April 18, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Anti-corruption talk

The Nepal Weekly
February 20, 2024

The 33rdanniversary of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority CIAA has once again inspired the anti-corruption-rhetoric in the country. Top leaders ranging from the President, Prime Minister to officials have joined the talk emphasizing that the corrupted should not be left un-punished. In reality, however, corruption appears to have spread in one way or another throughout offices – government or private all over the country. Service seekers who visit the offices on occasions feel the heat of corruption or under-Table payment. They cannot get their jobs done or they cannot get the services through offices without paying what could be termed bribe of one kind or the other. All in offices expect return from service seekers. When they do not get the return the service will not be delivered: a number of innovative ways of delaying or ignoring or neglecting the non-paying service seekers have been developed in offices. The same trouble or harass service–seekers in a serious manner and they think it wise to pay bribe for getting the services. That move feeds into the grand circle of bribe seekers and payers and the circle could be felt in all public offices in one form or another. Officially, none accepts the existence of such circle. Unofficially, all feel it and complain against it in different ways. The cancerous growth of such circle has affected adversely the daily lives of people, development activities of the country, the budget regime, public resource handling and policy-universe. Indicators to this effect could be found in the latest expression of CIAA-chief. Resources related to land and forest are being abused under the eyes of authorities concerned; objections raised regularly through the Auditor General’s annual report are sidelined by authorities concerned; and policies are manipulated for the convenience of those who are engaged in corruption, irregularity and abuse. To tackle the problem, all constitutional bodies and democratic institutions of the country should first be willing to fight against corruption of all kinds; they should dedicate their efforts for countering corruption and promoting integrity and fair work culture. Politicians who drive the national governance should not stand in their way. They themselves should be willing to create a climate of integrity in matching their words with acts. If this could be taken seriously, some difference will be felt in the fight against corruption in a year, prior to the 34rd anniversary of the country’s top anti-corruption body of the country.