Maoists used fake combatants to embezzle funds: Mahat
KATHMANDU, Aug 21: While alleging that the Maoists had been involved in huge corruption in the name of more than 6,000 ´fake´ Maoist combatants, former Finance Minister and Nepali Congress (NC) Central Working Committee (CWC) member Dr Ram Sharan Mahat announced on Monday that the NC would make this one of the main issues in their movement against the current government.
Addressing an interaction organized by Reporters´ Club in the capital Monday, Dr Mahat alleged that the Maoist leadership had misappropriated over two billion rupees by producing forged signatures of about 6,000 "fake combatants who never existed or were never in the cantonments".
"We will make this one of the main issues in our movement against the current government," he said.
He vented ire against the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) for not taking any action against the Maoists even as they are plundering the state treasury in various ways.
Mahat also accused the Maoists of misappropriating over Rs 1 billion through Youth Self-Employment Program. "The parliamentary committee had directed the government not to implement the program in view of possible misappropriation," he said. "They are distributing the money in non-transparent manner through cooperatives by bringing amendments to the existing directives."
Stating that the Cooperatives have political appointees as board members from the Maoist party, Mahat argued that the government funds are being distributed with a pure intent to benefit Maoist cadres. "CIAA has to take up the issue as this is going to involve huge amount of corruption from the state treasury," he said.
Arguing that the government is preparing to award contract through limited bidding process to a Chinese contractor for the construction of international airport in Pokhara, Mahat said there is a possibility of a large scale corrpution while awarding the US$ 310 million contract. "Another international airport is being constructed in Bhairahawa at an estimated cost of US$ 80 million. So these will involve misappropriation of funds worth billions of rupees," he said.
While coming down heavily on the government move to jettison seniority and merit in promotions and transfers of bureaucrats, he argued that recent transfers of secretaries were aimed at serving partisan interests of the Maoists.
Mahat alleged that the Maoists had dissolved the CA as a part of their long-term strategy to seize state power. "These transfers and promotions are a part of their long-term goal to seize state power by bringing judiciary and bureaucracy under their influence," he further said.
Arguing that there is no conducive environment for business in the country and capital flight is increasing, he dismissed the government´s claim that country´s economy has improved. "The economy has seen some improvement not because of the government but because of the increase seen in agriculture produce," he reasoned. "This government should quit immediately."