From The Nepali Press
Dristi, 1 October
FROM ISSUE #114 (04 OCT 2002 - 10 OCT 2002) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Employees' Association-2051 has decided not to let Assistant Minister for Water Resources Birendra Kanoudia enter the office premises unless he stops looting the corporation. The Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills in Kapilvastu, in which Kanoudia has investments, has not paid electricity dues adding up to about Rs 7 million. The minister is said to have told employees at the sugar factory to "stop paying the electricity bills," soon after he was appointed about a year ago. Even prior to that, the factory had not paid its bills, according to NEA sources. The minister is also believed to have asked his relatives to not pay their electricity bills, saying that he would settle them "from the ministry." [The paper names the relatives and the amounts overdue.] The minister is already "blacklisted" by the Rastriya Banijya Bank, and last year the military patrol at Bhairahawa customs impounded vehicles smuggled by him. He now uses a number of vehicles belonging to the NEA. The employees' association had tried to get the management to get the minister to pay up. Since that did not work, they took matters into their own hands. The association asked the minister to pay his dues by 6 September. When that did not happen, they decided to prevent him from entering the NEA premises. They have promised to take more severe measures if action is not taken against the minister.