There is little doubt that Nepal is adrift in a sea of corruption, keeping its population poor, stemming progress and ruling out 24 hour electricity, despite the second highest water reserves in the world coursing through this country of 30m people.
This damning article from the Indian press sheds some light on the machinations of Nepal’s government.
In 2007, the United Nations Mission In Nepal calculated there were 19,000 Maoist cadres encamped in the country. Accordingly it paid subsidies for each one totalling NRs27m (USD377,888) per month from then on. In 2009, a recording appeared in the media of then Prime Minster Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known affectionately as ‘Prachanda’, bragging in Januaty 2008 to ministers that he had convinced the UNMIN there were 19,620 cadres when in reality they numbered between 7,000 and 8,000.
The story is gaining momentum, the media and public is questioning Prachanda and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai about the miscount and the funds claimed. Many in Nepal estimate there re more than 3,000 missing cadres. Although there is no mention of an official enquiry yet, this will be worth watching in the coming months.