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News Section

By Usman Khan

Advertising helps customers to select products and services from manifold sellers, and it allows new contestants in the market to increase grip if the product is superior in quality to that of the incumbent. When the free flow of information is blocked, then it gives an unnecessary advantage to the established companies in stifling competition, which eventually lower the quality of products and services

Most Nepalese have been watching TV, that is, international channels without commercials and advertisements for nearly two years now. Article 6 of the Advertisement (Regulations) Act, 2019 specifies that foreign channels will have to broadcast without advertisements (clean feed) in Nepal

Nepal is a country that depends on importation for a maximum of its commodities as well as extra goods, mainly from neighboring countries. Nepal is deprived of the essential worth offer of the product, which is the basic function of advertisement and a subcategory of marketing.

Nepal imports shampoos, toilet paper, face wash, over-the-counter drugs and a host of other daily essential items, but the government does not want to let the Nepalese vendors know what the manufacturer is offering in exchange for the money. In principle, they are deprived of the basic prerogative of being a consumer.

It is a right of consumers in a free-market capitalist system to have access to information regarding products and services in a transparent way in order to make impartial and good decisions. One of the ways in which manufacturers provide valuable and necessary information to a target consumer is through TV advertisements. All other social media sources of ahead of it.

As such, when the government blocks access to valuable information in a market economy, then it means that it is pushing the system to a state of downfall and failure. First, the consumer does not know what products are there in the market. One of the hallmarks of modern entrepreneurship is the fast stride at which innovation happens and equally the speedy pace at which these advanced products come to the market and in the hands of the consumer.

This is facilitated not only by state-of-the-art supply chain management but also by an intense understanding of the products by the consumers. Advertising and publicity play a critical role in enlightening the possible customers concerning the principal advantage of the product and services.

Publicity helps customers to select products and services from multiple vendors, and it allows new entrants in the market to gain traction if the product is superior in quality to that of the incumbent.

When the unrestricted stream of information is blocked, then it gives an unjustifiable advantage to the recognized companies amid stuffy rivalry, which lastly lowers the eminence of products and services which hurt the consumers. Moreover, due to the current law, consumers are put through the agonizing pain of watching the repeated and monotonous programmed advertisements from the channels themselves.

The whole idea behind watching a television program is to get a sense of opportune experience, which transfers as a form of entertainment, and this law seems to deliberately squash the quintessential feature of watching a manufactured entertainment.

Watching a TV ad is in itself a form of entertainment. Imagine the kind of creativity that goes into conveying a value of a product in an entertaining manner. We are deprived of this aesthetic endeavor, which is the spirit and lifeblood of modern free-market capitalism. The purported benefit of the law is to provide impetus to Nepal's advertising market.

Accordingly, this law is to grant employment opportunities to a multitude of Nepali actors, content writers, graphic designers and a host of other creative talents. Even so, the law was executed in a quick manner without adequate foresight and planning as it need to have enough infrastructure in place to create engaging marketable content for international brands.

Without gaining sufficient insight from the consumers, who are directly affected by the Act, the government seems to have hastily enacted a law that has huge repercussions on the future of the free market in Nepal. Cynics of the law might say that television is an outdated form of media, and digital media is the future.

A developing country like Nepal cannot afford weak consumer protection laws to subdue the vitality of the free market with oppressive laws. In this regard, the clean feed policy of Nepal’s government seems to undermine this rudimentary spirit of joining the free market at the cost of the customers.

JEDDAH, 28 June 2022, (TON): Four Arab states, the US and Israel agreed to forge closer ties and hold annual foreign ministers’ meetings amid a flurry of diplomatic activity before US President Joe Biden’s first visit to the Middle East.

The UAE, Egypt, Morocco and Bahrain took part in Monday’s six-country talks in Manama, following a summit in the Negev desert in March.

The aim is to drive closer cooperation in areas including security, clean energy, and food and water security.

A joint statement also expressed the group’s support for a negotiated settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Foreign ministers from the six countries are expected to meet annually and there will be further talks this year.

Foreign ministers from the six countries are expected to meet annually and there will be further talks this year.

ISTANBUL, 28 June 2022, (TON): Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said “Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will attend a round of talks with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, as well as NATO on Tuesday ahead of the summit in Madrid.”

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Ankara.

Speaking to broadcaster Haberturk, Kalin said he and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal would also attend another round of talks with Swedish and Finnish delegations in Brussels.

