Corruption: Curse or Crime

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Corruption: Crime or Curse

“Both bribe takers and bribe givers are the worst enemies of the nation”. This was said by late king Prithivi Narayan Shah who unified Nepal with a hope to make it a prosperous country in the world. Years after its unification, Nepal has not been able to march towards sign of prosperity, thanks to ever increasing cases related with high voltage scam and graft at different levels across the country.

Nepal is the second most corrupt country in South Asia only after Afghanistan with Bhutan being the least corrupt in the region. According to recent report published by Transparency International, the worlds most credible measure of domestic and public sector corruption, Nepal ranked 154th with a score of 2.2 among the 192 countries. The report also says that more than two thirds countries scored less than five. This clearly indicates that corruption is deep rooted in all parts of the globe hindering their overall development.  The report also highlights that political parties and their cadres are the most corrupt institution in Nepal. This is followed by government officials, Non- Government Organization and private sector.

Nepal currently is passing through innumerable problems. The economic performance is very dismal with remittance being the largest contributor to keep economy afloat. The political instability is taking heavy toll in the overall development of the country. Furthermore, law and order is ever deteriorating and as a result it is becoming very unsafe in terms of security. The cases of gender based violence are on the rise in recent times. Amidst all these challenges, Nepal has been facing another noticeable problem related with scam and graft over the past few decades, especially after the restoration of democracy in 1990.

Over the past few weeks, there has been number of high voltage scams and graft reported in the media across the country. High ranking officials at the immigration department were arrested while seeking bribe from the service seekers. According to reports, the government officials demanded lofty amount to facilitate the documentation and other process. Acting on the tip off, the officials from the anti- graft body- CIAA- cracked down the department and arrested some employees for their illegal activities.

In another incident, the CIAA arrested high ranking officials of the Nepal Electricity Authority last week. It is said that the NEA high ranking officials along with foreign nationals were involved in financial irregularities in the procurement process of low standard transformers. The chief of the anti -graft body, after the arrest, agreed that the country is immensely plagued by these peoples who abuse their authority to pocket the money allocated for the overall development of the country. The situation will not ameliorate unless stern action is taken against them.

Similarly, in eastern district, a government teacher of secondary school was allegedly booked for financial embezzlement. According to reports, the government teacher along with officials at the local based government institution work in tandem to misuse the amount allocated for the infrastructure development of the school. Local people say that they share the fund by maneuvering the document and sideline the concerns of local people. They also lament that the development in rural areas exist only in papers.

All these cases at different levels clearly indicate that corruption is very deep rooted in Nepal. It has become a common sight in the government, non- government and private organization across the country.  Needles to mention, service seekers have to bribe the service providers to facilitate their documentation and other process.

Despite the vibrant anti- graft bodies at the central level, the cases related with abuse of authority and high voltage scam is on the rise across the country. The growing cases of corruption in Nepal can be attributed to several factors. Political protectionism and strong nexus between perpetrators and political parties and leaders can be viewed as the major obstacle in crusading the corruption across the country. Likewise, the unending political instability has also offered a space for officials to abuse their authority and pocket the money allocated for development of the nation. Above all, the shoddy implementation of law and order has significantly failed to curb the corruption that has ruined the country in all aspects.






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