The government’s decision to dole out money to an Everest climbing team has drawn widespread flak. The detractors of the government’s decision have been saying that the government had no right to shell out money from the state coffers for any organisation and individual "on demand."
The government, according to those who opposed its decision, seemed to be goaded by the fact that the team has got Prachand’s son as its member. Many of the detractors are unhappy that the government has failed to waive even royalties to mountaineers like Appa Sherpa but have doled out money to a lesser known team of climbers.
The latest controversy has revealed a fact: the state coffers have remained a lucrative source of getting some funds for many who still can impress upon the government and members.
The state coffers that are always filled with money provided by the common citizens as taxes, revenues, tariffs and therefore never get dried up, at least for those who are very pert in sharing some pie of the state funds.
Over the years, the successive governments have been doling out money to their near and dear ones in the name of providing them with help and assistance. Cadres and party workers belonging to the ruling party or ruling coalition parties often get the cream of the coffer. This was the trend during the Panchayat time when the influential ministers or those who are close to the Palace could get good assistance from the state coffers.
The money used to be doled out in the name of providing help for disaster affected or those who are in dire need of getting financial help to get medical treatment. The trend continued even after when the nation entered to multi party polity. The ministers and leaders soon after the restoration of democracy went on coercing their governments to hand out some money to their cadres and workers.
Soon after the nation got trapped into the present transitional politics, the ruling parties and ministers found it easier to use state coffers to serve their selfish interests. The different governments are alleged to have shelled out millions of rupees in a few months in the name of providing support to the needy people. But in most cases, these needy people turned out to be the ruling classes’ cadres, supporters and relatives of those who were holding good position in the government and the party’s hierarchy.
The recent case in which the government provided Rs. 20 million to the climbers’ team may be a tip of an iceberg. There are many shark like cadres, leaders and ministers who are ready to gobble up the state funds under various pretexts.
The common sense tells us that the tax payers’ money should be used for all kinds of development works targeting the larger goods of the common people. Even if the government wants to hand out the state cheques, it must distribute them with extra cautious, so that the genuinely needy people would be able to get them. If it goes on doling out state funds " on demand" to any organisation or individual, then it will have to witness a floodgates of such demands from several groups who think that they too have the right to get some pie from the state funds like the climbing team or other individuals.