Kathmandu, Feb. 12: President Ramchandra Paudel has stressed the need to combat corruption stating that it has become a hurdle to the nation’s development and progress.
While addressing the 33rd establishment day of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Sunday, the president said that corruption had eroded moral values and weakened the foundation of the nation.
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority marked its 33rd establishment day on Sunday with the theme ‘Let Us Improve Mindset, Culture and Behaviour: Corruption Will Come under Control.”
On the occasion, the President said that political determinations were crucial for the prevention of corruption. He said, “The level of transparency and accountability of government will have a role in the prevention of corruption. The government with transparency and a sense of accountability can bring corruption under control.”
He also drew the attention of all public entities to maintain transparency while working and making decisions. He also urged the public to embrace simplicity, integrity, transparency and good conduct.
He urged the CIAA to ensure impartiality in its investigations and subsequent prosecutions. He said that good governance was the lifeline of democracy and essential for achieving economic prosperity and social justice. He urged the CIAA to address the public interest, ensuring that high-profile individuals were not spared for abusing authority and involving in corruption activities.
Speaking at the same event, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ expressed the government’s full support to the CIAA regarding its investigations and prosecutions in the corruption cases.
He said that the CIAA had played an important role in controlling and preventing corruption in all big and small events that happened in different times.
He said, “The government is committed to bringing all those responsible for corruption, no matter who they are and what posts they hold, into investigation process and under the prosecution and the government will never intervene the CIAA in its actions against corruption.”
Commending the role of CIAA in promoting good governance, the Prime Minister urged the constitutional body to further prove its significance and move ahead with more dedication in the fight against corruption.
Stating that prevention of corruption was a must to meet aspirations for durable peace, good governance, development and prosperity envisioned by the Constitution, PM Prachanda said that the government had adopted a policy of zero tolerance against corruption.
He said that the CIAA which had been playing a crucial role in the fight against corruption should continue to meet people’s expectations in the future as well.
Stating that corruption control was essential to advance the goals of development and prosperity in the nation, the Prime Minister stressed that the CIAA should make its role more effective in establishing a corruption-free society.
“We need to promote good conduct in family and society,” he said, “There has been a delay in developing the sense of accountability and transparency in governmental bodies.”
Stating that the nature, practices, intensity and dimensions of corruption were changing with the rapid development of technology, the Prime Minister urged the CIAA to seek the help of innovations in its investigations.
Prem Kumar Rai, Chief Commissioner of the CIAA, said that the CIAA had been playing an active role in checking corruption and promoting good governance in the nation. Stating that the CIAA received a significant number of complaints related to misuse of public assets in the development and construction works, budget appropriation, subsidy distribution, corruption and others at all three levels of the government, he stressed the need for all to work actively and responsibly to curb corruption.
He said that transparency was not seen in public procurement and construction and the appropriate standards were not followed while formulating the budget and programmes.
He said, “The fight against corruption is not that of the CIAA alone; there is a need for collective efforts as it is a multi-dimensional issue. Every citizen should be the activist for the establishment of good governance.” He also urged other responsible bodies to become extra responsible when it comes to fulfilling their legal responsibilities.
Chief Commissioner Rai said that the CIAA was moving ahead with seriousness toward expanding its investigation jurisdiction and making its works more vigorous in its investigations to bring those who were involved in illegal activities into the ambit of legal action.
He said, “The CIAA is formulating the fifth institutional strategic plan to address the issues identified through the review of its fourth institutional strategic plan (2019/020-2023/024).”
He informed that in the recently published Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, the position of Nepal improved by 1 point, climbing to 35. “However, a country with a score of less than 50 is considered a country with a high risk of corruption, so it is seen that Nepal still has to struggle a lot in corruption control and promotion of good governance,” he added.
At the programme, President Paudel launched the CIAA Souvenir-2024.
Similarly, four journalists were awarded with a letter of commendation and a cash prize of Rs. 20,000 each, for their contribution to corruption control and promotion of good governance through news dissemination.
Likewise, the CIAA honoured Rajesh Kumar Das, Deputy Superintendent of Police Prakash Budhathoki, and Deputy Attorney Niranjan Sthapit with the Outstanding Investigator and Outstanding CIAA Service Award carrying Rs. 35,000 and a copper plaque.
Vice President Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav, Chief Justice Bishowambhar Prasad Shrestha, Speaker of the House of Representatives Devraj Ghimire, National Assembly Chair Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Deputy Prime Minister, lawmakers, high government officials among others, were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the 33rd establishment day was celebrated across all seven provinces of the country by organising events.