UML miffed as former FM Sharma is acquitted

Published On: July 30, 2022 03:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 30: The parliamentary special committee set up to investigate the then Finance Minister Janardan Sharma, who resigned after it was alleged that during the preparation of the budget for the financial year 2022/23, unauthorized persons entered the Ministry of Finance and altered the tax rates to benefit certain families, has finally cleared him.

In the report, it is mentioned that no evidence was found that unauthorized persons entered the Ministry of Finance at midnight on May 28, the day before the budget was presented. While bringing the budget, the then Finance Minister Janardan Sharma had raised questions about the admission of an Indian citizen to the ministry along with his predecessor, Raghunath Ghimire, but the committee prepared the report without investigating their telephone conversations. The UML demanded the resignation of the Finance Minister and demanded the formation of a Parliamentary Inquiry Committee saying that the then Finance Minister Sharma had allowed unauthorized persons to enter parliament.

51 CCTV footage of the Ministry of Finance was recovered from the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Nepal Police. But as the man was not clearly identified in any of the footage, the committee concluded that there was no evidence of unauthorized entry. But in the committee, the members of the UML proposed to demand the details of the telephone conversation between former Raghunath Ghimire and an Indian person, who is called an unauthorized person, according to the procedure, for further evidence. As there were only four members of the UML in the 11-member committee, their views were in the minority.

UML has expressed dissatisfaction over the report saying that no further evidence was sought and the Ministry of Finance did not provide enough support. UML has said that even the hard disk report of CCTV on the day before bringing the budget i.e. midnight of May 28th was not fully received. On the strength of UML, the committee also demanded CCTV footage of Singha Durbar West and South Gate. But even in those footage, the scene is not clear. In that too, the UML MP suspects that some evidence has been deleted with the power of state power.


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