KATHMANDU, Feb 3: At least 54 members of parliament have changed their personal secretaries and aides or made formal appointments of such staff after the parliament secretariat starting to deposit the salaries of the latter in their own bank accounts.
According to record book updates by the parliament secretariat, at least 43 members of the lower house and 11 of the upper house have either formally appointed their personal secretaries or appointed new ones.
The lower house has 275 members and the upper house has 59 . Out of these, 25 MPs including the prime minister, ministers and state ministers don't get their salaries and secretariat facilities from the parliament secretariat.
Following media reports about lawmakers pocketing the salaries meant for their personal aides and drivers, the parliament secretariat decided to stop depositing salaries meant for the latter in the bank accounts of the MPs themselves. It asked MPs to update particulars of their aides and sought the latters' own bank accounts last month.
Following this, 19 MPs have appointed their secretaries, all within a month. According to the record book, Madhav Nepal, Anil Kumar Jha, Amresh Kumar Singh, Krishna Bahadur Rai, Tulsi Thapa, Jay Kumar Rai, Nira Devi Jairu, Narayan Khadka, Bharat Kumar Shah, Minakshi Jha, Sitaram Mahato, Dhruba Kumar Shahi, Som Prasad Pandey, Hridayash Tripathi and others appointed their personal secretaries after parliament stopped depositing the latter's salaries in the MPs' bank accounts.
NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand and Chairperson of Law and Human Rights Committee Krishna Bhakta Pokharel have also appointed members of their secretariat including personal secretaries. Most of the other parliamentary committee chairpersons and office bearers of political parties have likewise appointed computer operators and office assistants to their secretariats after parliament stopped depositing the salaries of such staff in the MPs' bank accounts.
Meanwhile, 35 lawmakers have been found to be changing their personal staff following the new decision. Lawmaker Satya Narayan Sharma sacked Dinesh Khanal as his personal secretary and appointed Jamuna Ghimire instead. Asked about this, Sharma said he made the change after the previous secretary decided to go abroad. But Khanal said he was sacked and he doesn't have any other plans.
Similarly, asked why she changed her personal secretary, lawmaker Amrita Devi Agrihari said her previous secretary Suman Kumari Agrihari had failed to manage time for her from Kathmandu. Pawan Agragari was appointed her new personal secretary last month.