Powerholders seek excessive facilities

Kathmandu, June 13

Power holders wishing to enjoy government facilities during their stay in power and after retirement are now manoeuvring to prevent possible intervention from the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Legislature Parliament on controlling these facilities.

As the facilities, mainly the use of security personnel, have become status symbol for many incumbent and former dignitaries, they want to bring a law that provides excessive facilities.

However, as the GGMC has formed a sub-panel to study misuse of facilities and suggest means for prevention by cutting off existing facilities and controlling misuse, people in power are now manoeuvring for their cause, said the sub panel’s lawmaker Janak Raj Joshee.

“Attempts are being made from political and other power holders to abort the implementation of the sub panel’s report. Persons, who enjoyed the facilities when in power, want to secure similar facilities even after they retire, burdening the state heavily through deployment of unnecessary security personnel,” Joshee said.

However, the sub-panel is working on instructing the government for bring a bill to control the misuse, he said. Although the government had introduced a related bill twice in Parliament, it had withdrawn it both the times following strong objection from lawmakers and the media.

In the course of study, the sub-panel had sought existing status of such facilities to former dignitaries from the Nepali Army through the Ministry of Defence nearly one month ago.

The NA has not provided the sought information yet, according to Joshee.

The sub panel had also sought to know about facilities to former dignitaries in foreign countries from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but it too has not provided information yet, he said.

The sub-panel prepared its report suggesting that the main committee reduce unnecessary facilities to dignitaries, said asource at the sub-panel.

It has also suggested a one-door policy for facilities as various government bodies are providing facilities in a fragmented way. The report has also suggested incorporating some other provisions for controlling misuse of facilities.

Meanwhile, IGP of Nepal Police Upendra Kant Aryal and IG of Armed Police Force Durja Kumar Rai today met the sub-panel coordinator Joshee at the Parliament Secretariat separately and expressed concern about the facilities being provided for dignitaries.

Around 10 per cent of the strength of Nepal Police and APF is now being used for the security of incumbent and former VIPs, according to Joshee.

The panels’ report has stated that large amounts were being spent from the state coffers and large numbers of security personnel were being deployed for their security haphazardly without regulating such arrangements by any law.

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.