KATHMANDU, July 31: Five seniormost secretaries have resigned from their posts while few others are likely to follow suit expressing their serious objection to the government decision to promote Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal to the post of chief secretary.
Secretary at the Election Commission Shankar Prasad Koirala, Secretary at the Home Ministry Sushil JB Rana and head of human rights department at the prime minister´s office Trilochan Uprety submitted their resignation to the prime minister through the newly-appointed Chief Secretary Paudyal on Monday.
Another Secretary Shyam Prasad Mainali said he is going to make formal announcement amid a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Similarly, Abanindra Kumar Shrestha, secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications, informed that he is planning to put in his papers with effect from August 6.
They quit the post claiming that the cabinet meeting on Sunday elevated Paudyal to the top civil service post in contravention of the Civil Service Act which states that secretaries shall be promoted on the basis of seniority and performance record of seniormost secretaries.
"I am the seniormost among the contenders and I claim that I am competent enough for the post also on the basis of performance record," Koirala told Republica. "I resigned because I strongly believe that the government has deprived me of the post that I deserve."
Koirala said that he was in number one position when 28 joint secretaries including him were promoted to the post of secretary five years ago and claims that he still maintains the position. "This decision has not only breached the legal provision and an established system but it is also tantamount to demoralizing sincere and genuine civil servants," asserted Koirala.
Shrestha told Republica that he was already staying at home on leave starting Monday and is planning to resign with effect from August 6, the day Paudyal will officially take charge as chief secretary.
While confirming his resignation, Uprety preferred not to make any comment over the decision. Also, Home Secretary Rana didn´t want to make any comment.
"Meaningless hue and cry"
However, many have described the secretaries´ resignation as meaningless hue and cry because all those who tendered their resignations or are planning to put in papers are going to retire soon.
Most of those seniormost secretaries will retire on due course on October 10 when their five-year tenure as secretary ends. Mainali is retiring within a few weeks on the basis of age limit because he will be 58 years old next month.
Moreover, they get additional benefits for quitting the post prior to their retirement. As per the Civil Service Act, officials get additional incentives for quitting the service prior to their retirement date. "Therefore, it has become a trend to quit the post a few days in advance to bag the additional incentives," said a senior bureaucrate.
He said the secretaries, who have announced their resignations today [Monday], have done so as a calculative move.