Kathmandu: On Monday, Member of Parliament Sumana Shrestha wrote a post on social media informing that she denied accepting allowances offered by a government agency and an International non-government organization.
In the post, she had raised the concern that the practice of receiving allowances by the MPs could get institutionalized and develop as a norm in the future.
“A few weeks ago, in a discussion of the Nepal government on issues related to migrant workers, I got to know parliamentarians received transportation allowance from the government and the INGO,” she wrote in a status posted on social media. “I denied accepting both the allowances. It was strange. As a parliamentarian, I have to make laws.”
She has further stated: “For that [making laws], the government is providing me with a salary on a monthly basis. But why take double allowances? If the system of taking double or triple allowances is institutionalized, how will our system become? How relevant is allowance for parliamentarians?”
Her decision to reject the allowance has been appreciated by people from different walks of life.
Lauding her, Bishow Parajuli wrote: “Glad to see this standing out question. Honesty and ethical behaviour is critical but often questioned among politicians. . If few were to stand out it can make a huge difference. Bravo..!”
Kul Chandra Gautam dubbed her ‘a true people’s MP. He opined: “Good question, MP @SumanaShrestha. Thanks, for rocking the boat with such inconvenient questions befitting a true people’s MP.” Krishna Gyawali called the decision “very appropriate and daring.” Mukunda P Paudyal, PhD wrote “we need leaders like her in the days to come irrespective of the political parties.”
Prakash Regmi, on Twitter, replied: “Thank you Sumanaji. Why not to table a resolution proposal [at the parliament] about this? The impact of the trend is deeply entrenched and receiving allowance has emerged as a malpractice. There is a practice to ask for allowance even to deliver regular duty. If you find it useful, I am ready to provide you some examples.’