July 6: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has courted yet another controversy after saying that the CCTV footage of unauthorized people allowed entry into the Ministry of Finance on the eve of budget announcement has been deleted. The finance minister has been criticized in parliament as well as the streets for his irresponsible remark.
His resignation is being demanded even in the streets over the same issue. On Tuesday, the youth association demanded his resignation.
The minister, on the other hand, maintained that unauthorized people were not allowed to enter the ministry but said that the CCTV footage was deleted within 13 days of May 29.
According to CCTV Installation Procedure 2072, the CCTV footages should be kept safe for three months. However, the finance minister’s remark that the CCTV footage was 'deleted' just within 13 days has drawn widespread condemnation.
Although such footage can be retrieved, finance minister is not willing to do so and is still maintaining his stance.
Pressure is building up on Finance Minister Sharma to resign after the main opposition party -- the CPN-UML -- demanded the formation of a parliamentary probe committee.
Even within the ruling Nepali Congress, there is a growing demand for the finance minister to resign or for the prime minister to remove Sharma from his position.
According to a Nepali Congress (NC) source, a formal demand will be made at the meeting of the Central Committee of the Nepali Congress to be held on July 11. NC leaders are of the view that the finance minister should immediately resign and assist in the investigation or Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba should remove him.
Due to the protest from the main opposition party, the ruling Congress and the growing level of dissatisfaction among the citizens, there is an intense pressure within the Maoist Center to recall Minister Sharma from the government.