November 7: A probe committee formed to investigate the allegations of irregularities against suspended deputy governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, Shiva Raj Shrestha, has decided to seek files signed by Shrestha from all the concerned departments of the central bank.
The three-member probe committee will start its investigation by collecting all the files signed by Shrestha. Of late, Shrestha had been looking after eight department of the central bank. In order to see what kinds of decision he took, the probe committee headed by Shreeram Poudel has sought the files from all eight departments. A member of the committee told New Business Age that they will hand over the letters to all the departments by Thursday.
Deputy Governor Shrestha was handed the vital Department of Regulation and Supervision.
“So far, the Department of Banks and Financial Institutions has presented the files. Now we will seek files from other departments,” said the member requesting not to be named.
“It seems that it will take some time to receive all the files signed by Shrestha in the last three years,” said the source.
Shrestha has been accused of favouring Ncell in a sub judice case at the Supreme Court and also of helping banks and financial institutions to conceal bad loans. He reportedly helped Ncell take away its dividends by signing a file in the absence of another deputy governor, Chintamani Shivakoti.
“So far, we have found that Shivakoti was absent on 24 occasions due to his field trips and foreign visits. We are seeking files signed by Shrestha in his absence,” said the committee member.
He is also accused of presenting forged bills during his official visits abroad.
A source at the department said that Shrestha was against anti-money laundering.
A cabinet meeting on October 17 had decided to take action against Shestha as per the recommendation of the Anti Money Laundering Department of NRB. The government then instructed the central bank to investigate Shrestha’s involvement in irregularities by abusing his power as the deputy governor of NRB. A board meeting of the central bank subsequently formed the probe committee on November 4 after which Shrestha was automatically suspended from his post as per Article 22 of the Nepal Rastra Bank Act 2058. Other members of the committee are Dr Subodh Kumar Karna and Ramji Regmi.