Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar has requested exemption from paying back medical loans worth Rs 848,000 that he took 15 years ago when he was Minister of Physical Planning and Works. Gachhadar also owes the government Rs 19,000 which he took unlawfully as festival allowance when he was Home Minister. Since his appeal was rejected, Gachhadar is trying to arm twist the state into changing its decision.
Along with the deputy PM, 123 ex-ministers have received notices ordering them to repay Rs 8.5 million out of which Rs 3.8 million was borrowed for medical expenses and more than one million as festival allowance. So far only 16 have paid back. President Ram Baran Yadav recently paid off Rs 25,000 he took as festival allowance 11 years ago when he was Health Minister.
But several ex-ministers including Ram Chandra Poudel, Ram Sharan Mahat, Arjun Narsingh KC, Khum Bahadur Khadka, Bamdev Gautam, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, Kamal Thapa, Mohammad Aftab Alam, Sharat Singh Bhandari and Sarbendra Shukla still owe the state.
Politicians are known to dole out millions to party loyalists from the state coffers in the name of 'medical benefits'. 15 years ago Sher Bahadur Deuba sanctioned medical allowance worth millions for his 13 ministers.