Less number of officials quit than expected

Kathmandu, August 16

The Ministry of General Administration had expected 1,000 to 1,200 civil servants to resign after the enactment of Civil Service (Fourth Amendment) Act, but as of today, only 40 civil servants have put in their papers after the Act came into being.

The new act, which came into effect on July 14 bars civil servants from holding foreign diversity visa (DV) and permanent residency (PR) cards. The government had given DV/ PR holders two months to either choose their government jobs or DV/PR status.

DV/PR holding civil servants who don’t choose between the two within 60 days will face penalty.

Spokesperson at the Ministry of General Administration Baburam Adhikari said the ministry had expected hundreds of civil servants to resign within 30 days. Section 61(b) of the Act states that DV/PR holder employees will have to reveal their status within 30 days from the enactment of this Act.

Adhikari said it was roughly estimated there were 1,000 to 1,200 civil servants with foreign DV and PR cards.

“Normally, upper level officers hold DV and foreign PR cards. This group knows that if they do not resign during this period, they will be deprived of post retirement benefits,” Adhikari said, adding that he did not believe there were more PR holders in civil service.

Director General, Department of Civil Personnel Records,   Durga Prasad Pokharel said his office received notification of 40 resignations from July 17 to August 16, but none of the civil servants mentioned they were resigning because they held DV/PR. He, however, said there could be more officials resigning as the resignations of lower level staff are accepted by department heads.

“All the civil servants who resigned have cited other reasons such as personal and health reasons,” Pokharel added.

Pokharel said some government employees had resigned even before the new Act was enacted. In the period between mid-June and mid-July, 35 civil servants quit. This number went up to 58 from mid-May to mid-June.

High level officers who resigned in the last four months due to their foreign DV/PR status are: Revenue Secretary Nabraj Bhandari and Joint Secretary Mahendra Subba. Bhandari resigned last week and Subba on June 21.

According to sources, Sarita Pokharel Chand, Laxmi Devi Karki, Nirman Kumar Pokharel, Tuk Prasad Regmi, Gopal Katuwal Chhetri, Chhabi Lal Pathak, Yadav Prasad Bhattarai, Kedar Prasad Koirala, Yogendra Sharma Ojha, Chandra Kant Bhattarai, Naresh Khatiwada, Kumud Shrestha, Janak Raj Khanal, Sher Bahadur Chhetri and Tulasi Ram Sharma resigned due to their DV and PR status.

Minister of General Administration Lal Babu Pandit said two secretaries and one DIG had resigned due to their DV/PR statues. “We are getting reports that high level police officers and customs officers are also resigning,” Pandit said, adding that his ministry was trying to effect similar changes in other acts that govern semi-government offices. “Prime Minister’s Office has already written to government offices to amend their respective by-laws to bar DV/PR holding employees.