Govt secures approval as economic committee overcomes opposition in stock exchange license decision

KATHMANDU: In a noteworthy turn of events, the Economic Committee of the Federal Parliament has officially issued the license for the establishment of a new stock exchange to the government. This decision follows the resolution of opposition from certain members of parliament, and the initiation of the Stock Exchange license acquisition process began on November 11.

The committee had directed the Nepal Stock Exchange Board three days ago to proceed with the process of granting the license, following a letter sent to the government (office of prime minister and council of ministers) through the Ministry of Finance.

Santosh Chalise, the President of the Economic Committee, stated, “After halting the distribution process due to disputes over licensing four months ago, the committee decided to resume it on Kartik 25 (Nov 11), with the support of all political parties. The information about this decision has been conveyed to the government and the Stock Exchange Board through the Ministry.”

Chalise emphasized that the decision to halt the license distribution, as directed by the committee before, was based on the information provided by the Ministry and the government. He further added, “The committee discussed the matter thoroughly, and the decision to open or not open the license was solely the government’s responsibility.”

The construction of a competitive stock market by adding a new stock exchange has been advocated by Chalise. He stated, “We have discussed this matter with the Board, and the decision has been made with the support of all parties. Although only the independent MP Svarnim Waglē expressed disagreement with the decision, we are not aware of the government’s decision so far.”

According to our sources from the Ministry of Finance, Chalise stated, “They (the MPs) will present the proposal to the Council of Ministers within a day or two. The information about the government’s decision will be conveyed to us after that.” The President Chalise expressed his opinion that the committee’s decision was taken in haste and expressed uncertainty about the effectiveness of the decision.

It is noteworthy that the government and parliamentary committees have been actively involved in the process of opening the license for the stock exchange for the past seven months. The decision to suspend the process was given by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in June, citing the need for further study and research.

While the stock exchange is expected to receive a license for the benefit of the business community, the Economic Committee President, Chalise, has insisted on adding a new stock as pressure. “The Board has been pressurized from the Economic Committee on this matter. The decision to open the license has been taken with the support of all parties. Although only the independent MP Sarnim Waglē expressed disagreement with the decision, we are not aware of the government’s decision so far.”

The former Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, former Chairman of the Board and economist Rewat Bahadur Karki, and former Executive Director of Nepal Rastra Bank Gopal Bhattarai have also been appointed to the Board in order to expedite the process of granting the license for the stock exchange. Allegations have been made against the Board for making decisions in a non-transparent manner, and although a clear and transparent process is essential for the market, doubts have arisen about the Economic Committee’s decision to move forward without clarifying these concerns.

Fiscal Nepal |
Tuesday November 28, 2023, 11:19:26 AM |

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