KATHMANDU, June 6: Opposition protested in the House of Representatives (HoR) today, accusing the entry of unofficial people into the Finance Ministry during the budget-making process.
The session of the lower house began three hours late from the schedule, and once the meeting convened, opposition lawmakers stood from their respective seats as a gesture of their protest over the 'violation' of budget formulation rules. According to them, an unauthorized person had access to a confidential chamber in the Ministry during the budget formulation process.
Following the protest, the Speaker gave time to Padam Giri, the chief whip of the main opposition CPN-UML, to express his views. Giri said changes in tax rates in the budget could serve the corporate interests of certain people and sought convincing replies from the Finance Minister in the parliament regarding this matter. He mentioned that overnight imports of electric four-wheelers on a large scale followed the information leak that tax rates were changing.
Rastriya Swatantra Party's Dr. Swarnim Wagle underlined the need to break the nexus of policy corruption. He reminded the House that the then Finance Minister resigned upon facing the same kind of charge in changing tax rates last year. He demanded a clear reply from the line minister regarding whether tax rates were changed in a non-transparent way.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chief Whip Gyan Bahadur Shahi said there were rumors about corruption in the setting and questioned whether an unrelated person was involved in the process of finalizing the Finance Bill on the night of May 28.