For the past year, the bearish sweeping red flooding the secondary market in Nepal has wreaked havoc on millions of investor portfolios. The declining trend has been caused by a number socio-political factors including political instability and liquidity crunch in the banking sector as well as BFIs being forced to give out large numbers of bonus and rights shares as a result of increased paid up capital requirement. In addition to the supply demand mismatch, a recent directive released by the Inland Revenue Department further triggered a drastic reaction from investors plummeting the market by 76.02 points to a closing at 1231.64 points yesterday (10th June 2018) . This nosedive tailed the first of its kind boycott by Nepalese investors protesting an increase in the capital gains tax on bonus and right shares at the companies’ market value. Continue reading
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Why do projects rarely get done on time? How come that paper you set 3 hours aside for more often than not take you 8? Why are mega-infrastructure projects almost always over budget and still nowhere near complete on projected completion dates? Picture Melamchi, a project envisioned in the late 90s and scheduled to be completed by 2007. 11 years later in 2018, we are still facing the inconveniences of dug up roads for pipelines, the benefits yet to be reaped. Continue reading
The Nepalese public have faced the brunt of the deplorable state of public service delivery for decades. Portugal was in a similar situation before 2006. However, they saw a remarkable improvement in their public services after adopting Simplex. So exploring the model for Nepal can be a worthwhile venture. Continue reading
RINGG. RINNGGG. RINNNGGGG. Snooze. Repeat.
Most of us are unfortunately too familiar with this scenario: we set the alarm for early morning with the intention of getting some extra work/study done, squeezing in a run before getting to work or hitting the gym. However, we end up either hitting snooze till eternity or turning off the alarm altogether.
Being the rational people we are set out to be, shouldn’t we be making the most efficient choices? In this case, getting up bright and early to tackle our tasks head-on!
Richard H. Thaler’s Nobel Prize-winning Nudge Theory explains with refreshing clarity that we as human beings are wired to act on convenience rather than rationale. Simply put, we opt to do what’s easier than what’s wiser. It comes as no surprise then that the “far-sighted Planner” in us – who roots for our long-term welfare – is generally at odds with our “myopic Doer”, battle-stricken in a tightrope act of temptation vs. self-control. Continue reading
“Earlier, we had tongues but could not speak. We had feet but could not walk. Now that we have the land we have the strength to speak and walk!” This quote from women who received land titles in India’s Bodhgaya Land Rights Movement perfectly portrays how land rights empower women.
The struggle for women rights in Nepal has been an on-going battle with property rights being an important component. Although the situation as detailed below is pretty dismal, we have come a long way. From a civil code that limited inheritance rights for women and biases that determined property rights according to marital status and age, to passing of the Gender Equality Act and the Constitution forbidding gender based discrimination, thus granting daughters and sons equal rights to inherit property, progress is evident.
Furthermore, numerous progressive policies are currently in place to help increase land ownership of women. These include:
- Tax exemptions of 25%-50% (depending on geographical area) available to women during land registration, provided she does not sell the land within three years.
- 35% tax exemption for widows during land registration.
- 50% tax exemption when land is transferred within three generations of daughter or granddaughter.
- Joint Land Ownership which can be obtained for just Rs.100.
Why then is women land ownership in the country still dishearteningly low?
- Many women are unaware of the rights and benefits they possess.
- Women do not receive help in the implementation of their rights.
- Deep seated patriarchal norms make women feel that they do not need to own land, especially because of the fear that they risk divorce if they ask for land.
- Families are concerned that women owning land will deprive the family of an asset in the event of marriage or re-marriage and so they are discouraged from getting citizenship certificates.