KATHMANDU, July 4: Chairman of the main opposition CPN-UML, KP Oli on Monday demanded the government form a parliamentary probe committee to investigate the involvement of ‘outsiders’ in the drafting of the budget for fiscal year 2022/23.
Speaking at parliament on Monday, former Prime Minister Oli said an intervention from outsiders in the budget making process cannot be considered normal. “It is beyond imagination that the government goes to that extent just to serve the interests of a handful of business groups,” he said.
Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has been accused of instructing 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 making some last-moment changes in taxation with a view to benefiting some business groups. Breaching the law, Sharma even refused to provide the CCTV footage that the Consumer Welfare Protection Forum (CWPF) demanded on the back of the ‘Right to Information’ provisioned by the present Constitution.
Oli said the finance minister’s recent step is even more irresponsible. “Sharma’s move shows he thinks himself as the state and above all the country’s law,” Oli said.
Oli termed this year’s budget formulation process an unethical practice. The tax rates fixed in the budget that was announced on May 29 are illegitimate, according to Oli.