Major parties have decided that their lawmakers will contribute from their salary.
KATHMANDU, April 5: The government, on March 23, appealed to individuals and organizations to contribute to the ‘COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment fund’. About 1.81 billion rupees has been collected as of Saturday, according to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).
Responding to the government's call, a number of individuals and institutions have contributed a significant amount to the fund to help Nepal government wage fight against this pandemic. Businesspersons, financial institutions and corporate houses, and individuals are among those who have contributed to this fund.
However, Nepal's top political leaders have not contributed a single rupee to the fund. However, their parties have decided that lawmakers will contribute from their salary as members of parliament. Apart from messages on Facebook, Twitter and on other social media platforms, none of the top leaders has contributed financially.
The leaders are in a position to make significant contributions to the fund. They live a life of luxury. People often wonder why they do not step up when the nation is in crisis.
The ruling Nepal Communist Party has three ex-prime ministers--- chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior leader duo Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal. Except for extending messages, they have made no contribution to this fund. Except for main opposition party’s MP Gagan Thapa, who expressed commitment to contribute a month’s salary and the party’s Rs 5 million; neither party president Sher Bahadur Deuba nor other leaders, including senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat and Krishna Prasad Sitaula, have donated anything to the fund. Another former Prime Minister and federal council chairperson of Samajbadi Party, Dr Baburam Bhattarai, and his party’s chair Upendra Yadav have not yet announced any contributions.
Bigwigs of Terai-based Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN), including Mahanta Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Sarad Singh Bhandari and Anil Jha, have also not made contributions to the fund.
Similarly, leaders of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Kamal Thapa, Pashupati Shumsher Rana, and former PM Lokendra Bahadur Chanda have not contributed anything to the fund. However, RPP had earlier announced to contribute 500,000 to this fund.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Thapa, on March 23, proposed that each lawmaker contributes one-month’s salary to the fund.
The lawmakers of the ruling Nepal Communist Party and the main opposition Nepali Congress have decided to contribute to the fund. A meeting of the NCP party parliamentary has pledged to contribute their half month's salary while the NC lawmakers said they would contribute up to one month's salary to the fund.
Although, the former PMs and senior leaders are going to contribute to the fund in the capacity of the lawmakers, they have not made personal donations so far.
Former King Gyanendra Shah, however, donated Rs 20 million to the fund on March 31. In a message, he informed that the donation amount will be made available through Himani Trust, a non-profit established by his daughter-in-law Himani Shah.
Other top contributors mainly include private and state-owned entities. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) handed over Rs 500 million to this fund while Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) donated Rs 150 million. Similarly, Rs 120 million was contributed by Nepal Telecom. Moreover, Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON) and Deposit and Credit Guarantee Fund have contributed Rs 30 million each to the fund. Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) has also contributed Rs 30.5 million. Citizens Investment Trust collected Rs 20 million while CDS and Clearing Limited deposited Rs 13.5 million. Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Bank Limited Rs 13.5 million each. Agricultural Development Bank Ltd has provided Rs 12.5 million to the fund.
Ncell is the biggest donor with the private telecommunication company contributing a total of Rs 100 million to the government fund. Similarly, National Insurance Board has contributed Rs 50 million while National Insurance Company Limited and National Insurance Corporation have donated Rs 16.5 million Rs 10 million respectively.
Mega Bank Ltd (Rs 13.5 million) Global IME Bank Ltd (Rs 11.5 million), Nepal Investment Bank Limited (Rs 10 million), NMB Bank (Rs 15.1 million), Prabhu Bank (10.1 million), Nepal Bangladesh Bank Ltd (Rs 14.5), Prime Commercial Bank Ltd (Rs 17.5), Machhapuchhre Bank Ltd (5.1 million), Norvic Hospital (Rs 5 million), Himalayan Bank Ltd (Rs 12.5 million), Hetauda School of Management (Rs 1 million), Radha Madhav Samiti Nepal (Rs 1.5 million) Staff at Office of PM and Council of Ministers (Rs 1.7 million) Melamchi municipality (Rs 1 million) and Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (Rs 1.27 million) are others who have already made contributions to the fund.
However, Nepal Communist Party (NCP), the biggest political party, has not contributed anything to the fund. The government itself has made a commitment of Rs 500 million to the fund. The cabinet ministers also pledged to contribute one month's salaries to the fund. Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket announced a contribution of Rs 10 million while Non-Resident Nepali Association (Rs 10 million), the President (amount equivalent to two months of salary), Gagan Thapa (one month salary as parliamentarian) and Nepali Congress (Rs 5 million) have also made commitment to contribute to the fund.
The government has set up an account at Rastriya Banijya Bank Ltd (Account Number: 196000001101) and has appealed to everyone to make contributions.