The need for better management of funds and property of Pashupatinath Temple has time and again been stressed but hardly ever put into practice. A sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is unable to account for 350 ropanis of land out of the 4,422 ropanis owned by the Pashupati Guthi. Besides, those using the land for business purposes have been found to be evading the annual tax. For instance, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Gaushala Dharmashala and Til Ganga Eye Centre are not paying any tax whereas Tara Gaun (Hyatt) Regency Hotel, Dwarika Hotel and Nepal Telecom are paying only nominal revenue. As per the agreement with Pashupati Area Development Trust, Til Ganga is yet to pay up 25 per cent of its earnings. Likewise, the CAAN’s renting out of 650 ropanis to the Royal Nepal Golf Club is a clear case of breach of contract.

Pashupatinath temple is rich in daily earnings. But there is no account of the donations in the form of gold, silver and cash. The priests (Bhattas) take away 75 per cent of its income. The PAC’s advice of giving the priests a salary is worth considering as it will put to rest the allegations of mismanagement of funds, freeing more money for the area’s development. This requires a will on the government’s part, which means enacting appropriate laws to check irregularities. But firstly, accounts will have to be made transparent through authentic record-keeping and auditing so that the swelling revenue could be funnelled towards right and worthy humanitarian causes.