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Combating corruption

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Education Minister Ram Chandra Kuswaha has been sacked and replaced by Sarbendra Nath Shukla after the former was accused of involvement in a corruption scandal. The new minister has vowed to fight corruption, reports Nepalnews:

After taking oath, Shukla told reporters that his first priority will be to make education ministry free of corruption and assure the donors that their money will not be misused.

It is unclear what kind of action will be take against the former minister accused of selling relief teachers’ vacancies. What is known is that Nepal’s “anti-corruption agencies lack clear jurisdiction”, according to a report by Global Integrity, an international corruption tracking organisation. The report says:

“By and large, the anti-graft body is protected from political interference in the current political and legal context. Traditionally, there was no system of hearing and confirmation process for this office. Under these circumstances, political influence over the appointment was bound to exist.

“There are so many instances that even the constitutional anti-graft body like CIAA and even the court decisions are influenced by powerful politicians in Nepal. The CIAA decisions have been declared invalid by the court so the CIAA has been losing case battles.”

In the meantime, the government has annulled nearly 12000 relief teacher appointments made by direct orders from the Education Ministry. It has also appointed a three-member team to investigate irregularities in the Ministry over teachers’ quotas.

While we are on the abuse of power, Nepal Electricity Authority has said VIPs, including former prime ministers Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Sher Bahadur Deuba and former home minister KP Sharma Oli, have been using its vehicles without a formal approval from the NEA board. Republica writes:

Speaking at a press meet organized at the NEA Tuesday, NEA Managing Director Dr Jivendra Jha said, “We find that the three vehicles have been provided to the VIPs on the basis of verbal orders from the government. There is no record of the NEA board taking any decision over this.”

Moreover, NEA is also meeting fuel costs of up to 240 liters per month for ex-PM Deuba. As per NEA rules, only the energy minister is entitled to such a facility. All the other NEA officials enjoy the privilege of up to 120 liters of fuel a month. Bhattarai and Oli, however, do not get any fuel from NEA.

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One Response to “Combating corruption”

  1. Shyam on Says:

    NEA is an organization which is in a massive loss gobbling up crores of tax money. It was a good move on the part of the employees to track the vehciles misused by various politicians in the country. The people should realized that a countryreeling under financial crisis and which is one of the most impoverished in the world has the luxury of providing a vehicle facility to the employees and the officers. Let us do some analysis on the economics of the facility of a vehicle. On a market value the price of a vehicle is 20,00000 lakhs. Life of the vehicle is, say, 10 years. Capital recovery per year is 200,000. The cost of operation of the vehicle is driver = 120,000, cost of fuel = 100,000, maintenance = 50000. The total cost per vehicle is 470,000 and the monthly cost is 40,000 Nepalese rupees. This amount comes out to more than the salary of the highest official of the Government. Is this fair for taxpayers for the Government to misuse such amount. The answer is flatly no, but who cares. If the lawmakers and the bureacrats start using the public transport system in Nepal, I am sure it will improve a lot. Besides that the government officials are enjoying the vehicles with a duty of 1 % which is again unfair and unjust since the general public haev to pay more than 150 percent duty on the vehicle purchase. When will such things will be realized. Our officials have been given the authority by the public to misuse wealth, power, and others.

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