Finance Secretary Marasini goes on leave as Minister Sharma continues to resist flak

Kathmandu, July 6

Finance Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini has gone on leave for an indefinite period from Wednesday.

His decision to go on leave has been interpreted as a protest against Finance Minister Janardan Sharma’s silence over calls to step down.

Of late, Minister Sharma is under fire after Annapurna Post reported that he changed tax rates in the budget plan for the next fiscal year under some industrialists’ pressure. As the news reported that the industrialists entered the ministry office on the eve of the budget announcement to tamper with the document, there was a call to investigate the CCTV footage. But, the ministry has already said the footage was automatically deleted.

This claim has been understood as the minister’s involvement in some secret deal, and hence, stakeholders have demanded that the government launch an investigation and Minister Sharma resign. Yet, the minister is silent.

The minister’s press advisor Ajit Adhikari, however, says there is no connection between Finance Secretary Marasini’s leave and the charges against the finance minister.

“He is on leave just for today as his wife is sick,” he says, “He has informed us that the leave can be extended to tomorrow if necessary.”

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