Ex-civil servants, now elected local reps of Bajura receive double benefits

BAJURA:  Elected local level representatives in Bajura district, who were formerly employed in government services, have been receiving double benefits from the state. Apart from their retirement pension from civil service, they have been receiving salary for their current portfolio although the local autonomous rule act mentions that only one benefit can be claimed by an individual.

Himali Rural Municipality-7 Ward Chair Jaya Bahadur Adhikari, a retired army officer, has been receiving pension along with the monthly salary of Rs 20, 000, the rural municipality office informed.

Likewise, former government veterinarian and current Budhinanda Municipality-2 Ward Chair Bhim Bahadur Karki has also been claiming dual financial benefit.

Badimalika Municipality-1 ward member Bishwaraj Pandit, former officer at Agriculture Office, is also enjoying both the funds.

According to the rural municipality's account officer Parshuram Pandit, apart from retirement pension, the ward chair has been receiving Rs 6,000 per month as salary for being elected a local rep.

However, Bajura's Swamikartik Rural Municipality has informed that it has been providing local representatives, who were formerly in the civil services, with only 50 per cent of their salaries to be provided for representatives. According to executive official for the rural municipality, Kuber Shahi, ward no. 5 chair Bishnu Bahadur Shahi, an ex police personnel and ward no. 4 chair Kashiram Kaila, a former staffer at a commercial bank, are being provided with the monthly salary of Rs 10,000 each. He cleared that they were being offered only half of the salary as they were also receiving retirement pensions.

Account Officer Dhan Bahadur Thapa at Bajura District Treasury Controller office said that the local reps could receive the salary from either of the funds but not both.

It has been found that the local reps have been receiving double benefits in lack of a sector that could regulate monitoring of the funds.

(Translated by Suresh Chaudhary)