By PR Pradhan
The two-thirds majority government led by KP Sharma Oli has completed one year in office. Perhaps tomorrow, the government is going to make public the works done by the government in one year. However, general public are not happy from the performance of the government. They believe, the government has failed in every sector.
Of course, the minority UML government in 1994-95 had done many good works in its nine-month-tenure. Also, Oli led government in 2015-16, which lasted for nine months only, had also given good impression to the voters. In result, the then UML and Maoist alliance front received nearly two-thirds majority in the last general elections.
There was big hope of the voters on Oli but he has become failed in eyes of them. The level of dissatisfaction among the people has intensified to a greater extent.
The government had talked about ending syndicate/curtailing in the transportation sector. It was a good beginning but the government failed on this move as the public transport owners were more powerful than the government. The government talked about strictly monitoring activities of INGOs and NGOs. On this also, the government had to turn back as the INGOs and NGOs’ reach was very strong than the government. The government talked about taking action to those construction contractors who have been failed to complete the government projects on time. From this move also, the government returned as construction contractors were the main financial pillars of the ruling party. Look at the state of Kalanki-Thankot road, which is the lifeline of Kathmandu! One of the contractors is the house owner of ruling party’s chairman Pushpakamal Dahal Prachanda.
The government formed a probe committee on smuggling of 32 kg of gold via the country’s only international airport. The government is yet to make public the report. It is learnt that PM Oli has kept the file under his pillow. The government, against the directives of the Public Account Committee on corruption scam on wide body purchase, formed another committee being dissatisfied on the report of the PAC. It is believed that to give clean chit to those who were involved in purchase deal, the new probe committee was formed. If the government had good intention, it would ask the Commission for Investigation on Abuse of Authority (CIAA). Now, people are publicly saying that Sugatratna Kangsakar alone could not dare to purchase the two wide body aircraft. He has managed commission to the leaders of the major two political parties – CPN and NC. The controversial medical study bill was endorsed by the parliament to reward some private sector run medical institutions. It is said that the ruling party had taken billions of rupees worth commission in advance during the last general elections from those controversial medical institutions. This episode is popularly known as “Marsi Rice” among the public. Nirmala Pant’s murder case and another murder case of former ambassador Keshabraj Jha in Kathmandu are still in suspense.
The bureaucracy has been transformed into sister organizations of the political parties. Nepali ambassadors abroad say that they have been rewarded only after paying commission to the party in the government. The same applies in getting transfer in lucrative posts or getting promotion in the government offices. Even for assignments in constitutional position, commission in advance, popularly known as “pre-paid commission” is needed. When the ruling party itself takes money on appointment, promotion and transfer of the civil servicemen or party sympathizers, can we expect their contribution for the nation? One ambassador had to tender resignation on the charge of human trafficking. Those honest, capable people who are against corruption will never get any opportunity for such posts, rather, corrupt and incapable people will always be rewarded on the basis of paying commission.
The Italian contractor in the Melamchi Drinking Water Project left the country without completing the project’s final works. According to reports, the minister, daughter-in-law of Prachanda, the secretary and the project chief had demanded 50 million rupees as commission against clearing the bills submitted by the contractor. The Ministry has decided to terminate the contractor and assign new contractor just for commission even by pushing back the project for next three years. Although PM Oli is saying that he will maintain zero tolerance on corruption and commission, he is encircled by the very corrupt people.
It is said that mafias are running the Prime Minister’s Office.
As per the constitution, the Prime Minister is the most powerful personality but he seems helpless when his party colleagues and Prachanda issued a controversial statement on the recent political developments in Venezuela.
There are many important things to be done. But the government is focusing on construction of billions of rupees worth tower in Oli’s electoral constituency in Damak. Oli is serious in construction of a dream garden at the PM’s residence. Also he has been focusing on the construction of another luxury residence for the PM. In the meantime, the government has given special priority for construction of buildings, VVIP guest houses and expansion of the President’s premises by occupying Nepal Police Academy premises. The government is planning to construct state guest house at the premises of the Ministers’ Quarter in Pulchowk.
The government has made a new record in purchasing of new vehicles by dumping running vehicles. Perhaps, these are the sign of “prosperous Nepal!”
One year of the Oli government
By PR Pradhan