On the background of widespread corruption in Nepal mentioned in Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 which was released in January 2017, and in the context of no efforts/initiatives of the Government of Nepal and lack of political commitment to control corruption, Transparency International Nepal under Building National Integrity in Nepal (BNIN) program had organized a discussion program on paper presentation by Mr. Hari Bahadur Thapa, Journalist entitled “The Pervasiveness of Political Corruption in Nepal” on April 24th, 2017 at Hotel Yellow Pagoda, Kathmandu witnessing 90 participants from different walks of life on the occasion. This function was chaired by Mr. Srihari Aryal, TIN President and Senior Advocate, in the presence of Chief Guest Mr. Mohan Singh Rathaur, Chairperson/Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Legislative Parliament of Nepal. Most notable presence was from the secretaries of National Vigilance Center and Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority.
Mr. Hari Bahadur Thapa, journalist of Kantipur Nepali Newspaper daily presented a paper highlighting the situation of political corruption in Nepal. He observed that how the country is saddening to experience the widespread political corruption. He further pointed out the dangerous level at which the abuses of authority continue to threaten democratic political system. Likewise he said that even in big political scandal, Nepali political leaders are mum and apathetic. Similarly, Mr. Thapa also provided an example of violation of separation of powers and infringement of independence of Judiciary due to extreme politicization by major political parties.
Mr. Bishwa Kant Mainali, Senior Advocate and the first commentator of the paper stated that it has become a common case that the Executive is more corruption prone when comparing to the illicit interventions and abuses tainting the pedestal of other two supreme agencies of the state – the Legislature and the Judiciary. Mr. Mainali remarked that Nepal’s politics and political party are responsible to save the society and state from further perversion.
The second commentator of the paper, Mr. Yubaraj Ghimire, Senior Journalist expressed anxiety on journalism by not featuring widespread corruption and its prescriptions in the area of concern. He expressed that Transparency International Nepal’s findings are mere perception of the public, and power of discretion used by public officials are not to be overlooked upon. He agreed with many of the views of the paper presenter and it supported the urgency to advocate against rampant corruption in the country.
Opening the floor session, participants opined different sides of prevailing corruption practices in Nepal and multiple suggestions were floated as well. There was a general grievances in the program on overseeing, regulating and oversight agencies are not active but reactive, lest proactive.
Mr. Mohan Singh Rathaur, Chairman of Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of the Legislative-Parliament lauded the working paper contents of paper presenter Mr. Hari Bahadur Thapa. Mr. Rathaur derived a common conclusion that excessive politicization is the main reason for corruption and bad governance in Nepal. He said that politics should be service-oriented and it is not a vocation for profit making. He observed that contemporary politics has become a profession to enrich material pleasures. In transitional politics, the institutionalization of democracy and political change has been failing and the political system is digressing from the priority of maintaining good governance and timely public service delivery. He said that we have to pressurize and lobby in the interests of maintaining and promoting democratic values.
Mr. Ram Krishna Manandhar, Treasurer/TINepal thanked all the participants for making the program a success and thought building. At last, in the concluding note, Mr. Sri Hari Aryal, President of TI Nepal emphasized on making property and wealth of politicians public.