From The Nepali Press
Too many bosses
Deshanter, 21 October
FROM ISSUE #66 (02 NOV 2001 - 08 NOV 2001) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Sher Bahadur Deuba still thinks he can ensure a longer tenure by doling out perks, jobs and cash. Recently, the army wanted to buy a Super Puma helicopter. The government presented the required documents to parliament's Public Accounts Committee, which refused to authorise the purchase. The prime minister personally met the chairman of the PAC, Subash Nemwang and asked him to reconsider his decision. The jumbo 41-member cabinet is also in favour of the deal. The prime minister feels that he can ensure the long-lasting support of people and institutions if he bribes them with jobs. This was one of the main reasons why he formed such a large cabinet. People who voted for Sushil Koirala or otherwise supported him have not been made ministers. Was it necessary to form a 41-member cabinet to have the support of 57 Members of Parliament? Issues raised in the budget, as well as policies made public by the government have been overruled by the new cabinet. So, now controversy surrounds the working of the cabinet. Even if all MPs are capable enough to be ministers, the dignity and prestige of the cabinet is important. The prime minister has given some tainted people prominent posts and the public is certainly concerned-in fact, this has created a rift between the people and the government. It is wishful thinking to hope that these tainted (corrupt) people will improve the way the government functions. Not a single member of the Upper House has been made a minister. Some ministries have three ministers, 15 ministries have two ministers each. There are some ministers without portfolios, just like in Deuba's cabinet in his earlier term as prime minister. There are only four ministries with only one minister each. This jumbo cabinet will not make life easy for Deuba. Too many ministers create more confusion and problems.