Probe committee to question ex-finance minister Sharma

The parliamentary probe committee formed to investigate an alleged tax rate manipulation in the national budget has invited then Finance Minister Janardan Sharma for questioning after failing to recover the CCTV footage from the night of May 28 when the alleged incident took place.

Tuesday’s meeting of the committee decided to discuss with Sharma the allegations that he invited unauthorised individuals to tweak the tax rates on the eve of budget announcement. It also decided to call the editors of Annapurna Post and Kantipur dailies that had carried news stories about the purported incident.

“We plan to discuss the issue with Sharma on Wednesday or on Thursday morning,” Man Bahadur Bishwakarma, a member of the probe committee from the Nepali Congress, told the Post.

The committee will hold discussions with former finance secretaries on Wednesday morning and with the editors from the two vernacular dailies in the afternoon.

The Annapurna Post in its June 13 edition published a story claiming that Sharma instructed 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 to make some last-moment changes in taxation to benefit some business groups and harm others. Kantipur, the Post’s sister paper, had carried follow-up stories on the alleged incident.

“We are inviting the editors and Sharma to find out the truth,” Bishwakarma said. “So far, we have…

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