MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
Deputy PM Sujata Koirala spent one million rupees on gifts for colleagues and other officials on her trips to Egypt, Portugal and India as foreign minister. To make this less apparent, all expenses were tallied under the miscellaneous section of her budget for the trip. Sources state that meeting these officials was not even planned beforehand. All details about the items purchased along with the names of the recipients have been disclosed in a bill that adds up to a startling Rs 926,000.
The 'gifts' included expensive silver utensils with her name engraved on them. Others at the ministry found this extravagance in Koirala unusual because no former foreign ministers have gone to such excesses in buying items for their tours abroad. Past foreign ministers would simply present a souvenir that reflected something about Nepali culture: a handicraft, pashmina or a khukuri.