By PR Pradhan
If we recall the history of “people’s movement-1” or say 1989 uprising, the agitators, to defame the institution of monarchy, had launched a propaganda campaign against the institution. Different underground newspapers were published for defaming the institution. Some of the propagandas were that the king’s vegetables were brought from some hilly districts by helicopter everyday; the queen sends palace officials to France to purchase her goods and ornaments; the king and his family have deposited huge amounts of money at the Swiss Bank, etc.. They had given nick name to the queen as Pamphadevi.
The agitation, sponsored by the Indians, was against the king as the then King Birendra denied the Indian plan to bring Nepal under the Indian security umbrella. The King decided to give executive power to the agitating force and remained as a constitutional monarch. It has been already almost three decades, so far, none of the investigative journalists has been able to prove that the King and his family had deposited money at the Swiss Banks. However, they have disclosed around 50 Nepali citizens having deposits at the Swiss Banks and also disclosed many Nepali citizens’ name who have invested in foreign countries and also involved in money laundering.
Formally Nepali citizens cannot send money abroad. There is no rule for Nepalis to invest in the foreign countries. But this is possible in our new Nepal. Those who are alleged for being involved in such crimes, are regarded as the powerful and respected citizens who can even go to the PM’s bedroom without any hurdles.
In other words, we can say that the government is protecting corruption and mal-governance. If we go through some recent incidents, the government has failed to end the syndicate/curtailing existing in the public transportation sector; unable to punish the black-listed construction contractors; unable to sack the government officials involved in the two wide body aircraft purchase deal; unable to punish officials who are involved in demanding commission with the contractor company while clearing the bill the company had submitted.
Against the report of the Public Accounts Committee, the government formed another committee to investigate on irregularities that has taken place in the purchase of the aircraft. Earlier too, the Civil Aviation Ministry had constituted a probe committee by including those officials who were directly involved in the purchase deal. That committee had given a clean chit to the Nepal Airlines management.
The new government formed probe committee too seems to give a clean chit to the officials and political leaders. Hirdyesh Tripathi, member in the Public Accounts Committee had said, there was a consensus among the major political parties for the commission deal on the purchase of the aircraft. If so, we cannot expect any action against those who are involved in the commission deal.
Accordingly, the Italian company, which was involved in construction of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project, has finally decided to go to the international court against the government action. Legal experts believe that Nepal will lose the case. The government officials, with their petty interests, had wished to send the construction contractor to the court instead of completing the Melamchi drinking water project on time.
As the government has decided to sack the Italian company, the dream of Kathmandu people for drinking water from Melamchi has remained just a dream for the time being. Now, to complete the tender procedure for constructing the remaining part of the project, it will take minimum one year. However, for those corrupt government officials, starting new process will open the opportunity to make new commission deals. As the project has become a milking cow, for the last three decades, those officials including the ministry don’t want to complete the project, this is the conclusion.
The above examples prove that the present government with two-thirds majority is also involved in daylight robbery.
By PR Pradhan