earlier this year. With this, the COVID-19 caseload in the Valley has jumped to 26,541. The three districts in the Valley are among the districts with the highest number of COVID-19 cases across the country.
Although China has time and again been saying that it stands ready to facilitate the export of Nepali goods to China, Nepali exporters have failed to benefit from this Chinese pledge due to the “stringent policies” imposed by the northern neighbor. Despite receiving repeated assurance from the Chinese authorities, Nepali goods have been facing hurdles when it comes to exporting them to China via land routes for the past few years. In addition, China has not paid any heed to revise the Nepali products under its duty-free pledge despite repeated requests made by its landlocked neighbor. China has been providing duty-free, quota-free market access to 8,030 Nepali goods. They include cooking utensils, outfits, footwear, toothpaste and brush, beauty products and toiletry, printing paper, buttons made of animal bone, animal products, medicinal oil and products, pen, daily goods made of feather and plastic products, among others. However, Nepal has failed to benefit from the offer made by China, as Nepal does not have a comparative advantage in most of the goods in this long list. So, instead, Nepal has long been requesting China to allow the export of 512 specified goods under the duty free, quota-free provision. During Prime Minister KP Oli’s visit to China in 2018, too, Nepal made a request to the Chinese government to grant an enhanced level of market access to these 512 tradable products.