Employees enjoy monthly rural area allowance • Bid to curb corruptio

SANKHUWASABHA: Rampant corruption is thriving in the Ministry of Local Development’s district unit.

Cocking a snook at the law, a majority of the employees is enjoying the remote area allowance for months on end.

The modus operandi is simple and ingenious. They are producing fake documents of migration while staking claims to the allowance.

Who are the offenders?

Records revealed that a large section of employees at Sankhuwasabha District Development Committee (DDC) and Khandbari Municipality are enjoying the benefit at the expense of the state exchequer. And corruption is a huge leveller as employees across the hierarchy are indulging in fraud.

As per the rule, an officer is entitled to a monthly remote area allowance of 1,526, nayab subba Rs 1,225, kharidar Rs 1,025, mukhiya Rs 910 and office assistant Rs 700. Local development officer Laxmi Prasad Niraula admitted the ongoing scam.

“Though all the employees hail from the district, they are being provided the allowance on the basis of fake certificates,” he said.

Consider the case of Jagadish Shakya, an auditor at the DDC and a resident of Khandbari-1.

But he is a beneficiary, thanks to the documentary evidence, which states that he is a Sunsari resident. Ditto for Dawa Bhote, an assistant auditor at the DDC. He, too, is milking the government dry by furnishing bogus proof of his domicile in Dhankuta. In reality, he hails from Chepuwa-3 in Sankhuwasabha.

At last count, more than 50 DDC and civic body Khandbari employees are partners in crime. The government has to pick up an additional monthly tab of Rs 70,000 — Rs 50,000 for the DDC and the rest for the municipality — due to the scam. Meanwhile, the errant employees are brazen about their wrong-doings.

They insisted that they were enjoying the facility as per the law of the land.

Local leaders, cutting across political affiliations, have urged an end to the malpractice at the earliest. “We will draw the attention of the government soon,” said Rajendra Karki ‘Nabin’, district secretary, Unified CPN-Maoist. Khadga Rai, a human rights activist, echoed Karki. While, CPN-UML leader Jeet Bahadur Ghimire felt that the wanton misuse of funds was a national loss. Thirty-three VDC secretaries are also enjoying a monthly allowance of Rs 2,400 each for camping in Khandbari, the district headquarters.