Enemy within

Several Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) employees who had taken advance from KMC don’t seem to be cooperating with the panel formed to recover outstanding dues from them. The panel’s 45-day deadline has already expired without much of a success. Even the KMC’s finance department has not cooperated, as it has not even provided details about the defaulters and the account heads under which the money had been disbursed. So the panel cannot track the defaulters as many of them, it seems, have left their place of duty. Moreover, the panel members cannot devote full time in this job, as they have also to attend to their regular office assignment.

KMC is merely a symptom of the disease that afflicts all government offices. The Auditor-General’s report provides a good view of the gigantic irregularities that have been there in government offices for the last four decades, but more galling is the fact that little action has been taken to correct the situation. It might take years for KMC to recover the dues because the panel has been able to recover only Rs. 1.8 million out of whopping Rs. 420 million. Recovering loans from regular employees is not difficult — just a monthly deduction from their salary does it. Those entrusted with recovering the money should be brought to book for negligence. They would have operated differently if their own money, rather than the taxpayers’, had been involved. No government has a moral right to blare about good governance when it becomes a passive spectator to the wrongs committed or being committed with impunity.