Deuba, ministers to draw Rs 14m a month from the state coffersPrime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday inducted three ministers and one state minister, making his Council of Ministers the largest ever in the country’s history with 54 ministers.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday inducted three ministers and one state minister, making his Council of Ministers the largest ever in the country’s history with 54 ministers.
The move has drawn widespread criticism from members of public to the opposition parties to the Election Commission, with the latter saying “it violates the election code of conduct”.
The immediate impact of the fresh move will be seen on the state’s exchequer, as simple mathematics, if only the ministers’ salary their secretariats’ expenses only are taken into account, puts a financial burden of around Rs 14 million each month on the state coffers.
As per a September 15, 2011 Cabinet decision on salary and benefits of government ministers and their secretariat, the prime minister draws Rs 77,280 as monthly salary, Rs 10,000 for hospitality, Rs 5000 for mobile phone expenses and 306 litres of petrol. Based on this, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat spends Rs 1.44 million on salary and benefits. The PM’s Secretariat has a 12-member team while deputy prime ministers are entitled to have a six-member secretariat.
There are three DPMs, 26 ministers and 24 state ministers.
A minister is entitled to Rs 60,970 in salary and Rs 50,000 as house rent allowance if s/he is not living in the minister’s quarters. Each state minister receives Rs 57,780 as monthly salary besides Rs 40,000 as house rent allowance. Each minister and state minister is entitled to one-time Rs 200,000 for furnishing.
On top of that, the government also has to provide security and residence for guards.
Administrative expert Kashiraj Dahal said it’s not economically viable for a small country like Nepal to have such a huge Cabinet or Council of Ministers.
“We had suggested back in April 2014 that the Cabinet strength be limited to 18 members,” said Dahal, who headed the Administrative Reforms Recommendation Committee.
The constitution also has put a limit of 25 members in the Cabinet, but the successive governments after the promulgation of the constitution have failed to follow the provision citing “transition period”.
EC objects to Cabinet expansion
KATHMANDU: The Election Commission (EC) has said its attention has been drawn to Monday’s Cabinet expansion and that the move violates the election code of conduct. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday inducted three ministers and one state minister from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Prajatantrik), making the Council of Ministers the largest ever in the country’s history. Issuing a statement immediately after the Cabinet expansion on Monday, the EC said the move is against the code of conduct that has been in place since August-end for the provincial and federal elections to be held on November 26 and December 7. PM Deuba’s senior communications expert Govinda Pariyar, however, said that the prime minister expanded his Cabinet as per the constitutional provision, which authorises him to appoint ministers, state ministers and assistant ministers. “The prime minister has not split any ministry. Nor has he created any new ministry, hence the decision is in line with the constitutional provision,” said Pariyar.