Republica Morning Brief: Oct 17

October 17, 2020 06:03 am

KATHMANDU, Oct 17: In case you missed them, here are the major news stories that Republica covered over the past 24 hours.

BUTWAL, Oct 16: A police head constable along with his wife was held on the charge of taking a bribe of Rs 400,000 in Rupandehi on Friday.

Either make evidence of corruption public or apologize, NCP spokesperson Shrestha tells former PM Bhattarai

The Center previously received 18.5 million rupees, but it is yet to set up an office and the needed infrastructure

CIAA launches probe into irregularity at COVID-19 hospital of BPKIHS, Dharan

KANCHANPUR, Sept 29: The Kanchanpur office of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has seized the documents of Patan Municipality Office in Baitadi district.

KATHMANDU, Sept 8: The controversial Inaruwa-Kakarbhitta railway trackbed tender has been cancelled. An invitation to tender was called to construct the 106 kilometers-long trackbed some two months ago.

KATHMANDU, Aug 23: At a time when the people have been demanding serious reforms in the judiciary, a recently-formed committee to look into the judicial irregularities has raised some hope.

KATHMANDU, July 27: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has said that it should be allowed to probe into the corruption cases of the private sector.

KHOTANG, July 14: Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the Chief Water and Irrigation Division Officer in Diktel, Khotang, was arrested on the charge of corruption on Tuesday.

Fire the corrupt people

April 5, 2020 08:08 am

Developments of the past one week have raised serious questions about the conduct of the Nepal Communist Party government. They indicate how low the actors close to the government can go to make money during the life-threatening crisis of COVID-19 and to what extent they can fall to hide their mistakes from the public. First, there was the procurement scam of medical logistics. The company to which the government awarded the contract for this job, Omni Group, had no prior experience of supplying medical goods.  The contract was awarded in haste and in highly inflated rates. Some of the medical items brought by the Omni group were as many as 28 times more expensive than normal market prices. When this came out in the media, the government canceled the contract with the Omni Group. When an online newspaper, Kathmanduexpress, published the report about the collusion among relatives and contacts of serving ministers, IT consultant to the Prime Minister’s Office Asgar Ali and PM’s other advisors, that report was deleted by Ali’s nexus without the knowledge of the online newspaper. All this was done, it has been established, by those who are close to the power centers and who are in this game of making money by abusing power, tarnishing the image of the government and the country.

KATHMANDU, April 4: Nepal Army (NA) has been dragged into a controversy again. It is not because of the national army's own doings, though.

Feel some shame

April 2, 2020 08:22 am

Actually, this should be the time when health authorities are expending all their energies for testing the suspected cases and administer treatment. This is the time for the public health authorities to receive praise from the people because of all the good works they are doing. And the ministry of health and the government should be receiving accolades from all sides. But they have become the subject of harsh public criticism, even anger, because of their own doings. Early this week, the Health Ministry purchased medical logistics from China to test and treat patients of COVID-19. That was the right thing to do. Nepali health facilities have no tools to test the patients suspected of coronavirus and the government had to procure them. But now it has been revealed that almost all the medical items, costing over billion rupees, were purchased at way too high rates, as many as 28 times higher than normal market price for some of the items.

KATHMANDU, March 16: Women and Social Committee under the House of Representatives (HoR) has launched a probe into alleged corruption at the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS).

(Don’t) Visit Nepal 2020

March 6, 2020 10:00 am

We were expecting two million tourists to visit Nepal this year but it looks like we might not reach the target due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China and various other countries. Even before the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign was officially launched, tourism entrepreneurs had serious doubts about attracting two million tourists due to inadequate tourism infrastructure in our country.

KATHMANDU, March 6: Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel and Chief of Nepal Army Purna Chandra Thapa on Thursday skipped the parliamentary State Affairs Committee (SAC) meeting which was scheduled to inquire with them about alleged corruption in the military.

Fallout of favor

March 1, 2020 10:23 am

Government’s open protection for a business group close to the ruling party has become a matter of serious public concern recently. Its undue favor for Yeti Group and various companies associated with it, for example, has not only brought the disgrace on the government but also Yeti Group is becoming synonymous with misrule and policy corruption.  The government allowed it to use several prime public properties including Nepal Trust property worth billions of rupees from Kathmandu to the Everest Base Camp for business.  Yeti Group managed to transfer the ownership of land inside the Sagarmatha National Park to its name to establish Kongde View Resort.

