| April 28, 2017
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MPs lambaste House panel over INGO-funded seminars

KATHMANDU, May 23: Lawmakers have criticized the leadership of the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of Parliament for organizing seminars in three different cities as per the plan of an international non-governmental organization (INGO).

They fiercely criticized the committee chair and other members involved in organizing the seminars saying that it was inappropriate for a parliamentary committee to work as per the discretions of an INGO.
Last month, the committee had organized three seminars in Dhankuta, Dhangadhi and Pokhara with financial support from the National Democratic Institute, an INGO based in USA, to discuss among stakeholders the role of non-governmental organizations in promoting good governance and nation building. On Monday, the committee held a meeting to discuss the findings of the seminars on the role of the NGOs.

But lawmaker Aman Lal Shrestha, who is a member of the committee, questioned the credibility of the findings of the seminars as the seminars were sponsored by an INGO. He said that the findings of the seminars would have been more objective if the committee had held the seminars on its own.

"The committee should not seek support of NGOs to hold discussions on such crucial subject matter. It is against the values and principles of the committee," said he.

He said that it was objectionable that the committee organized the seminars only after an INGO proposed."The committee could have organized such seminars using its own resources," added he.

Another lawmaker NP Saud said that the committee should make itself clear if it wants financial support from NGOs for organizing such seminars. "The committee could have organized such seminars on its own and invited representatives of I/NGOs to put forward their opinions on what roles can they play for promoting good governance and national building rather than directly seeking financial support to hold the seminars. Objectivity of the findings of such seminars are likely to come into question for they are organized by an INGO. I strongly urge the committee to refrain itself from seeking any outside support for holding such discussions," said he.

Another lawmaker Kripasur Sherpa said it was necessary to adopt one-door policy for mobilizing INGO funds for parliamentary committee activities.

Chairman of the committee Mohan Singh Rathore said that the committee will decide whether to seek support from I/NGOs from now onward or not on Tuesday.