CDO questioned by home ministry for favoring transporters' syndicate
POKHARA, April 13: Home Ministry has sought clarification from Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kaski Chet Nath Bhattarai for giving in to the interest of local transporters´ syndicate by not allowing new bus services to operate in the district.
Syndicate in any form of business is banned by the law. Endorsing a decision of an all-party meeting, organized by transporters a few days ago, Bhattarai committed that he will not allow registration and operations of any new bus in the district.
Bhattarai, who is also ex-officio coordinator of the Transport Management Committee of the district, had chaired the meeting that decided to work against the established norms of competition.
"Bhattarai´s decision made mockery of the country´s law, which bars all forms of anti-competitive practices. Hence, home ministry on Thursday sought clarification from him, seeking answer to why he endorsed the decision that is against the norms," said a source.
He disclosed that the ministry is studying all the documents related to the Monday´s meeting and the decision made by it.
The ministry took such step mainly as the Supreme Court last year had ordered government to scrap all forms of syndicates prevailing in different business sectors, including transportation, terming the practice as illegal. Following the order, the government had issued letters to all district administration offices instructing them to scrap syndicates.
CDO Bhattarai admitted that he has been asked to furnish clarification by the ministry. “I have already forwarded all the minutes of the meeting to the ministry,” he told Republica.
In addition to the ministry, Regional Administration Office has also asked for clarification from Bhattarai in this regard. “CDO Bhattarai has given his clarifications and we are studying it,” said one of the officials.
Bhattarai defended that he was not in favor of syndicate. "The decision taken by the all-party committee is mere recommendation. I will not approve it," said Bhattarai, adding that he has neither promised nor ordered the stopping of the registration of new passanger vehicle in the district.