PAC to summon ministers over ‘relief misuse’

KATHMANDU: The Public Accounts Committee today decided to summon four ministers to discuss alleged misuse of relief materials.

A meeting of the parliamentary committee decided to summon ministers directly involved in rescue operations, relief collection and distribution and reconstruction following the natural disaster.

According to the PAC Chairman Janardan Sharma, PAC has decided to summon Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam, Minister for Finance Ram Sharan Mahat, Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa and Minister for Urban Development Narayan Khadka with the details of ongoing activities regarding relief distribution.

The committee has also decided to study the reports prepared by the ministries and the National Vigilance Centre.

Sharma added that PAC has also directed the government to provide Rs 50,000 to each household who lost houses in the earthquakes in such a way that the amount would be deducted from the proposed Rs 200,000 for each victim by the government.

PAC has also decided to summon concerned authorities to seek clarification regarding the helicopters bought by the Nepali Army and its preparations to buy weapons without tender.

Today’s meeting also decided to study the status of the implementation of building code in the cracked, damaged and safe buildings in coordination with the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority, Department of Urban Development and Building Construction and concerned municipalities.

Addressing the meeting, lawmakers strongly raised the issue of misuse of relief materials and urged the committee for stern action against those involved.

Nepali Congress Lawmaker Dhanraj Gurung said it was objectionable on the part of government to delay action and investigation even when proofs of sold relief materials were provided to the authorities.

Lawmaker Gurung urged the committee to summon the ministers to answer why relief materials were sold.

Another lawmaker Eknath Dhakal also said immediate investigation was a must ‘because media reports have alleged influential minister for selling relief materials’.

Unified CPN-Maoist lawmaker Haribol Gajurel said PAC should now show its strength and find out the real picture of corruption in relief distribution.

NC lawmaker Ram Hari Khatiwada questioned why the government paid three times more for the tarpaulins.