KATHMANDU, July 27: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has said that it should be allowed to probe into the corruption cases of the private sector.
Speaking during an interaction on the annual report of the commission at the Parliamentary Committee on Good Governance on Sunday, CIAA officials argued that the commission should be authorized to investigate the corruption cases in the private sector that are directly concerned with the public.
Secretary at the CIAA, Suresh Adhikari opined that investigations into the irregularities in banks and financial institutions where the public has a huge investment should be under the domain of the CIAA. Speaking further he added, “The CIAA should have the authority to look into the corruption in the cooperatives, banks and financial institutions.”
“We are not talking about all private institutions.”
Participating in the discussion, the lawmakers insisted that the trend of political appointment has helped corruption flourish in the country. Lawmaker Bijay Subba argued that the rate of corruption can be significantly brought down if the system of political appointment to the public posts is not practiced. Political pressure is a major factor to escalate corruption, according to him. “Who should we appoint — an expert or a mere cadre of a political party?”
Another lawmaker Janardan Sharma was of the view that corruption has been highly prevalent at those places where there is high power and authority. The poor can never be corrupt, however, those who hold power and post are highly indulged in abusing their authority, according to Sharma. “We should honestly admit that the political sector has turned out to be the most corrupt one followed by other sectors,” he added.
Pampha Bhusal wondered whether the anti-graft body can launch an investigation into the corruption in the big projects in the course of contract bidding.
Amresh Kumar Singh, another MP, said that the commission has failed to control the cases of corruption at the local level. “We can easily calculate the amount of irregularities in the local units if their property is thoroughly investigated,” he opined.
Lawmaker Prem Suwal, on the other hand, questioned the system of political appointment of the CIAA chief and other commissioners. “There is no meaning of complaining about the commission unless it is free from politics.”
According to the annual report presented by the commission, most corruption complaints were related to local units in the last fiscal year 2019-20. Of the total complaints filed at the CIAA, 26.87 percent are related to irregularities at the local level while 16.95 percent cases were related to the education sector followed by 8.34 percent in land administration, 4.6 percent in forest and environment and 3.98 percent in health and population. Similarly, 8.53 percent cases registered last year were related to fake credentials and 7.61 percent to acquiring property illegally.