Published On: December 25, 2022 01:30 PM NPT By: Bhuwan Sharma
KATHMANDU, Dec 25: The Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jeevan Ram Shrestha has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Finance to provide 300 million rupees as subsidy to various organizations close to him. The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has been giving grants to organizations working in social, religious and cultural fields. However, grants given in this way are not regular.
Last week, Minister Shrestha sent a proposal to the Ministry of Finance to allocate funds for 70 organizations. Suresh Adhikari, the secretary of the ministry, admitted that he had sent a proposal to grant subsidies to 70 organizations. "We have sent a proposal to the finance ministry, specifying the organizations and grant amounts. However, the finance ministry has not given its consent yet,” the secretary said.
The ministry has prepared a procedure for providing grants to institutions or organizations. Five criteria have been formulated for grant in the procedure. The ministry source said, "However, the criteria have not been applied while selecting the organizations.”
In particular, the organizations that will receive grants are chosen at the discretion and desire of the minister. Minister Shrestha had prepared a list of organizations that will receive grants before preparing the draft of the procedure. According to the secretary of the ministry, the organizations receiving grants have been divided into five categories. According to the spokesperson for the ministry, Joint Secretary Rajendra KC, more than 500 organizations have applied for grants from the ministry. KC said that the organizations that will receive the grant were chosen based on the applications received.
According to the ministry, organizations placed in 'A' category will get Rs 12.5 million each. Similarly, organizations placed in 'B' category will get Rs 7 million each, organizations placed in 'C' category Rs 2.5 million each, organizations placed in 'D' category Rs 1 million each and organizations placed in 'E' category Rs 500,000 each. The ministry mentioned that organizations placed in 'A' category are associated with specific leaders. Organizations opened in the name of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Madan Bhandari, Mahendra Narayan Nidhi, Pushpalal Shrestha will get a grant of Rs 12.5 million. There are five such organizations. Similarly, Gajendra Narayan Singh, Ram Raja Prasad Singh, Shahid Suresh Wagle, Shahid Foundation, Shahid and Missing Foundation are among the organizations that will get Rs 7 million.
"The desire of the minister to choose the organizations that will receive Rs 7 million and Rs 2.5 million was especially evident," an employee of the ministry said. “Due to the delay by the finance ministry to approve the grants, the tourism ministry is talking to the senior officials of the Ministry of Finance." One of the employees said that at a time when a new government is about to be formed, the distribution of grants in this way does not send a good message.
In the procedure, there is a provision that foundations and organizations established in the name of people who have contributed to various fields including politics, history, social service, and religion can receive the grants.
Shrestha, who was defeated in the House of Representatives election, has also started preparations for appointing tourism ambassadors to more than a dozen cities of different countries. Tourism ambassadors do not get services from the government level. There is also a tradition of appointing Nepali people abroad as tourism ambassadors. Minister Shrestha was a candidate for a member of the House of Representatives from Kathmandu-8. Biraj Bhakta Shrestha of the Rastriya Swatantra Party won from that constituency.
Urban ministry under-secretary transferred
Meanwhile, Urban Development Minister Metmani Chaudhary transferred the under-secretary of the ministry on Friday, stating that he did not follow his instructions. Under-secretary Khadga Chaudhary, chief of the Federal Project Implementation Unit, Banke, was transferred to the urban development and building construction department. Minister Chaudhary has given Bijay Keshar Khanal, a section officer, the responsibility of the acting project chief.
According to ministry sources, Minister Chaudhary had pressured Secretary Suresh Acharya to transfer Under-secretary Chaudhary. Sources say that the Minister was angry with him for not obeying his orders.
Last week, Minister Chaudhary transferred three joint secretaries of the ministry. The source said, "Minister Chaudhary has submitted the names of other employees to the secretary for transfer as well." However, Secretary Acharya is not in favor of changing the responsibilities of the employees immediately.
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