Nepal is a beautiful country with rich cultural heritage and a diverse population. Despite its potential for growth and development, the country has struggled with a pervasive problem of corruption. Corruption in Nepal is a growing challenge for good governance, and it has become a major obstacle to economic growth, social development, and political stability.
Corruption is defined as the abuse of power for personal gain. It can take many forms, including bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and cronyism. Corruption is not only an ethical problem, but it also has serious economic consequences. It leads to inefficiency, waste, and misallocation of resources, which can harm economic growth and development.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a per capita income of less than USD 1,000. Corruption has been identified as one of the major factors hindering the country’s economic growth and development.
Reasons behind rising corruption
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published by Transparency International, Nepal ranks 117th out of 180 countries in terms of corruption. This indicates that corruption is a serious problem in Nepal, and it is getting worse.
One of the main reasons for the high level of corruption in Nepal is the weak institutional framework. The country lacks a strong legal system and an independent judiciary, which are essential for fighting corruption. The government has also failed to enforce anti-corruption laws effectively, and corrupt officials often go unpunished.
Another factor contributing to corruption in Nepal is the culture of impunity. Many corrupt officials are well-connected and have powerful political allies who protect them from prosecution. This has created a culture of impunity, where corrupt officials can act with impunity and without fear of punishment.
Nepal’s political instability has also contributed to corruption. The country has gone through a series of political upheavals in recent years, with frequent changes in government and political instability. This has created an environment of uncertainty and instability, which has made it difficult to implement effective anti-corruption measures.
A few major cases
One of the most notable examples of corruption in Nepal is the 2019 wide-ranging investigation into the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). The investigation revealed that the NOC officials were involved in a multi-billion rupees scam, where they had embezzled funds by inflating the price of land purchased for building oil storage facilities.
The scam involved senior officials, including former managing director Gopal Bahadur Khadka, who was accused of embezzling over Rs 1.5 billion. The case is still ongoing, and it has highlighted the need for stronger measures to prevent such large-scale corruption.
Another recent example of corruption in Nepal is the 2020 Lalita Niwas land scam. The scam involved the illegal transfer of government land in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, to individuals through forgery and fraud. The investigation revealed that the land was sold at prices far below its market value, resulting in a loss of over Rs 4 billion to the government.
The case has led to the arrest of several high-profile individuals, including former government officials and politicians. The case highlights the need for stronger measures to prevent land-related corruption, which has been a persistent issue in Nepal.
In addition to these high-profile cases, corruption in Nepal is prevalent in various sectors, including education, health, and public services.
Corruption harms all sectors of the economy. It undermines public trust in government institutions, reduces the quality of public services and discourages foreign investment. Corruption also exacerbates income inequality and poverty as resources are misallocated and diverted away from those who need them the most.
The education sector in Nepal has been particularly affected by corruption. Nepali schools suffer from a lack of resources, inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of well-trained teachers. Corruption has exacerbated these problems by diverting funds away from the education sector and by allowing unqualified teachers to obtain teaching positions through bribery and nepotism.
The health sector has also been severely affected by corruption in Nepal. Hospitals and clinics suffer from a lack of resources, inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of trained medical personnel. Corruption has exacerbated these problems by allowing unqualified individuals to obtain medical licenses through bribery and by diverting funds away from the health sector.
The business sector in Nepal has also been affected by corruption. Nepali businesses suffer from a lack of access to credit, inadequate infrastructure and a complex regulatory environment. Corruption has aggravated these problems by making it difficult for businesses to obtain permits and licenses, and by creating a business environment that is hostile to foreign investment.
Corruption in Nepal has been a long-standing issue that has hindered the country’s development and progress. Despite various measures taken by the government to combat corruption, it remains a growing challenge for good governance in Nepal. In recent years, there have been several examples of corruption in Nepal that have highlighted the need for more effective measures to tackle this issue.
To combat corruption in Nepal, the government has taken various measures, including the establishment of anti-corruption bodies and the introduction of anti-corruption laws. However, these measures have not been effective in curbing corruption, and there is a need for more significant reforms. The government needs to strengthen its institutions and systems to prevent corruption, such as increasing transparency and accountability in public processes and promoting the use of technology to reduce opportunities for corruption.
In conclusion, corruption in Nepal remains a growing challenge for good governance, and recent examples of corruption have highlighted the need for more effective measures to tackle this issue. The government needs to take stronger action to prevent corruption and promote transparency and accountability in public processes. Only then can Nepal achieve sustainable development and progress.