Denting the state exchequerA Cabinet decision last week to provide at least Rs 6 million to the former president for his treatment in the United States has become a talking point of late, bringing to the fore the fact how key political leaders for years have been claiming excessive privileges.
A Cabinet decision last week to provide at least Rs 6 million to the former president for his treatment in the United States has become a talking point of late, bringing to the fore the fact how key political leaders for years have been claiming excessive privileges.
The government has been doling out millions of rupees every year to politicians, particularly for their medical treatment.
Documents compiled by the Ministry of Health between November 2013 and October 2015 show how successive governments have been distributing state largesse to well-off politicians.
Former president Ram Baran Yadav is just the latest example.
Yadav is travelling to the United States for a follow-up of his prostate cancer. All his expenses will be covered by the government. A decision to this effect was taken by the Cabinet last week, confirmed Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi.
As per the decision, the government will pay for his business class tickets, cover up expenses for three of Yadav’s aides and provide upfront payment for his operation, said a source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Former prime ministers, ministers, lawmakers have always availed themselves of state coffers for their personal benefits, including medical treatment.
Rs 20 million from the state treasury was spent on former prime minister Sushil Koirala’s cancer treatment in New York in 2014.
Similarly the government doled out about Rs 13 million to UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli in 2014, before he became the prime minister in 2015, for his medical treatments in Bangkok, Thailand.
The last government had, among others, decided to cover up health check-up expenses of two political leaders—former prime minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Nepali Congress leader Narahari Acharya.
Chand was provided at least Rs 500,000 for his treatment in Thailand this year.
There are beneficiaries from the Maoist party too, but data wasn’t available immediately.
When it comes to former president Yadav, the Rs 6 million provided by the government will cover initial operation expenses of around $37,000, $300 daily expenses, and $150 each a day for his three aides. Yadav is leading for the US in the third week of September to visit Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan.
Earlier on August 5, a Cabinet meeting had decided to provide Yadav at least Rs 1 million for his medical visit to PGIMER Hospital at Chandigarh in India where he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.