Chief secretary may quit as NEA chairman

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    Chief Secretary Lila Mani PoudelKATHMANDU: Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudyal is likely to resign from the post of Chairman of management committee of the Nepal Electricity Authority. He dropped a hint to this effect during the management committee meeting today, when he said, “This may be my last meeting.”

    It is learnt that Paudyal is dissatisfied over the appointment of former secretaries Shankar Koirala and Umakanta Jha as ministers. Both Koirala and Jha were in the race for the post of chief secretary, which eventually went to Paudyal some seven months ago when the then prime minister Baburam Bhattarai picked him for the post.

    High-level sources in the bureaucracy said Paudyal was miffed at the political leadership after he had to report the development of NEA to Jha who was junior to Paudyal in the chief secretary race.

    An official at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers said the chief secretary was not enthusiastic about his job. The sources added that Paudyal met very few persons in the secretariat. All this has set the tongues wagging and it is not clear whether Paudyal will resign from the post of chief secretary or only quit as NEA board chairman.

    Yesterday, Chairman of the Interim Election Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi had appointed Koirala as finance, industry and commerce minister, while Jha was given energy, science and irrigation portfolios on the recommendation of High-Level Political Committee. Koirala has the backing of the Nepali Congress, while Jha was recommended by United Madhesi Democratic Forum.

    Newly appointed government spokesperson Madhav Paudel, however, expressed ignorance about the reported remark of the chief secretary. “I don’t have any information in this regard,” said Paudel, who is also the Minister for Information and Communications.

    Source : The Himalayan Times