Kathmandu, July 23
A parliamentary team deployed to monitor and observe the activities of Nepali embassies abroad has found financial and administrative irregularities in these missions.
The parliamentary team of the Public Account Committee had carried out monitoring of the Nepali embassies in Germany, United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia and Oman from June 24 to July 4.
The terms of reference of the team were; Infrastructure of the missions, management of income and expenditure, allocation and implementation of budget, and, management of human resources.
The team was led by Chair of the committee Bharat Kumar Shah and other members of the team were secretary of the panel Roj Nath Pandey and Under-secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tej Bahadur Chettri.
Except the Embassy in Muscat, Oman, which was established in September 2013, the embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Embassy in Paris, France; Embassy in Berlin, Germany; and Embassy in London, the UK; have been operating inappropriately.
Currently, Sharmila Parajuli Dhakal is the Nepali ambassador to Oman, Ramesh Prasad Khanal to Germany, Durga Bahadur Subedi to the UK, Dipak Adhikari to France, and Mahendra Prasad Singh Rajput to Saudi Arabia.
The team is preparing a detailed observation report of all five missions abroad. According to Secretary of the panel Roj Nath Pandey, a parliamentary sub-committee will make the report public soon.
A lawmaker, who was also member of the monitoring team, told THT that the embassies had not maintained their financial reports properly. “Interestingly, we found that the family members of diplomats were not staying with them, but they were collecting money in the name of their family members too,” the lawmaker said, adding that they were actively involved in misusing hefty amounts from the state coffers,” said the lawmaker.
Another lawmaker, who was part of the team, told THT that embassy officials didn’t even withdraw their salaries through bank accounts, which hints at large scale irregularities. “Some missions have even hired local staffers at very low salary in a bid to pocket the money allocated for hiring local manpower,” the lawmaker added.
“The mission in Muscat has been maintained well. Physical infrastructure of the embassy is also attractive. If you enter inside the embassy, you feel like you are in Nepal,” the lawmaker said. “Physical infrastructure of the other embassies is poorly managed,” he added.
A version of this article appears in print on July 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.