Parliamentary probe committee concludes unauthorized person not involved in budget formulation

NL Today

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Kathmandu: A parliamentary probe committee formed to investigate allegations of budget manipulation by former Finance Minister Janardan Sharma by involving outsiders has concluded that an unauthorized person was not involved in altering tax rates.

“The involvement of an unauthorized person in tweaking tax rates can’t be established based on documents and statements received from Finance Ministry, analyzation of CCTV footage, and other evidence received by the committee,” reads the report.

“As the concerned committee of the Parliament studies the impact of change in tax rates on the economy, the committee concludes it doesn’t require to conduct further investigation.”

Earlier today, Committee Chairman Laxman Lal Karna handed over the report to Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota. The report was presented at today’s meeting of the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, UML lawmakers have expressed their objection to the report.

According to the UML lawmakers, the officials of the Finance Ministry did not act responsibly and the lawmakers of the ruling party played a role in giving a clean chit to the then Finance Minister Sharma. They had demanded the committee should investigate the call details of ex-Minister Sharma and authorized person Raghunath Ghimire and lie detector tests should be performed.

Making a statement before a parliamentary committee formed to investigate allegations of budget manipulation by him, Sharma claimed that he was in the ministry till midnight on May 28, the day before the budget was tabled in Parliament, and only the two secretaries of the ministry, the head of the budget division, and other budget-related staff were present.

Sharma had tendered his resignation on July 16 after a parliamentary committee was formed to investigate accusations against him of manipulating the budget involving outsiders to alter tax rates in the budget speech just before it was presented before the Parliament. Minister Sharma, however, has been denying any wrongdoings.