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No state money for Nepal king

After cutting down King Gyanendra’s political clout, Nepal Govt has now decided to hit his purse too, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Jul 12, 2007 02:14 IST
Anirban Roy

After cutting down King Gyanendra’s political clout, the Nepal government has now decided to hit his purse too. The government has decided to deny state allowances to all the members of the 238-year-old Shah Dynasty.

The government is all set to deny allowances for the king, queen, crown prince, crown princess and the queen mother in the budget scheduled to be tabled in the interim parliament on Thursday by Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat.

Generally, the members of the royal family get state allowances to the tune of Rs. 18.7 million every year. “This year, the royal family would not get the allowance,” a senior official in the Ministry of Finance told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

The officials at the ministry claimed that the royals would be denied of the financial allowances as the monarch is no more the Head of State, and his political future is also not certain. The political future of the king would be decided by the Constituent Assembly.

The budget will, however, arrange salaries, perks and allowances of over 700 royal palace staff and other essential expenses like maintenance and security, the officials claimed. Mahat is proposing an annual budget of around Rs. 106.2 billion.

However, officials at the King’s Secretariat did not make any statement on the government’s decision. King’s principal secretary Pashupati Bhakta Maharjan and palace spokesperson Phaniraj Pathak were not available for comments.

However, the budget is all set to please the government servants with a reported 15 per cent hike in their salaries. The increment in salary will add around Rs 2.5 billion to the country’s financial burden.

The budget is likely to allocate around Rs. 2.8 billion for the Constituent Assembly (CA) poll, the source said. However, a major portion of the budget will be spent on recruiting some 75,000 temporary policemen for three months.

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