Category Archives: accountability

Seeking Accountability from Leaders, specially in Nepal

The government has no business doing ‘business’ in Nepal. (Nepal Telecom fiasco)

The government has no business doing ‘business’ in Nepal.

I am seriously thinking of switching from ‪Nepal‬‪ ‎Telecom‬ to an alternate. In the past 10 years, they have continuously let me down, despite my emotional attachment to Nepali owned company. Here are 3 reasons for this:

  1. Quality = Pathetic (my calls get cut, diverted, engaged randomly)
  2. Customer service = Unfriendly and unaccountable (to the point of sheer rudeness)
  3. Price = Not cheap any more (considering the amount of cut calls or low quality talks i have to put up with)

[One small context:  I cycled all the way from Kathmandu to Lumbini to highlight Lumbini and cycling and tourism in one of the hottest days of the year and I was using the internet to highlight our campaign. While Nepal Telecom’s competitor NCell had internet coverage in most of the stops we were at, Nepal Telecom had zero connectivity (even though it showed 3G connection as on ). How sad is it when you consistently over-promise and under-deliver?

A photographer friend had to send photos to various media using NCell in bhairahawa. This is embarrassing for a pioneer like Nepal Telecom to slowly go in the direction of Nepal’s other defunct government institutions (hint: Nepal airlines, Nepal Bank Limited, Nepal electricity corporation etc ).

So how do we turn around Nepal Telecom while bringing continuing innovation in the telecommunications industry in Nepal ?

  1. Sell government’s share of Nepal telecom to a Nepali private sector led consortium. Accountability to private shareholders will improve it.
  2. Consolidate all politically affiliated unions into one ‘welfare body’ that has management, employees, alumni and other stakeholders in one body. unions accountable to political parties have no place inside a business.
  3. Build “Customers as gods” policy and make sure  ‘Under-promise, Over-deliver’ remains the mantra of the institution!
  4. Use as Nepal Telecom’s mantra for service delivery.
  5. Implement ‘Hire and Fire’ and ‘no work, no pay’ policy. Nepal Telecom employees should not feel they are unaccountable government employees.

To improve Nepal Telecom we have also got to revamp the Telecom sector. This is a government’s primary role: to “check and balance”. Here are few of my ideas for the government to restructure the Telecom sector. :

  1. Empower the oversight body, Nepal telecommunication authority NTA with an independent board of managers (No political appointees) to make sure all telecommunication providers maintain quality, affordability and service.
  2. Penalize telecom providers for each cut calls and build an automatic refund system for each cut calls.
  3. Let customers track each mobile call records and internet usage records from their devices.
  4. Force telecommunication providers to share their infrastructure with other service providers for a valid fee. This ensures further competition and superior quality of service that comes with a competing market
  5. Fine any providers heavy if they resort to deceptive advertising practices. (Example: sometimes Ncell comes up with hard to understand schemes)
  6. Have a monthly ranking of all providers published in national media based on 3 criteria: Quality, Price & Customer service. Tie extra rewards for boards and management based on this index.
  7. Publicly acknowledge (and reward) best performing telecom engineers, customer service representatives and managers monthly.
  8. Direct telecom providers to collaborate with the banking sector to build secure platform and infrastructure for mobile banking.
  9. Limit Telecom providers to offer data and voice services. Have them open another company to offer other services so that there is no monopoly or unfair advantage over start-up companies.
  10. Ensure internet enabled education in the national policy and have government help bear expenses for this thus helping telecom companies have incentive to build costly next generational infrastructure in remote areas of Nepal.

I repeat, the government has no business doing business in Nepal. Either Nepal Telecom improves from today, or it goes down the drain like its other ‘government owned’ siblings !


Buy time to do nothing: how to tackle a system’s tactic to stop change

In Nepal, there is an alarming trend.
Whenever there is an agitation, campaign or even a revolution in Nepal, it seems  an effective strategy for those in power will  water it down ( counter) by using the “buying time to do nothing” tactic (over and over).

What is ‘buying time to do nothing?’
It is ‘agreeing’  to build a ‘high level commission’ to investigate the matter at hand and use that time to essentially tire  campaigners  out.

