UML obstructs the House demanding probe into finance ministerJanardan faces charges of letting unauthorised persons to change tax rates a day before he presented the budget in Parliament.
The CPN-UML boycotted the meeting of the House of Representatives on Thursday after Speaker Agni Sapkota turned down its demand to form a committee to investigate into charges that Finance Minister Janardan Sharma had allowed two outsiders to change some taxe rates hours before he presented the national budget on May 29.
The main opposition has been demanding an investigation into the charges against Sharma after Annapurna Post, a vernacular daily, on Monday published a story that Sharma instructed four senior Finance Ministry officials to follow the suggestions of two individuals—a retired senior non-gazetted officer and a chartered accountant—on the night of May 28 and make some last moment changes in taxation with a view to benefiting some business groups and harming others.
UML lawmakers at Thursday’s meeting said as Sharma is facing grave charges, he needs to be investigated.
However, instead of forming a committee, Sapkota allowed Sharma to respond to concerns raised by lawmakers.
Objecting to the move, UML lawmakers resorted to obstructions.
Sharma defended the budget and refuted allegations against him.
“I take full responsibility for the tax rates in the budget and am accountable to them. I would like to assure you that there was no tampering in the budget,” he said. “The budget was prepared by the secretary and responsible officials. I don’t have information about every person who comes to the ministry.”
UML lawmakers, however, refused to listen to Sharma.
“We boycott the Parliament meeting for now. We will take part in other proceedings,” said Bishal Bhattarai, a chief whip of the party.