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Nepal announces its annual budget

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Kathmandu: The Nepalese government unveiled the annual budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year on Tuesday with a total amount of 819.468 billion Nepalese rupees (about $8.11 billion) focusing on the reconstruction of thousands of earthquake-damaged infrastructures.

The annual budget was announced by Nepal’s Finance Minister Ramsharan Mahat in parliament in the presence of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, leaders from major political parties and high-ranking officials, Xinhua reported.

Ram_Sharan_Mahat_20140806084608
Image Source: www.ekantipur.com

Mahat said that the government has given top priority to the reconstruction of damaged infrastructures including private and public buildings as well as rehabilitation of tens of thousands of earthquake – hit people.

According to the budget, the Nepalese government has allocated 74 billion Nepalese rupees (about $733 million) to the National Reconstruction Fund set up by the government.

Highlighting the need of reconstruction efforts to be carried out in the next five years, Mahat also said that the National Reconstruction Authority will get full shape as soon as possible.

The Nepalese government recently announced its plan to set up the National Reconstruction Authority under the leadership of the prime minister which will be mainly responsible for the country’s reconstruction and rehabilitation within next five years.

“We will not let people of earthquake-hit areas feel insufficiency of budget at all,”the finance minister said.

Nepal’s National Planning Commission has estimated that Nepal needs approximately $7 billion for the reconstruction.

“The government will leave no stone unturned to revive tourism in the nation,” the minister said.

Besides deployment of government employees in the reconstruction process, the government has planned to train as many as 50,000 youths for the same. “The heritage sites which were severely damaged and shattered by the earthquake will be restored,” he added.

Nepalese_Children

The Nepalese government unveiled the annual budget after the massive earthquakes hit the Himalayan nation on April 25 and May 12 which claimed around 9,000 lives and leaving another 22,000 injured.

In addition to the country’s reconstruction, the Nepalese government has allocated budget in the areas of agriculture, education, health, tourism, infrastructure development, connectivity and construction of hydro-power projects among others.

Breaking the previous trends, the Nepalese government has not increased perks and salaries of civil servants. According to the ministry of general administration, there are about 75,000 civil servants in Nepal at various government bodies. (IANS)

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9 Climbers Pulled From Snow After A Sudden Storm On Mount Gurja, Nepal

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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Mount Gurja
Tourists take pictures at Sarangkot in Pokhara, with the view of the Mount Annapurna range in the background, some 200 km (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nov. 30, 2008. Annapurna, at 8,091 meters high, is the 10th highest mountain in the world.. VOA

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp where the South Korean climbing expedition was staying when powerful winds and snow swept through, killing the entire team and scattering their bodies as far as 500 meters (yards) away.

“All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down,” said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

Mount Gurja
A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp.

A second helicopter along with a team of rescue specialists and villagers were also involved in the mission, which has been hampered by strong winds as well as the camp’s remoteness in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

The bodies of the climbers, five South Koreans and four Nepalis, will be flown to Pokhara, a tourist hub that serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region, and then to Kathmandu, said Yogesh Sapkota of Simrik Air, a helicopter company involved in the effort.

‘Like a bomb went off’

The expedition’s camp was destroyed by the powerful storm, which hit the area late Thursday or Friday, flattening all the tents and leaving a tangled mess of tarpaulin and broken polls.

“Base camp looks like a bomb went off,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a U.S.-based emergency assistance group that will be helping with the retrieval effort.

Mount Gurja
Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal, organised the expedition

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Experts puzzled

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

Also Read: Nepal Saves Its Tiger Population, Doubles It

“At this point we don’t understand how this happened. You don’t usually get those sorts of extreme winds at that altitude and base camps are normally chosen because they are safe places,” Richards said.

The team had been on 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) Mount Gurja since early October, hoping to scale the rarely climbed mountain via a new route. (VOA)