THT 10 years ago: Each Nepali owes world Rs 13,000

Kathmandu, June 28, 2006

In a startling revelation, Auditor General Gehendra Nath Adhikari today said that the foreign debt has now crossed Rs 324 billion which works out to the tune of Rs 13,000 per head, calculated on the basis of the current population put at just over 23 million —according to the last decennial census.

This is only one of the many inconsistencies of the fiscal and budgetary system of the country which has, among others, failed to curb fiscal irregularities which have been cumulatively put at over Rs 28 billion.

The irregularities of the current fiscal year alone have been put at Rs 7 billion.

Talking about profit, Adhikari emphatically said that the commercial banks which have a state stake long tend to reschedule payment of liabilities and loans in order to arrive at a “stage-managed profit” before announcing bonus for the employees.

This is believed to be true of the Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB). As regards “efficient bureaucracy”, the word from Adhikari is that there are over 7,000 tax assessment files pending since the past 40 years.

Clearing the files, said Adhikari at an interaction at the Reporters’ Club today, would have accrued Rs 520 million to the state exchequer.

There are also about 14 state-owned enterprises which are in the red and thus a liability to tax-payers.

MPs take oath of office; PM, ministers to do so next

Members of parliament (MPs) today took their oath of office before the House of Representatives as per the House of Representatives Regulation 2006, according to the declaration of the House on May 18.

Speaker Subhas Chandra Nemwang administered the oath to the MPs, presidents of parliamentary committees and senior staff of the parliament secretariat.

The MPs averred that they would work as per the House declaration and abide by its spirit.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala could not take the oath due to ill health. His cabinet colleagues also did not attend the MPs’ oath-taking ceremony.

The Council of Ministers said that Koirala and the ministers will take oath of office on July 1.

Spokesperson for the parliamentary secretariat, Mukunda Prasad Paudel, said 161 MPs of the Lower House and 13 of the Upper House took oath of office today and that the ceremony would be conducted again for ministers and government staff later.

Some MPs could not take the oath as they were away in their constituencies.

At present, there are 204 members in the 205-member Lower House and 18 members in the 60-member Upper House.

Three royal nominees in the Upper House, Roop Jyoti, Dev Narayan Chaudhary, Yangkila Sherpa, and ministers of the erstwhile royal cabinet Badri Prasad Mandal and Buddhiman Tamang also took the oath.