House panel proposes limiting facilities to former Top Fives

KATHMANDU: The Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Parliament on Sunday concluded that only former presidents, vice-presidents, prime ministers, chief justices and speakers among former state officials should be provided with facilities from the state coffers.

If the government agrees on the proposal, the former deputy prime ministers and home ministers would be deprived of the facilities they have been enjoying now.

Currently, among former officials,  a president, a vice-president, eight prime ministers, 11 chief justices, four speakers, nine deputy prime ministers and 17 home ministers have been enjoying various facilities including security, vehicles, fuels and drivers among others from the state budget.

The government has to spend around Rs 4 million a year for a former official on an average, according to the GGMC.

Former officials of security agencies including Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force are also reported to be enjoying luxurious facilities.

The GGMC had formed a sub-panel under the leadership of lawmaker Janak Raj Joshi to study facilities given to the former VIPs and recommend appropriate benchmarks.

Announcing the GGMC decision at its meeting today, the Committee Chairman Mohan Singh Rathaur said the panel did not intend to disrespect the former VIPs with the decision, but only regulate the facilities considering voices of people and lawmakers.

"The facilities from the state coffers should be regulated by the law," he said, "They should not be distributed on the basis of access, mercy and flattering."

Now the government is required to draft a bill on regulating the facilities based on recommendations of the GGMC.