KATHMANDU, Feb 28: Immediate past Information Minister Gokul Prasad Baskota has moved the court seeking action against those involved in defaming him.

KATHMANDU, Feb 28: The Special Court on Thursday convicted former minister Sanjay Sah alias Takla of corruption as well as money laundering. Sah is currently serving a life term in Nakkhu prison for ‘masterminding’ bombing in Janakpur a few years ago.

KATHMANDU, Feb 26: Former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Wednesday demanded a probe into the private properties of present and all the former Prime Ministers.

KATHMANDU, Feb 25: Parliamentarian Sarita Giri on Tuesday accused the ruling Nepal Communist Party of promoting corruption in the country.

KATHMANDU, Feb 24: Following the bribery scandal involving the erstwhile communications minister Gokul Baskota, the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) has directed the members of its shadow cabinet to keep a close watch on corruption in all the ministries.

New Wave of Media Repression

February 23, 2020 09:24 am

SYDNEY – Since 2018, large antigovernment protests—what some term the Arab Spring 2.0—have reverberated across the Middle East. Protesters decry corruption, sectarianism, and economic stagnation. Like the Arab uprisings a decade ago, these protests have successfully unseated key leaders—prime ministers have resigned in Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, and long-term dictators were toppled in Sudan and Algeria.

KATHMANDU, Feb 22: Chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that Nepali communists have a tendency of turning corrupt once they come into the power despite having a political background of contributing to revolutionary changes in the country.

KATHMANDU, Feb 21: Executive Chairperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that the communists in Nepal have the tendency of turning corrupt once they come in the power despite having a political background of contributing to revolutionary changes in the country.

KATHMANDU, Feb 21: Chitra Bahadur KC, a technical staff affiliated to Bheriganga municipality in Surkhet, has been arrested while taking a bribe of Rs 200,000 from the service seeker.

Badge of honor

February 21, 2020 10:37 am

During the Panchey days, it was a badge of honor for our netas of today to be in prison for being courageous enough to fight against the system. They did suffer a lot and were always in danger of being killed by the state. Today, the story is different. We, the people, cannot speak against the same honest netas of yesterday who are now corrupt savages. Instead, when our courts send our netas to prison, our cadres go crazy as if we were sending an honest and respectable person to prison. And when our netas are released, our cadres go crazy once again as if one of our own had gone to mars and have come back home as a hero.

Time for reckoning

February 20, 2020 09:51 am

Nepal celebrated 70th National Democracy Day on Wednesday by organizing a special ceremony at the Nepal Army Pavilion in the capital. President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Prasad Sapkota, National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, cabinet ministers, members of parliament, high-ranking government officials and people from various walks of life attended the ceremony.

Fear the threat

February 16, 2020 11:52 am

Few days ago, a person claiming to belong to ‘banned’ communist party called me for some monetary assistance for his party. He had misunderstood me for a manpower supplier to foreign countries. I said that he was calling a wrong number. A follow up to that call has not arrived yet. But this is the indication of the fact that threat looms large in Nepali society and that Nepal needs to formulate a pragmatic and stringent policies and programs to curb rogue elements’ activities by investigating into the root causes of the problems.

KATHMANDU, Feb 16: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has stressed on the need for revising the existing Public Procurement Act to address the problems seen in the timely construction of the infrastructure projects.

KATHMANDU, Feb 14: A taskforce formed by the State Affairs Committee (SAC) of the House of Representatives has sought investigation into the property of former chief of Nepal Army Rajendra Chhetri. The move of the taskforce comes in response to ‘several complaints’ that allege Chhetri’s involvement in ‘massive financial irregularities’ during his term in office. Chhetri served as army chief from September 2015 to September 2018.

Corruption weakens democracy

February 10, 2020 09:24 am

During the Gettysburg Address in 1863, Abraham Lincoln stated that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” He must have thought democracy to be the best political system in the world. Albert Camus, a French philosopher trusted democracy to be the protection of the minority. For Harry Fosdick, democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. If Lincoln, Camus, and Fosdick were alive today, they would probably be extremely disappointed to learn that democracy is in an acute crisis as it has failed to deliver on its promises.

