Forest ministry okays criteria for transfers, promotions
KATHMANDU, Sept 6: The Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) Thursday passed guidelines for the transfer and promotion of officials. The forest ministry is one of the most controversial ministries when it comes to transfer of officials, especially the district forest officers (DFOs).
“For every new minister, the first priority is the transfer of officials, and there is bargaining for money; so we have made a strong demanded with the minister not to repeat the same story this time, and he agreed,” said Bishwo Kafle of the Nepal Civil Servants Organisation at MoFSC.
Trade union representatives, senior officials and the minister held a meeting Wednesday on managing the transfer of officials. “The ministry passed the transfer guidelines today and things will move accordingly,” said Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Yadu Bansha Jha.
Bribery while transferring DFOs to the districts in the Terai has become chronic and every year sees the same process of bargaining for getting transferred to lucrative Terai districts.
After close aides of the minister started preparing the list of staff to be transferred and started bargaining, trade union and high-level officials organized a meeting with the minister, where the latter promised not to violate the rules and regulations during transfer of officials.
The 32-point criteria and guidelines for the promotion and transfer of forest officials mentions that those who are suspected of corruption or are under investigation will not be appointed as chief of any district forest office nor be allowed to handle financial transactions.
The guidelines also mention that those with poor performance would not be allowed to continue in office nor be given the same kind of responsibility after their transfer.
The districts in the Terai, where transactions in timber are very high, are regarded as lucrative and officials have to pay a high amount to get transfer to those places. Officials at the ministry are worried about the malpractices involved in transferring officials. “We need to be strict as per the new guidelines,” said Kafle.