Prominent News in Nepal usually reads,
“Deal reached! High level commission set up to investigate so and so…. ! “

Everyone becomes happy that solution is at hand!  Citizens move on! Our supporters and fellow change-makers move on to other issues !  We (are forced to) move on !

The key for any change-maker at this time is : When ever a high level commission is set up, transform your task-force into a watchdog! Your first duty as a watchdog is to warn media, and all your supporters that this is the most dangerous time to slacken, give them examples of the past campaigns that failed when they slacked off at this stage and convince them this is actually the time to take campaign to step 2.

Make sure you do this:

  • Set up an accountability seeking team (shadow task force) that has direct contact with the High level commission members and remind them to the point they know we are watching their every step.
  • Ask for a phase wise plan that needs to be delivered. (it can’t be something like, please don’t bother us for 3 months while we work on it ). Form your own accountability task forces (shadow task forces). Divide them into smaller sub-task-force and involve your supporters in this process.
  • Make high level commission members name and contact information public. Keep the campaign going on a smaller scale. Don’t stop.
  • Make sure they  give a weekly report to the accountability seeking team in your group). Initiate a countdown.
  • Engage with media issuing weekly update on the commission’s work. Make sure media covers your issue periodically.
  • Rally your supporters with regular updates and ask them to consistently write or talk about this issue to the their local crowd. Warn them not to fall under a false sense of security that the job will be done.
  • Remind citizens and campaigners that its their own issue!

We need you to be Nepal’s watchdog! In a country where the system expect you to be a sheep, learning how to be a watchdog is perhaps the antidote to the sleeping tablet they feed us while they do their excesses!

No representation without our constitution ! Goodbye!

No representation without my constitution

An open letter to 601 and your masters who failed Nepal from 28,000,000 Nepali like you and me.”

“You the 601 and the ones who you follow,
From this day, none of you, I repeat none of you, will have my representation, either in this election or ever again.

I am an alert, honest Nepali. Nepal is my country, therefore is my responsibility.  I know what is right and what is wrong.  And you all are so wrong!

You robbed 91,000,000,000, yes 91 billion rupees from nearly 30 million of us, (that is Rs 3,000 from each of us) by taking 4 years to finish a job you promised to complete in 2. In the end you gave us nothing except anguish, anger, hate, disunity and hopelessness ! Are you not ashamed at giving us such a return on our investment !

We sent you to finish making the constitution , not to turn 3 million Nepali sisters and brothers on each other. You have abused us in the name of representation. You have looted from us in the name of constitution. You have raped our trust and looted our dignity. What now remains for us ?

Answer me this. Why should we rehire you when you have proved utterly incompetent to handle? Why should we not ban you from this job forever? Yes.. that’s it. We will ban you from our conscience.

I hereby declare that you do not represent me anymore. I will do what I can, to make sure I don’t need your help anymore. I am not going to bend down to you anymore.
Until you mend your ways, I will not vote for you.

Nepali citizens are waking up as each day passes by. The critical mass of awake Nepali inch closer, uniting against your incompetence, abuse of authority, impunity and gross failures. Should you insist on ruling over us, we will gladly march to prison or the street, because under an unjust rule, the true place for a just Nepali is inside a jail or on the streets.

To see the change in Nepal, I am becoming that change. Today, I am taking that small step! From today, you have none of my representation. Enough is enough!

You are fired! Goodbye! 
Me, a Nepali citizen.

सरकार पाल्ने मात्र होईन अब जवाफ पनि मागौँ ! कर तिर्ने मात्र होईन, अब परिणाम पनि खोजौँ !!


सरकारका प्रतिनिधि कराँउछन्,

“जिम्मेवार नागरिक बन्नुहोस् कर तिर्नुहोस्! तपाईले नै कर नतिरेकैले हाम्रो देश गरिव बनेको छ”

यो सुन्दा त लाग्छ हामी अाम-नेपालीले करै तिर्दैनौं। हामी सबका-सब चोर हौँ ! तर यो सरासर गलत र भ्रामक प्रचार हो। सत्य त यो हो कि यो देशलाई नै पालिरहेका छौँ हामीले!

