Finance Secretary Marasini goes on leave after controversyOfficials say most probably he won’t return to work.
Amid controversy over Finance Minister Janardan Sharma for breaching the budgetary discipline, Finance Secretary Madhu Marasini has taken leave from Wednesday.
Sharma, who has been embroiled in a series of controversies, is accused of inviting two unauthorised persons to tweak tax rates just a day before he presented the budget in Parliament.
Marasini, Revenue Secretary Krishna Hari Pushka and two joint secretaries Bhupal Baral and Chakra Bahadur Budha were said to be at the Finance Ministry on the night of May 28 when Sharma invited the two outsiders to change taxes.
Marasini has not said anything despite the Post’s repeated attempts to learn from him about the alleged incident.
Amid calls for a probe into Sharma, a new controversy arose after the ministry failed to provide the CCTV footage of May 28, saying only 13 days’ recording was possible to store.
While Sharma is in the dock, questions have also been raised about Marasini as in the capacity of the finance secretary, letting outsiders change the tax rates amounts to financial crime.
“Secretary Marasini told us that he is going on a leave effective from Wednesday after he has also been dragged into controversy along with Sharma,” a joint secretary at the finance ministry told the Post.
Marasini also met with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Chairman of the CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and informed both leaders that he will not return to work at the ministry until Sharma continues as minister, according to two officials.
Another joint secretary said Marasini had also sought transfer to any other ministry during his meeting with the prime minister.
“But he seems to have made up his mind not to return to work,” said the joint secretary.