‘Provide facilities to five ex-dignitaries only and security after assessing threat’

Kathmandu, July 10

Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Legislature Parliament today endorsed a report that recommended that the government provide facilities including vehicle, driver and fuel only to five former dignitaries  former president, former vice president, former prime minister, former speaker and former chief justice.

The report prepared by a sub-committee headed by lawmaker Janak Raj Joshi was endorsed unanimously and now the report will be forwarded to the government for implementation, said the committee’s secretary Jibraj Budhathoki.

The report suggested that the government should not provide facilities to more than the five former dignitaries, but can make security arrangements for other dignitaries, including former home ministers, only after assessing the security threat.

The report has suggested that the government review the facilities and security being provided to the former royal family. There are 155 APF personnel deployed for the former royal family.

If the government upholds the report, many former dignitaries, including former home ministers will be deprived of facilities such as vehicle, driver and fuel.

Former dignitaries, including heads of state, prime ministers, ministers, chiefs of commissions and security bodies, justices and secretaries are using excessive security and other facilities worth millions of rupees from taxpayers’ money, according to the report prepared after nearly three months of study.

The committee suggested that the government regulate the facilities by bringing a new bill as per the spirit of the panel’s report, according to Budhathoki.

Some objectionable language in the report were corrected after some lawmakers expressed objection, according to committee member Aman Lal Modi.

Rented or government residences, deployment of personnel and residence security and other facilities such as vehicles, drivers, fuel, maintenance, secretariat, staff, helpers and medical facilities are the types of conveniences provided to former dignitaries.

In many cases, the facilities are excessive, unnecessary and unjustifiable although some are genuine, stated the report.

In the name of personal security, up to 23 Nepal Police personnel and 41 Armed Police Force personnel are being used for one former dignitary, the report stated.

NP and APF have been deploying escorts of up to seven security personnel for former dignitaries, including former home ministers, according to the report. Former prime ministers are taking 200 to 300 litres of fuel from the state, said the report.

There are eight former prime ministers, nine former deputy prime ministers, 11 former chief justices and 17 former home ministers using the facilities, stated the report.

The state has to bear around Rs 4 million for one former high-ranking dignitary and Rs 3.6 million for one former home minister on average on a yearly basis, according to the report.

Despite the huge drain on the state coffers, the home ministry recently drafted a bill mentioning monthly salary, residence facility, vehicle and fuel, private secretariat and staff, additional facilities and special security arrangement.

The draft bill has now been forwarded to the finance ministry.

The report suggested that the home ministry’s bill should not be introduced in Parliament, as the facilities proposed in it are not justifiable. It suggested that the government draft a new bill as per the spirit of the report.