Health Minister Bohara accused of commission game at BPKIHS
December 16, 2017 10:26 AM NPT
By: Rohit Rai
DHARAN, Dec 16: Since the last three days, Dr Raj Kumar Rauniyar, vice-chancellor of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), is unable to sleep soundly because of a new controversy. After seeking leave from work, he switched his phone off and has gone out of contact. However, it’s not any wrongdoing or irregularities on his part that has led to this situation.
Minister for Health Deepak Bohara has been giving continuous pressure to BPKIHS to call its senate meeting. The fear of getting into a trouble in future because of some decision Bohara might take, has compelled Vice-chancellor Rauniyar to go out of contact. According to sources, Bohara had insisted on calling BPKIHS senate meeting for December 15. BPKIHS had recently concluded its 40th senate meeting on November 16. As per the tradition, senate meeting is organized twice a year to form new policies and to allocate budget.
According to sources, Bohara wants to pocket a fat commission by passing the budget for an under construction Maternity Child Health Care Center (MCHCC) at BPKIHS. “We held a senate meeting just a month ago to formulate policies and to discuss budget for the MCHCC construction. So the minister’s demand to call another meeting so soon is nothing more than a tactic to pocket a commission,” said a high-level source of BPKIHS.
BPKIHS Civil Pressure Group secretary Kishor Karki claimed that the attempt by an outgoing minister to call senate meeting is against the rules. “We will protest against any attempt to call such a meeting,” Karki said.
At the 40th senate meeting, Minister Bohara had formed a three-member advisory committee with Health Secretary Dr Kiran Regmi as coordinator. The senate meeting had decided to hold another senate meeting within a month where the committee was supposed to submit a proposal on MCHCC construction project. The committee had also been told to study a planned heart and cancer center.
BPKIHS senate however has yet to endorse the budget for the under-construction MCHCC building due to procedural breaches.
Earlier, the senate had approved a budget of Rs 760 million for MCHCC building construction. But the then vice-chancellor of BPKHS Dr BP Das had accepted a tender of Rs 2.17 billion for the construction of the building without seeking consent from the health and finance ministries. And this became known only after the new vice-chancellor took office.
A senator said that Bohara is eying the commission and has accordingly selected the committee to suit his interest.
“In the recently held parliamentary and provincial elections, Bohara and his party, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, faced a humiliating defeat. So, he is just planning to make some money in his final days as minister,” claims a senator. Health secretary and the coordinator of advisory committee Dr Regmi has already retired from service due to which the committee has not conducted the assigned study.
Earlier, Minister Bohara was also accused of involvement in a multi-million-rupee land procurement scam at the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).
Despite several attempts former Vice Chancellor Das could not be contacted while Minister Bohara didn’t receive phone calls.