He said “there will be a four-way summit at the leader level with the attendance of our president in Madrid upon the request of the NATO secretary general.”

SEOUL, 28 June 2022, (TON): A top South Korean official said Monday that North Korea is increasingly targeting the South with its nuclear arms program, and urged China and Russia to persuade the North not to conduct a widely expected nuclear test.

Unification Minster Kwon Youngse’s comments came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un re-emphasized his nuclear ambitions in a key military meeting last week and approved unspecified new operational duties for front-line army units.

Experts say North Korea could be planning to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons along its tense border with South Korea.

During a prolonged stalemate in nuclear diplomacy, North Korea has spent much of the past three years expanding its arsenal of short-range solid-fuel missiles that are potentially capable of evading missile defenses and striking targets throughout South Korea, including US bases there.

MADRID, 28 June 2022, (TON): Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “NATO will increase the number of its forces at high readiness massively to over 300,000.”

He told reporters ahead of a NATO summit in Madrid later this week in Madrid “we will transform the NATO response force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000.”

NATO’s quick reaction force, the NATO response force, so far has some 40,000 troops.

At the Madrid summit, NATO will also change its language on Russia that in the alliance’s last strategy from 2010 was still described as a strategic partner.

LONDON, 28 June 2022, (TON): The UK government announced “Gulf Cooperation Council nationals will no longer be required to apply for a visa before visiting Britain from 2023.”

Under Britain’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme, rolling out next year, nationals from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will join Americans and Canadians in benefiting from visa-free travel.

Home secretary Priti Patel said “this move means that Gulf states will be among the first countries in the world to benefit from ETAs and visa-free travel to the UK.”

“Our number one priority is the security of the UK border and by launching ETAs we can ensure that everyone wishing to travel to the UK has permission to do so in advance of travel and refuse those who pose a threat.”

KYIV: Russian long-range bombers fired a missile that struck a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk, raising fears of what President Volodymyr Zelensky called an unimaginable number of victims in “one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history.”

Zelenskky said more than 1,000 civilians were inside the mall, with many managing to escape. Images from the scene showed giant plumes of black smoke, dust and orange flames, with emergency crews rushing in to search broken metal and concrete for victims and put out fires.

Onlookers watched in distress.

The casualty figures were difficult to determine as rescuers searched the smoldering rubble. The regional governor, Dmytro Lunin, said “at least 13 people were dead and more than 40 wounded.”

At Ukraine’s request, the UN Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting in New York on Tuesday to discuss the attack.

CAIRO, 28 June 2022, (TON): The state-run news agency said “Bahraini Royal Court says Egyptian President to visit kingdom on Tuesday, will hold talks with King.” 

Bahrain news agency said “King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa will receive President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his accompanying delegation upon his arrival in Bahrain tomorrow.”

During  the visit, the leaders will hold talks related to bilateral relations, in addition to the latest developments on the regional, Arab and international arenas.

MADRID, 28 June 2022, (TON): NATO leaders will urge Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to lift his veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance when they meet for a three-day summit, as the West strives to send Russia and China a signal of resolve.

Taking place in the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Madrid gathering comes at a pivotal moment for the transatlantic bond after failures in Afghanistan and internal discord during the era of former US President Donald Trump, who threatened to pull Washington out of the nuclear alliance.

Diplomats said “negotiations among an often-fractious organization are still under way but leaders also hope to agree to provide more military aid to Ukraine, increase joint defense spending, cement a new resolve to tackle China’s military rise and put more troops on stand-by to defend the Baltics.”

Spain, whose king will host a dinner for leaders, is also pushing for more NATO focus on the southern flank to address migration and militant groups in the Sahel region of Africa.

DHAKA, 28 June 2022, (TON): The government has sought $1 billion in loans as a budgetary support from the World Bank to contain the rising inflation in the country.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has pushed the inflation up everywhere in the world.

According to the Economic Relations Division officials “a formal letter seeking the loan has been sent to the World Bank in the past week following recommendations by the finance division, which is now facing pressure to maintain ballooning subsidy on fertilizer, food and energy.”

The amount of subsidy on energy and fertilizer is likely  to be Tk 50,000 crore in the new financial year following the price hike of those items in the international market while the monthly inflation in the country hit over 7 per cent in May, highest in the past one decade. 

The ERD officials said “the finance division would hold talks on the World Bank conditions for the proposed budgetary support.”

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