House panel ups efforts to acquire report on Sajha

Published On: August 30, 2017 04:50 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, August 30: The parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has stepped up efforts to acquire the report prepared by the Ministry of Education (MoE) on the irregularities at the Sajha Prakashan.

The MoE on July 27 formed a probe committee with Ganesh Dhakal, undersecretary at the Monitoring and Evaluation Division at the ministry as head, and Resham Sigdel, under-secretary of the Law Section, and Bhola Nath Paudel, accounts officer of the ministry as members. On August 3, the MoE replaced Paudel with the ministry's accounts officer Sunita Khanal in the panel after it came to light that Sajha General Manager Dolindra Prasad Sharma had given a job to Paudel's wife at Sajha after the formation of the probe panel.

The panel submitted its report to Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha about a week ago. The report has recommended that the Sajha board be sacked immediately and action be initiated against those involved in irregularities. Officials told Republica that Minister Shrestha is not keen on taking action against Sajha GM Sharma.

However, the MoE has yet to submit its report to the PAC. “We have not received the report yet,” said lawmaker Dhan Raj Gurung, a member of the PAC. “We have taken the Sajha irregularities seriously and have stepped up efforts to acquire the report from the ministry.”

Sajha Prakashan General Manager Sharma has been accused of multiple irregularities such as giving jobs to those close to certain politicians and journalists, not carrying out periodic audit, not maintaining records of annual incomes and book publications, misusing the Sajha logo, and illegally transferring Rs 5 million from Sajha's bank accounts to the general manager's accounts among other things.
Apart from the PAC, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority is also investigating Sajha irregularities.

The Sajha Prakashan, state-owned publication established 105 years ago, is well known as icon of literary publications in the country. 

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