Panel calls for regulating security of former VIPs

Kathmandu, May 24

A sub-panel of Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Legislature Parliament today presented a preliminary report on the facilities and security arrangements for former VIPs and dignitaries to the meeting of the main panel stating that these were being made haphazardly and should be regulated and made systematic.

The sub-panel headed by Parliament member of CPN Maoist Centre Janak Raj Joshee presented the preliminary report at today’s meeting of the GGMC stating that large amounts were being spent from the state coffers and large numbers of security personnel were being deployed for their security without regulating such arrangements by any law.

More than 7,000 police personnel (around 10 per cent strength of Nepal Police) have been mobilised as Personal Security Officers and workers at the residences of these dignitaries, according to preliminary reports.

However, the sub-panel does not have integrated data as government bodies do not have integrated records, according to panel sources.

Up to Rs 40 lakh per person is being spent on a yearly basis from state coffers when the expenditure is assessed in round figures, said the preliminary report.

Although the Supreme Court had directed the government to make arrangements through a separate law, these arrangements are being made on the basis of cabinet decisions and discretion of government authorities, stated the report.

“Occasional cabinet decisions, ministerial decisions, ad-hoc or customary practices of the concerned agency have been the bases for such arrangements although the Supreme Court has repeatedly asked the government to enact a law to this effect,” Joshee said.

Although the Ministry of Home Affairs had registered bills twice, the government withdrew the bills after they drew flak.

Former dignitaries who enjoy various facilities and security arrangements include the former king, former president, vice-president, seven former prime ministers, former Constituent Assembly chairman, seven former home ministers, 11 former chief justices, 13 former IGPs of Nepal Police, seven former IGPs of Armed Police Force and six former chiefs of Nepali Army, according to the preliminary report.

They also include former chiefs and members of constitutional bodies.

The dignitaries get vehicle, driver, fuel and expenses for maintenance, house rent, electricity and water.

“The House panel will give necessary instructions to the government after studying the report and discussing the issues in more detail,” said Joshee.