As the Tharu shutdown of the Tarai enters its 12th day, the country's economy has been dealt a major blow. Within the last year, at least 14 per cent of businesses shut down in the plains. Besides the hardships faced by 40 per cent of Nepal's population in the Tarai, hill towns are also affected by lack of supplies. A study by the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), has found that the continuous bandas in the country have crippled the economy and basic livelihood of the people. In 2008, there were 755 major strikes and bandas. In a single day of banda, the country suffers a loss of up to Rs 1 billion, while the industrial sector alone has losses of Rs 63 million a day.
Colgate Palmolive, which had been operating in Nepal for the last 11 years, has decided to close operations due to chronic labour problems as well as plummeting sales of some of its products, such as Colgate powdered toothpaste. The company plans to relocate the manufacturing units used here to India.
The historical novel written by Diamond Samsher Rana, Seto Bagh, has been adapted into an audio book by British company WAVES. Senior journalist Khagendra Nepali of the BBC Nepali Service did the voiceover. The company previously adapted BP Koirala's Atmabritanta into an audio book. The sole distributor of the CD in Nepal is Mandala Book Point, Kantipath.
BIKE: A new model of Bajaj bikes has been launched in Nepal. The Bajaj XCD 135 DTS-Si is a 135cc bike, known for its fuel economy. The model also features auto choke, a wider rear tyre for grip and springy seats. The bike is currently priced at Rs 149,900, for both disc brake and drum brake versions.