Nepal | September 27, 2020

Govt directed to submit report on management of old vehicles

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Kathmandu, August 13

The Supreme Court has issued an order to the Government of Nepal, directing it to submit a report, with proposal and action plan, on the management of dysfunctional vehicles and materials dumped on the premises of government offices.

In response to a writ petition filed by Advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha, a division bench of justices Anil Kumar Sinha and Hari Prasad Phuyal ordered the government to form a committee headed by a secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report to the apex court within six months, with effect from August 10.

As per the SC, the committee should comprise representatives from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Forest and Environment, Office of the Auditor General, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority and the writ petitioner.

Writ petitioner Shrestha held that the government authorities had a tendency of purchasing new vehicles in their every transfer by leaving the existing four-wheelers, furniture and other office logistics unused citing them to be ‘dysfunctional, non-operational and old’ without fulfilling legal procedures. “It has resulted in the loss of a huge amount of state funds collected from the people as tax,” he said.

According to Rule 58 of the Financial Procedures Rules-2007, any goods considered to be worthless because of being old, worn and torn and as unfit of being repaired, should be auctioned within six months.

Contrary to such legal provision, concerned authorities rarely auction the goods and dump them on the office premises without technical examination of machinery. “It is often done to enjoy new vehicles and logistics by misusing the state fund. In every transfer, government authorities exercise these bad practices,”

Advocate Shrestha stated in the petition.

Lack of proper utilisation of government vehicles, machinery and goods has not only caused adverse impacts on the environment but also spoilt the beauty of the concerned offices.

Vehicles and equipment dumped on office premises without auctioning them have occupied open space, where greenparks could be developed.

The Government of Nepal has yet to take any concrete step to implement the existing law by developing necessary procedures. Recent report of the OAG has also raised these issues.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 14, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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