National

Poverty fund director KC quits

- Rajesh Khanal, Kathmandu

Nov 18, 2018-

Poverty Alleviation Fund Executive Director Nahakul KC resigned from his post on Wednesday citing ‘unrelenting pressure’ from the Prime Minister’s Office. Along with KC, six other PAF officials also resigned from their posts, sources at the fund said.

KC’s resignation comes three day after the government decided to bring the fund, a flagship programme to eradicate extreme poverty through targeted programmes, under the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation. Established in 2003, PAF was earlier under the PMO as autonomous government entity. Its 12-member governing board is chaired by the prime minister.

PAF officials said KC had been under pressure from the PMO to resign from his position for quite some time. “After the Cabinet meeting last Sunday decided to bring PAF under the Poverty Alleviation Ministry, KC was asked either to resign or prepare to face the sack from the government,” a PAF source said.

KC was appointed as PAF Executive Director on August 11, 2015 by the then Sushil Koirala-led government. Their resignations have come at a time when there is confusion over the PAF programme moves ahead after current assistance from the World Bank at the end of 2018. With donor’s support not forthcoming, the PAF is seeking Rs50 billion in government funds to continue its programmes, according to the PAF officials.

The fund has been running various programmes on poverty alleviation since its establishment. During the period, PAF has supported 956,000 households through 32,000 community-based organisations in rural areas of 62 districts. PAF has formed a Rs13 billion revolving fund with WB aid to support poor families in rural areas.

As per the source, PAF was planning to restructure itself in the new modality as per the federal system. “The organisation has already signed a memorandum of understanding with 544 local governments to hand over the management of revolving fund,” the source said.

Although the programme is targeted at reducing poverty, it has also come under scrutiny after the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed a case against 14 PAF officials at the Special Court on March 11, 2015, charging them of embezzling the fund.

The Special Court on September 25 this year slapped nine officials, including the immediate Executive Director Raj Babu Shrestha, with jail term of five months after they were found guilty.

 

Published: 18-11-2018 07:43

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