I am humiliated and discriminated: Only female govt secretary
KATHMANDU, Aug 19: In a decision amounting to punishment, the government has transferred Secretary Brinda Hada to Prime Minister´s Office on deputation though her actual posting is at the Financial Comptroller General.
The Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) Sunday sent a transfer letter to the Ministry of Irrigation where Hada was secretary before her transfer despite the general practice of handing over transfer letter to secretary at the PMO, according to a government official known to the issue.
"Though the letter was dropped at my office, I did not read it today," said Hada, the only female secretary who was one of the contenders for the post of chief secretary last month, "My transferredis aimed at humiliating me."
Hada and five other secretaries have been defying chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal ever since he assumed the post on August 6 by skipping meetings. She and two other secretaries -- Tana Gautam and Balananda Sharma, did not attend a monthly meeting called by the chief secretary on Sunday as well.
"I forgot about the meeting as I was suffering from headache," Hada said, "I have already told the government that I would accept the decision on the appointment of the chief secretary but the chief secretary himself is unnecessarily trying to involve the prime minister in it."
The prime minister had sought clarification from the six secretaries, including Hada, on August 10 as they allegedly did not cooperate with the new chief secretary. She also accused the chief secretary of leaking the information about the clarification to the press to humiliate them.
Hada questioned the intention of her transfer, terming it as being guided by feeling of discrimination.
"One one hand, I was one of the contenders for the post of chief secretary and I have been transferred to work the prime minister´s office to work directly under him [the chief secretary]. On the other hand, I have been transferred just ahead of retirement," she told Republica when asked for her transfer at the PMO on deputation.
"This is my seventh posting in the five-year term. This mocks the bureaucracy that is termed as permanent government," said Hada, "My case mocks the government policy of inclusion and priority to women in bureaucracy."
Not only Hada, another disgruntled secretary Gautam has also been transferred to the PMO though he is also retiring after one and half months.
Though six secretaries were absent in the first meeting called by the chief secretary after he assumed the office on August 6, protesting Paudel´s elevation, three of the secretaries from the group -- Bhagawati Kafle, Baman Prasad Neupane and Uma Kant Jha -- showed up in the Sunday´s meeting, according to a source at the PMO.
Secretary Gautam did respond to repeated phone calls of Republica though secretary Paudel picked up a call. "I am in a meeting and cannot talk to you," said secretary Paudel when asked for his comment.