KATHMANDU, March 5: It has been revealed that the government spent more funds to make security arrangements for Asia Pacific Summit compared to Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit held in August last year.
Interestingly, the Asia Pacific Summit held in November last year was organized by a non-government organization, while BIMSTEC Summit was hosted by the government itself.
All the security agencies made huge expenditure in the name of making security arrangements for the Asia Pacific Summit. However, only Nepal Police was involved in making security arrangements for the BIMSTEC Summit.
The government spent an astounding Rs 28 million to arrange security for the controversial Asia Pacific Summit which drew strong opposition from political leaders and civil society. The government spent only Rs 22.64 million for making security arrangements for BIMSTEC Summit.
The funds were arranged through budget transfer by the Ministry of Finance.
Nepal Army spent about Rs 5 million in food and fuel expenses of its security personnel deployed for Asia Pacific Summit, while such spending by Nepal Police was Rs 10.6 million, according to budget transfer record of the month of Mangsir made public on the website of Ministry of Finance recently. Similarly, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department received Rs 6.65 million and Rs 12.87 million, respectively, from the ministry. Ministry of Home Affairs received another Rs 4.5 million for the same purpose.
However, only the Nepal Police received additional budget for the BIMSTEC Summit. Nepal Police Headquarters spent Rs 14.51 million for daily expenses of its personnel, maintenance of the vehicles and for fuel expenses, among others, as per the budget transfer documents of the month of Paush of the finance ministry.
The spending by Nepal Police Academy, an entity under Nepal Police, for the security arrangement was Rs 191,000, while Metropolitan Police Range Kathmandu was given Rs 7.93 million for the purpose.
Nine heads of states had participated in the BIMSTEC summit while, only few heads of states and some former heads of states participated in the Asia Pacific Summit.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, former Indian Prime Minister HD Devegowda, former Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Nauru President Baron Waqa, the Philippines Vice-president Maria Leonor G Robredo, Samoa Head of State Vaaleto’a Sualauvi II Tuimalealiifano, among others, participated in Asia Pacific Summit.
“It is not good to spending taxpayer’s money on such controversial programs. It was not necessary,” Geja Sharma Wagle, a security expert, told Republica.