KATHMANDU, Feb 21: The parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has issued a directive to the government to halt all the processes related to setting up a security press in Nepal.
The directive came after an audiotape leaked to the media on Thursday captured Communications Minister Gokul Baskota bargaining for bribe money with a local agent of the Swiss supplier of security press. After the leak and an outcry for investigations, Minister Baskota resigned on ‘moral ground’.
The directive of the PAC is likely to block the process initiated by the government to award the contract to a French company for setting up security printing press in Nepal through a government to government (G2G) deal. By ditching the proposal of Swiss company KBA-NotaSys, which had submitted its proposal to the Investment Board of Nepal, the government has signed an MoU with a French Company INGroupe to set up the security printing facility in Nepal.
“As the Public Accounts Committee is studying the security press issue, the meeting of the committee on Thursday decided to instruct the government to stall the process of setting up the security press until further decision,” read the letter of the parliamentary committee sent to the ministry.