कसरी भनि सोध्नुहोला…
हामीले हरेक पटक केहि किन्दा त्यसको केहि हिस्सा सरकारलाई कर तिरेकै हुन्छौं।
जस्तो कि:

  • जन्मनु अघि देखि मरे पछि सम्म पनि हामी कर तिर्दै आएका छौँ । गर्भवती आमाले खाने औषधि देखि मरे पछि लाउने कात्रो समेतमा हामीले कर तिरेका हुन्छौं !
  • आजै माईक्रोबस वा ट्याक्सी चढ्नु भो होला? त्यसमा लाग्ने पेट्रोलको १३% कर सबै तपाईकै पैसाबाट तिरेकै त हो
  • खाजामा म:म खानु भो ? त्यसमा पनि कर तिर्नु भो भ्याटको रुपमा होस् वा त्यो बनाउने तत्वमा लागेको करको रुपमा !
  • खेलौना किन्नु भो छोरीलाई? भन्सार मै काटी सक्यो कर !
  • घरमा “हेलो” गर्नु भो? त्यसमा पनि सरकारले झ्वाम्मै १३% काटि सक्यो
  • आफ्नो स्कुटर-मोटरसाइकल किन्दा कति तिर्नु भो ? २ लाख हो भने त्यसमा १ लाख त सरकारले लग्यो !
  • ग्यासँ, बिजुली, पानी किन्दा होस् वा तरकारी पकाउने तेल किन्दा होस् जसरी पनि सरकारमा पुग्छ तपाईले कमाएको पैसो।

त्यसैले हामी अाम नागरिकले कर तिर्दैनौं भन्ठान्नु गलत हो। यथार्थमा यो देशलाई तपाई-हामी एक-एक जनाले दिन-दिनै तिरेको करले धानेका छौँ।
बरु प्रश्न त यो पो हो; हामीले तिरेको कर कहाँ पो गई रहेछ? कसरी हाम्रो पैसाले यो देश चलाईराछन्? सोचौं, मनन गरौं।

  • त्यो बाटोमा (कतै) पुलिस देख्नु भो? हाम्रै पैसा परेको छ उहाँको घर धान्न
  • सरकारी जागिरेको दैनिकी के ले चल्छ? हाम्रै पैसाले
  • १ लाख भन्दा बढि सेनालाई पाल्ने पैसा कहाँबाट आई रहेको छ? हामी बाटै
  • राष्ट्रपतिको तलब वा न्यायलयले न्याय दिंदा लाग्ने खर्च होस् – हाम्रै पैसा बाट
  • त्यो बाटो बनाउने पैसो वा बाडी पिडितलाई सरकार राहतको पैसा पनि हाम्रै पैसा बाट जान्छ
  • त्यसैगरि ४-४ बर्षसम्म ‘६०१’ लाई पाल्न लागेको पनि ९१ अरब रुपैया पनि हाम्रै खल्तिबाट रित्तिएको हो।
  • आफुले दिनहु तिर्दै अाएका करको के फाईदा पायौँ त अहिले सम्म तपाई-हामीले ? मुल प्रश्न त यो पो हो ।

यो प्रश्न तपाई मलाई नसोध्नुहोस्। सोध्नुस् त ती हाम्रै ‘कथित’ जनताका सेवक, हाम्रा नेता र सरकारी प्रतिनिधिहरुलाई ।

“ मेरो पैसा कहाँ खर्च गयो ? कसरी ? किन ?”

यसको जवाफ माग्नु तपाईको हक मात्र होईन तपाईको ‘जिम्मेवारी’ पनि हो। म त भन्छु बरु जवाफ नमाग्नु भनेको आफै प्रति गैर जिम्मेवार हुनु हो।

  • आजै हेल्लो सरकारमा फोन गरि सोध्नुस “मैले पसिना चुहाएर, पेट काटेर तिरेको करको सदुपयोग भयो कि भएन ?”
  • आजै वडा वा गाउँको सचिवलाई सोध्नुहोस् कि त्यो सडक किन बनेन ?
  • त्यो कर्मचारीले किन ढिलासुस्ती गर्यो ?
  • त्यो पुलिसले किन फोन उठाएन?
  • त्यो अस्पतालमा खै डक्टर- नर्स?
  • एस-एल-सीमा फेल भैराख्ने त्यो स्कुलमा शिक्षकलाई किन कारवाही भा छैन ?
  • गाँउलाई छुट्याईएको पैसाको हिसाब-किताब कता छ ?
  • दिनु पर्ने बृद्ध भत्ता किन नदिएको?
  • ट्राफिक जाम किन दिनहुँ हुन्छ ?
  • हाम्रै पैसाले पालेका ती कर्मचारीले हाम्रै युवक-युवतीलाई एएरपोर्टमा बेईज्जती वा लुटपाट गर्छन्। किन ?

