DHANGADHI: The Secretariat of Sudurpaschim Province Assembly (PA) is going to distribute laptops worth more than Rs 2 million to province assembly members.
The PA members are about to receive a laptop each worth more than Rs 60,000 within a few days. Laptops worth a total of Rs 2,773,800 will be distributed to the Chief Minister, Ministers, Speaker, Deputy-Speaker and 43 PA members.
“The laptops have arrived,” said Secretary at the PA Secretariat, Ram Singh Dhami. “They will be distributed to the PA members within a few days.” Secretary Dhami added that the computers were being given to PA members to connect them with the technology.
However, not all PA members support the decision to distribute the laptops. Members from both the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the main opposition Nepali Congress have expressed their dissatisfaction. PA member Amar Saud of NCP (NCP) stated that laptops were not the need of the hour and went on to say that he was not aware of its distribution. “We have not asked for the laptops and we do not need them.”
Some members of the ruling party believe that though it is good to develop the skills of PA members, unnecessary expenditure was not justified. Others are of the opinion that laptops given to them would be useful. PA member Baldev Regmi of NCP (NCP) said, “We have to use email and the internet, and be privy to various information. The secretariat took the right step.”
Meanwhile, some PA members from the main opposition Nepali Congress also seem critical about the laptop distribution. PA member Karna Malla of the NC said that he would not accept the laptop. “It is a misuse of the national fund to purchase laptops from the money collected from tax-payers, who are fighting hunger, diseases and grief. I will not accept something that is brought by misusing the country’s money.”
Likewise, PA member Kumari Nanda Bam — also belonging to the main opposition — stated that at a time when there is a lack of human resources and other materials in government offices, when focus must be placed in properly managing them, it is not right to invest in laptops and mobile phones.
“I do not have a photo-copy machine in my office. The meeting room is so small. I would rather have these things managed than have a laptop.”