Parliamentary committee formed to probe charges against Finance Minister SharmaSharma is accused of bringing in two unauthorised persons on the night of May 28 to tweak tax rates.
An 11-member parliamentary committee has been formed to investigate charges that Finance Minister Janardan Sharma tweaked tax rates with the help of unauthorized persons on May 28, a day before he presented the budget for the next fiscal year in Parliament.
Sharma is accused of bringing in two outsiders and intermediaries to temper tax rates.
The House of Representatives unanimously endorsed the proposal of Speaker Agni Sapkota for the formation of the Parliamentary Probe Special Committee.
The committee has four lawmakers from the CPN-UML, two each from the Nepali Congress and the Maoist Centre, and one each from the CPN (Unified Socialist), Janata Samajbadi Party and Loktantrik Samabajbadi Party.
“The committee has 1o days to investigate the controversy,” said Sapkota at the House.
Ever since the issue was reported, the main opposition had been demanding a parliamentary probe.
The panel was formed following pressure on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Maoist Centre chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal to sack Sharma saying that he had committed “financial crime.”
The main opposition UML had boycotted the budget related discussions in both the Houses after Annapurna Post, a vernacular Nepali daily, on June 20 reported thay Sharma had directed the officials at his ministry to follow the suggestions of the two individuals in changing tax rates in the budget on May 28.
The Finance Ministry’s response that the CCTV footage of the night when Sharma allegedly invited two outsiders to tweak tax rates got erased further escalated controversy.
Despite calls growing for removing Sharma, Deuba has failed to act, creating grounds to suspect complicity.
Deuba and Maoist Centre Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday discussed the controversy but failed to take a decision on Sharma.
Finance Secretary Madhu 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.
None have spoken anything on the matter as of now.
Meanwhile, Marasini on Wednesday went on an extended leave saying that he won’t return to work until Sharma is there to lead the ministry.