FM Adhikari in spot over Finance Secy Khanal’s resignation and Adhikari defies PAC Cal

Finance Minister (FM) Bharat Mohan Adhikari did not attend the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that was scheduled to discuss Finance Secretary Rameshwor Khanal’s resignation scandal on March 31. The PAC meet was rescheduled for today. FM Adhikari informed the PAC of his inability to attend the meeting due to tight work schedule yesterday, sources confirmed.
It is learnt that yesterday, Adhikari was in a discussion with UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at the time when the PAC meet has summoned.
The PAC had summoned FM Adhikari, along with Chief Secretary Madhav Ghimire and Revenue Secretary Baskota, for information on Khanal’s recent resignation on Wednesday.
Khanal tendered his resignation on March 29 following serious differences with Finance Minister Adhikari over various issues including the VAT bill and transfers of ministry officials. It is learnt that Khanal’s ideas of taking action against people using fake bills, supplementary budget, and declaration of emergency of energy clashed with the ideas of Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari.
On the protest of Khanal’s resignation, Government officials of Finance Ministry, Custom Office and Custom Duty observed pen-down on March 30. Civil Servants Union (CSU) has demanded that Secretary Khanal should be reinstated and a favourable working environment should be created.
Speaking at a program organized by the Reporter’s Club in the Capital, CSU Chairman Subodh Kumar Devkota said, “Secretary Khanal’s resignation was a result of political pressure. The present government is trying to support corruption.”
The issue of Khanal’s resignation also engaged the parliament and cabinet on March 30. Maoist minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara expressed dissatisfaction over FM Adhikari’s performance, which made the top bureaucrat take an upsetting decision. The main opposition Nepali Congress also expressed anger with the government for compelling a ‘good’ administrator to step down, the sources said

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