CIVIL SERVICE Yes, Minister!

Mired by politics, transfer of secretaries and other high level officials are happening at the interest of minister&nbsp; <br>A CORRESSPODENT

Nov. 11, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No.-10 Nov. 09-2012 (Kartik 24, 2069)

The recent transfer of secretaries sent some to the high profile ministries and others to the low profile ones. However, to Krishna Hari Baskota, where he was sent made no difference. He came to the cabinet secretariat from the high profile Finance Ministry.



Instead of expressing frustration or anger, secretary Baskota seems to have taken his new position as an opportunity. As soon as he was transferred to the cabinet secretariat, he got the task as a coordinator of the Kathmandu Valley Road Expansion project. Chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal used to head the department.  “I know my bottom-line. Wherever I go, my position and salary will remain the same,” said Baskota.


The road work is happening at the initiative of prime minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. Baskota, who is familiar with the prime minister’s test, now has to present him the progress report. This is the reason, on Monday (6 November) afternoon, Baskota was the first secretary to enter prime minister Baburam Bhattarai’s office to brief about the progress. After taking the responsibility of the program, secretary Baskota has already visited the sites several times and briefed prime minister Bhattarai about the progress.


 

 

“My posting does not make any difference in my performance. I was given a much bigger responsibility, that is, to look after the Valley’s road expansion,” Baskota told the media. Along with other secretaries, he has been visiting different spots and taking the progress note since his new posting to the cabinet secretariat.  One of the advantages for Baskota is that he will have a direct access to the prime minister after chief secretary Leelamani Paudyal.



As other sectors, prolonged political instability is shaking the country's permanent institutions like civil service.  If last week's decision was any indication, it shows that the government does not mind removing the secretaries on the whims of the ministers.



By making five transfers within just over a couple of days, the government has shown how it will function in the coming days. Although chief secretary Paudyal took a firm stand in the promotion of secretaries, allowing seniority to be the criteria, the transfer row shaken the civil service badly and the exposed the inability of the chief secretary to contain ministers’ influence.



 

“My posting does not make any difference in my performance. I was given a much bigger responsibility, that is, to look after the Valley’s road expansion,” Baskota told the media. Along with other secretaries, he has been visiting different spots and taking the progress note since his new posting to the cabinet secretariat.  One of the advantages for Baskota is that he will have a direct access to the prime minister after chief secretary Leelamani Paudyal.



As other sectors, prolonged political instability is shaking the country's permanent institutions like civil service.  If last week's decision was any indication, it shows that the government does not mind removing the secretaries on the whims of the ministers.



By making five transfers within just over a couple of days, the government has shown how it will function in the coming days. Although chief secretary Paudyal took a firm stand in the promotion of secretaries, allowing seniority to be the criteria, the transfer row shaken the civil service badly and the exposed the inability of the chief secretary to contain ministers’ influence.



 

Earlier, Dhruba Sharma, who held the position of secretary at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, was transferred to the President’s Office. However, he was recalled again in his old ministry posting secretary from the Ministry of Federal and Local Development Shital Babu Regmi in his place at the President’s Office. Regmi was replaced by Shanta Bahadur Shrestha who served his entire career in various positions in the departments under the Finance Ministry. Deputy prime minister Narayankazi Shrestha reportedly favored him.



In the process of transfer, Sushil Ghimire, who was posted to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, was transferred to the Ministry of Land Reforms, another victim. Little known in the economic sector, Santaraj Subedi, who also served at various places under the Finance Ministry, is one of the luckiest fellows in the recent promotion as he acquired the plum secretary post at the Ministry of Finance replacing finance secretary Krishna Hari Baskota. Subedi’s basic qualification is said to be his earlier political connection as a member of CPN-Masal, the mother party of all Maoists.



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