MoE assigns CDC chief Kapri to handle Sajha until next announcement

Published On: September 26, 2017 01:17 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Sept 26: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has assigned Krishna Prasad Kapri, executive director of Curriculum Development Center, with the responsibilities of the chairperson and general manager of Sajha Prakashan.

Kapri will replace Dolindra Prasad Sharma who was sacked by the MoE on Sunday on charge of multiple irregularities.

A meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha on Monday decided to assign Kapri to manage Sajha Prakashan, said Dr  Hari Prasad Lamsal, spokesman for the MoE.  

“Kapri will handle both the posts until the next decision to appoint the chairperson and GM of the publication is taken,” he said.

The MoE sacked Sharma as the ministry was not convinced by the responses he submitted to the ministry regarding irregularities in the state-run publishing house. The Good Governance Committee of the Parliament also recommended action against Sharma on Sunday. The ministry delivered the sacking letter to Sharma on Monday, according to the MoE.

Unsatisfied with the first clarification submitted by Sharma, the MoE sought a second clarification from him, asking him “why you shouldn't be sacked” on September 12. Earlier, a meeting of the ministry held on September 4 had decided to seek clarification from Sharma on the basis of the report prepared by the ministry regarding irregularities at the state-owned publishing house, giving him three days to respond. 

Sharma has been accused of appointing those close to political leaders and media persons at Sajha, not carrying out audit after he was appointed at Sajha, not maintaining records of annual incomes and book publications, allowing private publishers to use Sajha logo, transferring Rs 5 million from Sajha to the GM's account, and also serving as chairman against the rules. 

The panel submitted its report to DPM Shrestha about four weeks ago recommending the immediate sacking of the Sajha board and taking action against those involved in the irregularities. Sajha Prakashan board members include nominated members Pradip Nepal, Dinanath Sharma and Dr Krishna Hari Baral and elected members Bijaya Subba, Harihar Khanal and Jeevan Chandra Koirala.

Nepal, Dinanath and Baral already resigned from their posts.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament has been investigating the irregularities at Sajha Prakashan. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), too, has started a probe into the alleged irregularities at Sajha after news reports about the irregularities were published in Republica and Nagarik dailies. 
Sajha Prakashan, the state-owned publishing house established 105 years ago, is well known for publishing literary works in the country. However, it has been in a sorry state during the last decade due to mismanagement and irregularities taking place under political protection.

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