Oli and his civilized society

February 7, 2020 10:09 am

Oli ba tells us that his government is working hard to create a civilized society and he wants all of us to be responsible citizens and not wild savages who rant on social media against corruption and misuse of power by our thulo mancheys. But the question is who really are the savages, us, the people who seem to find it difficult to even buy onions and garlic or those buffoons in power who spend billions of our taxpayers’ money on their own near and dear ones?

KATHMANDU, Feb 6: Lawmakers at the National Assembly, the Upper House of Federal Parliament, have thanked the government stating that the Prime Minister's commitment not to indulge in corruption and not to tolerate corruption was translated into action after latest move of the CIAA.

KATHMANDU, Feb 1: Concluding that many leaders of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have amassed property illegally and are involved in corruption, a section of leaders of the party has strongly demanded that all their leaders disclose their property details. Also, they have demanded that the party form a powerful commission to probe their property.

KATHMANDU, Jan 31: Rajendra Basnet, a peon working at Chabahil-based Land Revenue Office, has been accused of amassing Rs 89.8 million during his stay at the office.

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Tuesday filed a corruption case against the chief administrator of Guthi Corporation Narayan Chaudhary and deputy administrator Jaya Prasad Regmi on the charge of corruption.

KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Even as the government commitment to overcome pervasive corruption in the country remains unfulfilled, Nepal has made some progress in its fight against corruption, Transparency International (TI) said in its annual report on Thursday. But Nepal still remains among the most corrupt countries in the world.

KATHMANDU, Jan 24: The government has stepped up moves for amending the Prevention of Corruption Act to allow its anti-corruption agency to investigate property held in foreign countries and retrieve it if it is found to have been acquired through corrupt means.

NEPAGUNJ, Jan 23: According to the Department of Customs, the illegal import of goods is affecting revenue collection at the Nepalgunj Customs Office. But nevertheless, the office is increasing its target of revenue collection this year. According to the officials, the target for revenue collection for Fiscal Year 2019/20 is Rs 15 billion.

PARBAT, Jan 18: The District Administration Office (DAO) is tightening the screw on fair organizers in Parbat on the grounds of breach of security, encouragement of illicit and corrupt behavior and poor utilization of funds.

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Shambhu Bharati, who was serving a jail term at Dilli Bazaar Jail for embezzling millions of rupees while procuring logistics for Nepali peacekeepers in Sudan, has been released from the jail on Sunday before completing his term. Although he had been given a yearlong prison term, he remained in prison for just four months.

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed a charge sheet against undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance Rajendra Dhungana and his wife Madhu Koirala Dhungana on Friday.

Padlocked municipality opened

December 29, 2019 09:21 am

RAJBIRAJ, Dec 29: Dakneshwari Municipality of Rajbiraj district, which was padlocked from December 15, has been opened on Saturday, following a 22-point agreement between the protesting youths and the municipality.

KATHMANDU, Dec 23: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed 206 cases against individuals for their alleged involved in corruption and irregularities in the first five months of the current fiscal year – FY2019/20.

KATHMANDU, Dec 16: The Commission for Investigation and Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed a graft case against Ram Babu Mandal, the officiating chief of Land Revenue Office in Siraha, demanding a fine of Rs 500, 000 and jail term for seeking the bribe from the service seekers.

Suspend CDO Rijal, CIAA instructs govt

December 11, 2019 09:57 am

KATHMANDU, Dec 11: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has asked the government to suspend Khagendra Rijal, chief district officer (CDO) of Dolakha, from his position immediately, saying that a bribery investigation against him is underway.

Curbing corruption

December 2, 2019 10:15 am

Faulty election system of First Past the Post is one of the main reasons responsible for motivating political corruption

SIRAHA, Nov 22: Chief of District Land Revenue Office Ram Babu Mandal has been caught red-handed while receiving a bribe of Rs 500, 000 from a service seeker on Friday.

KATHMANDU, Nov 18: Former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has accused the cabinet ministers and politicians of indulging into corruption while transferring and promoting the government employees.