कर तिरसक्नु भो, त्यसैले नै तपाई को हक बन्छ यी जवाफ माग्न ! जवाफ दिएनन् भने सुचनाको हक प्रयोग गर्नुहोस्, राम्राहरुको ‘सिन्डिकेट’ बनाउनुहोस् !

अब सोधौँ , बोलौँ, जिम्मेवार हौँ !
नेतृत्वबाट जवाफ मागौँ !!
दिँदैनन् भने तरुन्तै हटाअौँ !
हटेनन् भने उखेल्न नडराअौँ !!

सरकार पाल्ने मात्र होईन अब जवाफ पनि मागौँ !
कर तिर्ने मात्र होईन, अब परिणाम पनि खोजौँ !!


( यसमा मद्दत गर्नु हुने सौभिद्य मनोज र गोविन्द नारायणलाई मुरी मुरी धन्यवाद )

हिँजो आज को ठुलो ?

हिँजो आज को ठुलो ? भ्रष्टाचार बिरुद्ध आमरण अनसनमा बस्दै गरेकी छिन् नेपाली शारदा भुषाल झा । उहाँलाई भेट्न रत्नपार्क – शान्ति बाटिका जाँ़ आजै कुनै पनि बेला। आज दिन ८।
सुन्नुहोस् भ्रष्टाचार बिरुद्धको यो कविता उहाँकै शब्दमा

हिँजो आज को ठुलो?
ईमान्दार भन्दा बेईमान ठुलो
जनता भन्दा नेता ठुलो
सत्ता भन्दा भत्ता ठुलो
शासन भन्दा भाषण ठुलो
बिकास भन्दा नारा ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?

राहत भन्दा आश्वाशन ठुलो
रासन भन्दा कमिशन ठुलो
भुस भन्दा घुस ठुलो
घाँटी भन्दा गाँस ठुलो
मेला भन्दा माढ ठुलो
माढ भन्दा जाँड ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?

साधु भन्दा चोर ठुलो
व्यापार भन्दा भाउ ठुलो
काम भन्दा तर्क ठुलो
कमाई भन्दा खर्च ठुलो
लठ्ठी भन्दा भट्टी ठुलो
खाँचो भन्दा खाँचो ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?

गुरु भन्दा चेला ठुलो
माउ भन्दा चल्ला ठुलो
पढ्नु भन्दा चोर्नु ठुलो
जोर्नु भन्दा फोर्नु ठुलो
निर्माण भन्दा नाज ठुलो
शान्ति भन्दा अल्लाह (धर्म) ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?

धर्म भन्दा पाप ठुलो
खान लगाउनको चाप ठुलो
स्वर्ग भन्दा नर्ग ठुलो
जिउनजन भन्दा पैसा ठुलो
स्वदेश भन्दा विदेश ठुलो
रक्षक भन्दा भक्षक ठुलो
पुँजी भन्दा लुगा ठुलो
मान्छे भन्दा जुँगा ठुलो
मालिक भन्दा नोकर ठुलो
बिचार भन्दा बिकास ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?

स्वतन्त्रता भन्दा लापता ठुलो
जिँउदो भन्दा बेपत्ता ठुलो
देश भन्दा संघियता ठुलो
राष्ट्रियता भन्दा जातियता ठुलो
पद भन्दा पावर ठुलो
्उद्दार भन्दा वलत्कार ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?

भण्डाफोर भन्दा चमत्कार ठुलो
सदाचार भन्दा भ्रष्टाचार ठुलो
सुचना भन्दा आलोचना ठुलो
पारदर्शिता भन्दा गोपनियता ठुलो
बुद्दिमानलाई तास ठुलो
नेपाली जनतालाई आश ठुलो
हिँजो आज को ठुलो?
हिजो आज भ्रष्टाचारीकै कब्जा ठुलो

उहाँको बारेमा यहाँ सुन्नुहोस्