Government says no more funding for disqualified, absentee Maoist soldiers (PLA members). After failing to furnish details on the expenditure, Maoist leaders have put pressure on the government to convert the amount into grant so that it will not be binding on them to audit the amount.
By Yuvraj Acharya ,the Kathmandu Post
The government has cut the ration for absentee Maoist combatants in UN-monitored cantonments now and has decided to deny monthly allowance to those disqualified during the UN verification. The decision was taken last week when the government released Rs 244.1 million as three-month allowance for combatants. “We have already written to the Maoists that we will not provide ration and monthly allowance to combatants who are not in the cantonments and have failed the UN’s verification,” said Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel. According to a government source, the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has submitted final verification report on four of the seven main cantonments where the number of disqualified and absentees is about 39.7 percent of the total 15,948.
The number of absentees in the PLA 1st division Jhapa , 2nd Division Sindhuli, 6th Division Surkhet and 7th Division Kailali camps is 24 percent. The report on 14,994 combatants in Rolpa, Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts is still awaited, but the trend showed that the number of Maoist combatants is likely to come down to around 19,000 from the registered 30,852. The source informed that the government has provided Rs 1.378 billion for cantonment management alone. Of the amount, Rs 506.4 million is foreign assistance for construction of roads and shelters for combatants.
Maoist leader in the interim parliament Krishna Bahadur Mahara has received Rs 461.2 million for cantonment management and has submitted a report stating that Rs 194,081 more than the received amount has been spent. The amount spent by Mahara, however, has been questioned by an internal audit panel of the government. Especially, the amount spent on office operation and house construction is questionable as there is no existence of the houses constructed worth Rs 48.5 million. Office operation costs of Maoists seem to be unexpectedly high as they have spent Rs Rs 110.6 million without furnishing details. The Maoist leaders have been demanding the combatants’ allowances in lump sum instead of attendance basis.
The government has also received claims of Rs 70 million from state-run Timber Corporation of Nepal. Besides, it has already released Rs 3,071,129 as royalty for timber used by the Chitwan cantonment. The government has also provided 264,000 cubic ft of timber to the cantonments.
After failing to furnish details on the expenditure, Maoist leaders have put pressure on the government to convert the amount into grant so that it will not be binding on them to audit the amount. A government source said Rs 60 per person per day for absentee combatants has been embezzled even if the Maoists produce proof of expenditure for the same.