KATHMANDU, Dec 16: Members of the general public and experts concerned have taken the property statements submitted by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other ministers as unconvincing and at odds with the lifestyles of those leaders.
Former bureaucrats said such disparity between the property details of the leaders and their lifestyle can be a matter for investigations.
Prime Minister Dahal and all the ministers made public their property details on Wednesday. Much to everyone's surprise, The prime minister stated that all he has by way of property is one katha (3,645 square feet)of land in his wife Sita's name in Chitwan and 3 tola (34.992 grams) of gold, while Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara has also stated that he owns very little property.
Deputy Prime Minister Mahara has stated that he owns a two-storey Nepali style house, a cow shed and seven ropani (one ropani is 5,476 square feet) of land in Rolpa district, and has Rs 80,000 at Everest Bank.
A day after the property details were made public, individuals from various sectors and the public in general criticized the leaders for not making public the real extent of their property holdings.
Former home secretary Shreekanta Regmi said that the lavish lifestyles of the leaders make a mockery of the property statements that they have issued.
"Their property details are doubtful as these do not comport in any way with their lavish lifestyles. If they are poor as they have projected themselves to be, how come they are enjoying such a lavish lifestyle?" he said.
He said that those leaders who have projected themselves as implausibly poor can be a subject for investigations. The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) should look into the matter, he added.
Former CIAA chief commissioner Suryanath Upadhyay echoed Regmi, saying the property details of the prime minister and some other ministers did not reflect reality.
He said that the property details furnished by the prime minister and other ministers are unbelievably modest, given their lavish lifestyle even before they came to power.
"Comparing the property details they have made public with the lifestyles they have been enjoying since even before coming to power will make clear whether or not they have presented a factual picture. The CIAA can look into the matter," he added.
He said the CIAA can recommend legal action if any person holding public office has tried to hide his/her property holdings.
Similarly, Surya Raj Acharya, a policy analyst and engineer, took to Twitter to vent his criticism. He has tweeted that there should be investigations into the income sources of rich ministers and also into how the ministers who are not rich had been making a living to date.
Rabindra Adhikari, a CPN-UML lawmaker, questioned on Twitter why the prime minister did not mention his bank account into which he has been receiving his salary as prime minister.