CHARIKOT, Aug 14
Political parties have put pressure to reduce allocation of shares of Upper Tamakoshi Project to staffers of Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Citizen Investment Trust (CIT) and Rastriya Beema Sansthan (RBS) accusing them of getting the allocation through blackmailing. Demanding review of the loan agreements with the companies through amendment of the Article of Association of the project, leaders of ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, and UCPN (Maoist) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) have warned of a movement if it is not corrected.
“We have just learned about that. Locals of affected district had to protest to even acquire 50 units of shares and have been taking pride in that. But we have been surprised to hear that staffers will get over 3,000 units merely due to the fact that their institutions made loan investment,” Constituent Assembly (CA) Member of Dolakha-2 from CPN-UML Ananda Pokharel states. “Though their unfair conditions may have been accepted when the project needed loan at any cost, the loan agreements must be reviewed now as the situation has changed now,” he opines. He feels share allocation can be reduced by even holding discussions with EPF. “I have already raised the issue at the body concerned immediately after reading the news report on Karobar. I will continue to work to resolve this issue,” he assures.
NC Dolakha President Tara Bahadur Koirala says the practice of allocating shares to staffers of the investing companies for the saving of commoners is wrong. “The fact that others are getting tens of times more than the locals who have been conserving the natural resources for generations is also against the principle of natural justice. We have found that the staffers of the institution where staffers across the country save their money have got the agreement signed by putting conditions. How fair it is for the investors to charge as high an interest rate as possible and the staffers there o get chance to become millionaires overnight even as those working hard remain poor?” he questions. He reveals both the party and government will be urged to change that, and a delegation from the district will soon go to Kathmandu for that.
Central member and district coordinator of UCPN (Maoist) Ganga Bhadur Karki says the agreement forced by the staffers of lending companies as per their interest is not acceptable. “The fact that the staffers of lending companies will get more shares than those working at the field taking risks is feudal. The agreement must be amendment as it is unfair to charge an exhorbitant interest rate on the loan and then try to reap benefits from the project as well,” he argues. Central member of RPP Nara Bahadur Pakhrin concurs. “They charged Upper Tamakoshi an interest rate of 12 percent when the interest rate of all financial institutions was less than 12 percent. All the banks have now dropped their interest rate to eight percent but they still do not want to hear about lowering the interest rate, and their staffers are trying to get fat by investing money saved by others instead,” he fumes and demands that the loan agreement must be amended before issue of shares as it was forced unfairly.
Source : Karobar Daily