All functions and no work for PM?

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal spends most of his time attending public functions rather than engaging himself in official work or making efforts to forge political consensus among parties, it has been revealed.

The premier today attended four public events -- at 10:50 am he was at a special function organised to mark Democracy Day, where he spent two hours; at 2 pm he attended a programme organised by the Rastriya Samachar Samiti, at 3 pm he was attending another programme organised by INSEC, while in the evening he was at a programme at Hotel Soaltee organised by the cricket association.

From Thursday to Wednesday, the PM participated in three programmes, while on Tuesday he took part in two programmes. From Tuesday to Friday, PM Nepal participated in 12 public programmes.

According to a study carried out by The Himalayan Times, Nepal gave more than 150 written public speeches since be became the Prime Minister nine months ago. Apart from this, he attended several public programmes which do not have records. "The PM will give 70 percent of speeches in a written form prepared by his private secretariat," an aide to Nepal said today.

The PM's office has published a book of Nepal's public speeches and distributed copies to government offices.

A closer look at the 150 written speeches showed that PM Nepal was attending many programmes where his attendance was not at all necessary.

Most of the public programmes are related to inauguration, annual anniversary of different organisations and political party programmes.

It is also learnt that PM Nepal frequently visits different districts to participate in programmes. In his speeches, PM Nepal gives many assurances and pledges many things to the people.

Besides attending such programmes, Nepal equally spends time on meeting people in his office. To control the flow of visitors, Nepal has allocated every Thursday as the day he would meet guests, especially cadres and other groups of least importance.

Rajendra Rai, a member of PM Nepal's advisory team, said some ministers and the chief secretary have advised the PM to minimise his attendance at such programmes and meetings. Secretaries are also complaining that Nepal is giving less time to Cabinet activities.

The PM has realised now that he is attending too many public functions and that this has hindered the regular work, Rai said.