Commendable job

Minister for General Administration Lal Babu Pandit deserves high appreciation for not permitting civil servants to hold diversity visa, green cards or permanent residency of foreign countries. It took the minister 17 months of struggle to make the fourth amendment to the Civil Service Act. It is high time that action was taken against the erring civil servants, dismissing them and making them unqualified to hold any government post in the future. The civil servants with such documents have been given 30 days to declare that they possess the same, and they have been given an extra 30 days to relinquish it or to face action. This should serve to warn the bureaucrats that they should be loyal to their country and not take benefit at the same time by holding permanent residency of any foreign country—holding a PR is as good as citizenship sans the right to vote or stand for political office. The civil servants are also not allowed to participate in the DV lottery programme, and even applying would cost them their job. The civil servants should make the declaration of possessing any foreign identity cards if they plan to work here and give them up. They have been given ample time to make their choice clear to prove their unconditional loyalty to the country.

The measure is aimed at preventing conflict of interests and loyalties, as well as at maintaining information of

government confidential

At a time when the problem of unemployment is rife other candidates aspiring for employment in the government services would be given the opportunity to join. This ban will also apply in all governmental, semi-governmental, army, police and any other appointments getting services and facilities from the state, including schools, colleges, hospitals, banks and public enterprises. The government employees will also not be allowed to work at other jobs such as those of consultants in I/NGOs as are being done by many of them earning a hefty amount by taking undue advantage of their position in government service. Moreover, these officials should not be working part time as directors in private businesses or as teachers, doctors, insurance agents and the like as many are doing at present. This provision is aimed at preventing conflict of interests and loyalties, as well as at maintaining information of government confidential.

Furthermore, the employees at fault would not be provided with any remuneration, including pension, except for what they have with the Provident Fund and insurance. These measures were needed to discourage such tendency particularly in bureaucracy where hundreds of civil servants are said to be holding their one foot on the departure lounge and the other in their offices. Many civil servants also arrange for scholarships in foreign countries and take long leave and reside there. Just to take a case. Not long ago, a Nepali diplomat took refuge in the same country where had represented Nepal as mission chief after his retirement. When the parliament makes amendments to “some Nepal Acts” collectively, the new provisions incorporated in the fourth amendment to the Civil Service Act will also be inserted there, meaning that this provision will be equally

applicable to all.

Open space in KMC

Finding open spaces in Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) was a daunting task for the people and KMC authorities after the April 25 and May 12 earthquakes forced them to leave their homes for safety. Taking into account the scarcity of enough open spaces in times of crisis, the government has proposed arranging more open space for every 25,000 population in the Valley. So far, there are 83 open spaces in the Kathmandu Valley where people can take temporary shelter during crisis. But these spaces are either far away from the city’s core areas or are not suitable for taking shelter.

The KMC, however, has come up with its plan to create more open spaces that can be used for recreational centres, garden, parks and safe zone during natural disaster. KMC officials have said the Central Prison, Dilli Bazar Prison, Nakhkhu Prison will be relocated to Nuwakot, and some public schools, training centres and factories will be relocated to Kirtipur Municipality to secure more open spaces in the city’s core areas. The new open spaces should not be used for any other purposes than the green spaces to support the KMC’s ‘Green Kathmandu Campaign’.