The rooster crows

Those near the corridors of power have found it convenient to misuse the taxpayers’ money. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is seeking bills from those who had taken above Rs. 50,000 for ‘medical assistance’ from the Health Ministry in the last four years. The ministry had released over Rs. 21 million for this. The committee wants to know whether the money was disbursed illegally or to ‘wrong persons’. The PAC has, likewise, directed the government to recover Rs. 43 lakh, doled out to journalists and media organisations, from Tanka Dhakal and Shrish Rana, the political honchos of the information and communication ministry during the royal regime.

Whether the funds were given illegally to ‘well-to-do families’ or misused to ‘suppress the Jana Andolan II’ is for the State to decide. But what about those funds that have gone to undeserving persons apart from the royal family, politicians and journalists? Then there are several wilful defaulters who have bled commercial banks white. Merely singling out the royal regime appears to border on vendetta. Hadn’t the practice of doling out money by the ministers of successive governments existed earlier? If the ministers of the royal regime are ordered to repay the amount, then by the same token, all the other ministers in previous governments should receive the same treatment. Only the creation of an appropriate mechanism can guarantee that public funds strictly and exclusively reach only the deserving ones, and that too in reasonable degree.