Personal tools
You are here: Home News Analysis and Views Oli-led Government-32
Log in

Forgot your password?

Oli-led Government-32

Issue April 2016

Irregularities In State Expenditures And Loss To The Nation

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


If we take a look at the last but one page of “gorkhapatraa” of April 20, 2016, we find the news about the irregularities in the State financial management. This news was dreadful in the sense that the State officials had practically plunder the State budget allocated to the development projects charging for the jobs they had never contracted out, making double payments, and paying for the fictitious additional work.


The news titled “Trend In Widespread Irregularities In Expenditure” said that the annual report of the Auditor General had recorded the 45.26% of the State expenditure was not done properly following the rules and regulations. The State offices had spent NPR 4.296 billions not following the financial rules and regulations, and they had recorded NPR 14.966 billions as expenditures without the receipts for the payments done. Other agencies including the district development offices had spent NPR 3.928 billions irregularly.


The officials evaded the rules and regulations. For example, to avoid the bids for contracting jobs, the State officials had awarded the work to the contractors in small pieces not requiring bids following the Public Purchase Act. The State finance managers had recorded the expenditures without the receipts for the payments done. These State finance managers had purchased everything, as did women purchasing a bunch of green vegetables from a farm-product seller at Ason in Kathmandu. These women simply threw a banknote and grabbed the vegetables and rush homes to cook morning or evening meals. Is that the way the State officials to work? Did they really buy anything or simply they faked everything and pillaged the State money?


Local Development Ministry, Physical Infrastructures and Transport Ministry, Urban Development Ministry, and Irrigation and Energy Ministry had paid more than needed to contractors, made double payments, paid for additional work without evidences, paid contractors without charging for damages, and did not deduct tax while making payments, the Auditor General’s report stated.


Who would say that these were not the daylight robberies if almost 50% of the expenditures were done without following the laws? Practically, a half of the expenditures the State offices had incurred ostensibly for the development projects had been wasted. Not totally wasted, as the money did not go to the drains but it definitely went to the pockets of probably the concerned ministers, secretaries to the ministries, then to the concerned decision makers at various levels of the bureaucracy including the accountants, engineers, site overseers, and finally the contractors. These were the criminals responsible for keeping the nation in poverty despite so much of resources was poured in the country.


How could the accountants prepare the expenditure sheets not following the Public Purchase Act and without the receipts for payments, and then the project-in-charge signed off the documents; how could they make double payments, and how could they make payments without receipts; how could they pay for the additional work without evidences if the money were not to go into their pockets? Clearly, they had prepared fake accounts of expenditures. Nobody needed more evidences than the annual report of the Auditor General to catch the supposed-to-be honorable State elected and regular hired officials turned into the daylight robbers.


Surely, the responsible ministers and State officials were supposed to catch those State thieves and contractors but how they could do so probably they themselves were having shares in those stolen money.  Probably, it would not be incorrect to say that the daylight robbers and thieves had been running the State development administration.


So, it was not wonder that the incumbent prime minister, former prime ministers, ministers, secretaries to ministries, accountants, engineers and overseers not to mention the contractors had so many visible assets such as the lavishly-built houses in Kathmandu, the cars they rode, and other house appliances they had at home, and the jewelry their dames (madams) used to wear during the social events and dinner parties. Everybody knew that these guys were in flip-flops when they entered the parliament. Thereafter they became ministers and then millionaires if not billionaires. The Auditor General’s report opened the eyes of the common folks to see how these ministers, and State bureaucrats in conjunction with the contractors made the country lose billions of rupees allocated to the development projects.


The most unfortunate thing had been that despite these facts everybody knew, and those guys had been openly stealing the State resources the common folks could not do anything because those very corrupt people had been in power. The most unacceptable thing but repeatedly happening had been those same corrupt guys won the general elections again and again. Obviously, voters could not figure out those corrupt politicians or they had no choice other than those corrupt candidates to vote for.


For example, most of the infamous corrupt Panchas had been back to power, the most corrupt politician Khum Bahadur Khadka that had served the jail term won the election to the central working committee member of the Nepali Congress Party with the overwhelming votes. Before leaving the office, former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala gave Khadka NPR 3.5 millions from his prime ministerial fund for his medical treatment as reported in the media in the country where millions of people died not having a few rupees to buy even the pills for fighting common fever. Both Koirala and Khadka had acted deceitfully.


Obviously, the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had no laws to do anything against the State robbers when billions of rupees stolen about which the Auditor General’s report had told the nation more than clearly. That must be the reason why the CIAA had been a mute witness as the common folks when the nation lost billions of rupees to unscrupulous prime ministers, ministers, and State bureaucrats in other words these guys had spent the State money illegally for their own benefits.


The report had been submitted to the president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal but what the poor president not better than a large puppet could do except for accepting the report on camera.


Finally, the ball was in the court of the parliament where laws were made. Parliamentarians had been tricky not to craft laws that would give the power to the CIAA catching the State thieves because most of the thieves had been either the former ministers or incumbent ministers in different ministries, and the parliamentarians had been in line for the ministerial offices certainly for making billions of rupees while in office. Why should the parliamentarians craft laws that would harm those thieves in power when they themselves would be anticipating being in their shoes at least once in their political lifetime?


The president sends the Auditor General’s annual report to the parliament for the necessary actions that were supposed to catch the muggers to straighten the irregularities in the State accounts. The Parliamentary Public Account Committee had the authority to force the ministers, secretaries, State officials including accountants, engineers, overseers and contractors to pay back the amount they had looted from the State budget making double payments, or without receipts, or not deducting tax and so on but the same parliamentarians that aspired to hold the ministerial positions sit on the Parliamentary Public Account Committee. Then what they would do had been nothing but keep all those irregularities in the accounts pending forever making the dishonestly earned money clearly visible to the public in the forms of highly luxurious houses belonging to former and incumbent prime ministers, ministers, and former and incumbent State bureaucrats.


What the common folks could anticipate any development in the country where the law enforcement officials elected or hired such as prime minister, ministers, secretaries to the ministries, other officials including accountants, engineers, and so on openly broke the laws, and showed the expenditures for the work they never had done and they paid for the jobs they never had contracted out to the contractors, according to the Auditor General’s report in question. They simply must have invented the documents for different development projects and then pocketed the money. That was why they could not submit any evidences of expenditures done for the development projects. Consequently, the expenditures shown without receipts for payments and so on must be entirely faked. Surely, double payments, and payments done without evidences for additional work must also be false, and the expenditures must be falsified.


The one more interesting thing had been the Auditor General could audit the State accounts and the accounts of the State-owned enterprises, and make a nice report stating all the ills and irregularities in the accounts and expenditures but the Auditor General office had no authority to take actions in other words to punish State defaulters. The denial of an authority to the Auditor General punish the corrupt officials must have been deliberately done. Probably, time would soon come when the parliament would craft a law denying the Auditor General to state the irregularities in the State expenditures.


April 21, 2016

Document Actions