By Prajwal Shrestha
The Transparency International (TI) has ranked Nepal as the third most corrupt nation in the South Asia. TI has stated that there is political level corruption in Nepal which is challenging. When the political parties themselves are encouraging corruption and commission, it is virtually difficult to curb corruption and commission practices. It is the compulsion of the political parties for being involved in corruption and commission business as the main source of income of the political parties is the money they receive through corruption and commission. Simply, the political parties cannot run without money and the easiest way to make money is to encourage corruption and commission deals. In this regard, corruption and commission deals have been institutionalized in Nepal. UML leader Kamal Koirala had disclosed that before his assignment as the ambassador to South Korea, the party had asked him to deposit three million rupees, finally the deal was made after paying 1.5 million rupees to the Party. We came to know that while assigning a non-party member as an ambassador to an important nation, the party or the influential leader in the party is found collecting up to ten million rupees. It is said that our ambassador to Washington, who is a NGO expert, has paid a huge amount of money to get the ambassadorial assignment for the US. To recall, he was assigned the ambassador under the recommendation of Madhav Nepal from the UML quota. In this “loktantra” one should not think for being rewarded without paying money. Even to get transfer to any lucrative office, the political party/concerned minister is found collecting minimum ten million rupees. Land registration office, customs office, transportation management office and Tribhuwan International Airport are the lucrative offices to get assignment for the government officials. Similarly, in the Nepal Police, just talking about the Valley, the Police Posts in Thamel, Thankot, Baudha, Balaju, Durwar Marga, among others, are the lucrative offices. One Police officer has to submit minimum two million rupees to get posting at the Thankot Police Post, it is said. When one officer will get posting after submitting money to the political leaders, the first duty of the said officer will be to get back the amount he has paid. A non-corrupt officer will never pay money in advance for the posting in lucrative places and he will never get an opportunity to get posting in attractive offices.
In Nepali context, the origin point of corruption is political parties. The Parliament is dominated by the members of the political parties and thus the corrupt leaders are protected by the political parties. Commission for Investigation on Abuse of Authority (CIAA) is helpless in catching the big fishes as the leaders in the government are themselves involved in corruption. The special police team arrested those who were smuggling gold from abroad via TIA. In fact, they were just the carriers and the real people who are operating this smuggling network are out of the Police reach. It is said that CIAA chair Lokman Singh Karki had tried to open some corruption files against big leaders. When his plan was disclosed, overnight, the UML and Maoist Center MPs had registered impeachment against him. Finally, the Supreme Court disqualified him. These days, Karki is found saying that as he tried to fight against corruption, he became alone. How strong is the corruption network in Nepal, that can be assumed from the action against Karki.
To conclude, one cannot think about controlling corruption under the present system we are exercising. Not to forget, rampant corruption and commission have paralyzed our national economy.
Can corruption be controlled?
By Prajwal Shrestha