Finance minister Shankar Koirala has asked the Youth and Small Enterprise Self-Employment Fund to be more transparent and maintain financial discipline in the use of public money.
"The fund must be transparent as its image has been tarnished due to its earlier activities," he said in a board meeting, here, today.
"The board must publish the names and addresses of the borrowers in its website immediately," he directed, adding that the fund should also publish the names of cooperatives facilitating the self-employment programme. "It is necessary to maintain transparency and accountability of public money."
The fund has been blamed for providing public money to cadres affiliated to some political parties instead of genuine unemployed youth seeking to start their own ventures.
According to Koirala, it is time to evaluate activities of the fund that was established to provide self-employment loans to generate employment for 50,000 youths every year.
However, the board has not been successful in meeting the target following a huge demand in 2009 and political interference in later years. "Since there is no political government at present, the fund must work professionally," he suggested.
Koirala also directed the fund to avoid the interests and influence of banks.
"The fund should develop a vision paper for the next couple of years," he suggested, instructing the employees to follow the fund's rules and regulations instead of political bosses.
Senior economic advisor of the finance ministry Dr Chiranjivi Nepal, on the occasion, urged the fund to strengthen its base. "The members of the board must be clear that loans should be returned on time," he said, adding that board members should not spread rumours that the loans from the fund need not to be repaid.
Secretary at the ministry Shanta Raj Subedi also directed the board to facilitate self-employment to at least 50,000 youth in a year. "The fund should not repeat earlier mistakes but be focused on objectives," he said. Similarly, secretary at the ministry of labour and employment Suresh Man Shrestha urged for an end to political appointments in the fund.Vice-chairman at the fund Dr Punya Prasad Adhikari said that the fund has succeeded in reaching the rural poor through cooperatives. The impact of the fund's activities will be seen in the near future, he said.