PAC directs Ministry to scrap purchasing security printing press

Published On: March 13, 2020 10:00 PM NPT By: RSS

KATHMANDU, March 13: The Public Account Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives has directed the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to scrap the process initiated to purchase a security printing press.

Lawmakers at the PAC meeting on Friday viewed that the previous process to buy the security printing press must be scrapped and a new global tender issued for competitive bidding. The PAC meeting voiced that the process was full of irregularities. It also directed the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority to investigate the irregularities rife in the procurement process.

The government to government (G2G) process was adopted for it. Earlier, then Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Banskota had to resign from the post on the moral ground after he was heard seeking a commission in a leaked audiotape over the purchase of printing press.

The PAC meeting presided over by its Chairman Bharat Kumar Shah also decided to collect information relating to the buying cost and other processes included. Some lawmakers also said such irregularities surfaced for lack of clear legal provision on G2G. At the meeting, lawmaker Dr. Minendra Rijal said few persons were taking advantage of the weak provision on procurement, so time has come to work for sustainable reform in policy and practice.

Similarly, lawmaker Birodh Khatiwada said the G2G procurement process was misused. Certain criteria with clear descriptions are imperative, he added. Lawmaker Dharmashila Chapagain demanded action against those involved in the embezzlement. Tejulal Chaudhary viewed that only resignation would not suffice, legal action against the accused is a must.

After the lawmakers' demand, the PAC has also decided to hold discussions with concerned stakeholders, Chief Secretary, and secretaries.

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