Print Edition - 2015-03-02 | MONEY
CIAA told to take action only after project completion
- national pride projects
Mar 1, 2015-
A joint meeting of the Parliamentary Development Committee and the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee on Sunday directed the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to initiate action against those involved in corruption at National Pride Projects only after the projects’ completion.
With government officials not taking bold decisions to speed up development work fearing a possible action from the anti-graft body, the joint meeting asked the CIAA to collect facts and evidences of corruption first and take action against such individuals after the completion of the projects.
“Our aim is not to promote corruption. But we are dedicated to expediting the development process,” said Rabindra Adhikari, chairman of the Development Committee. “CIAA has been probing projects without proper homework. This has resulted in slow progress, hurting the country’s development.”
According to Adhikari, bureaucrats are not being able to take decisions on issues such as those related to cost variation. Average spending of these projects stood at just 15.63 percent as of the first half of the fiscal year, with some projects failing spend a single rupee, according to the Mid-Term Review of the Budget released by the Finance Ministry. A total of Rs 27.4 billion has been allocated for these projects for this year.
Former CIAA chief Surya Nath Upadhyay, however, said he has not seen the decision of the joint meeting, but added nobody, even the Parliamentary bodies, has, in principle, right to direct the anti-graft body to do things that influence its investigation. On bureaucrats not taking bolder decisions fearing a possible CIAA action, he said the law does not bar anyone to take decisions remaining within the law’s parameter.
The joint meeting has also directed the government, National Planning Commission, CIAA and the National Vigilance Centre to create a coordinating mechanism for expediting work in these projects. Lack of coordination among government agencies has resulted in delay in the projects. Particularly, the Forest Ministry not issuing clearance to cut down trees, and different opinions of the Forest Ministry and other ministries on whether to extend the deadline for crusher plants to meet the set standards hit development projects last year.
The joint meeting directed the government to prepare legal provisions to complete national pride projects through a fast-track mechanism. It also directed government agencies to sign performance contract with project chiefs and not to transfer the chief until the project completes, but make him/her responsible for any delay and even slap fine.
Mahat, Karki criticised
A joint meeting of Development Committee and the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee on Sunday expressed sadness over “no-show” of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority chief Lok Man Singh Karki and Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat. (PR)
Published: 02-03-2015 08:45