Some financial reform measures may be on his checklist but Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand's aides seem unaware of them. They have been disbursing funds with abandon from the national coffers.
Chand's official and even a few unofficial advisers are playing the national treasury for what it's worth. Take the appointment of Sharad Chandra Shah (pic, below) as Chand's adviser. That took place almost six months ago and was only made public recently. Shah earned something of a reputation in the Panchayat era for his underground gang, and now, it seems he is performing his duty as adviser to the premier still very much away from the public eye.
The Nepal Rajpatra published earlier this month shows Shah has been receiving a salary and rent, telephone and a fuel allowance to the tune of Rs 50,000 every month. Chand's two other advisers, Prem Bahadur Bhandari and Jit Bahadur Kunwar, are also maintained on that scale at the state's expense.
His other aides include senior experts like Khagendra Poudyal, Min Bahadur Pal, Sher Bahadur Khatri, Nandalal Chataut and Gita Bhakta Joshi who receive Rs 14,000 every month apart from telephone and fuel allowances. Add to that other expenses like exorbitant bills from expensive restaurants and comandeering official vehicles for family members. As if that were not enough, Chand has recruited an army of unnecessary assistants at his official residence in Baluwatar.
Since the boss himself is squandering national funds, his colleagues in the cabinet are following suit. Almost all of them have appointed many advisers and assistants, burdening our already depleted financial resources.