Public Accounts Committee urges Money Laundering Investigation into NEBON chair

KATHMANDU: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) within the House of Representatives has decided to request the Department of Money Laundering Investigation to scrutinize the assets of Ramesh Hamal, Chairman of the Nepal Securities Board. The decision was made during a PAC meeting on Thursday, where discussions centered on the Securities Board’s regulations and related matters.

PAC Chairman Rishikesh Pokharel revealed that the committee aims to investigate the approval of share issuance to a loss-making company, raising suspicions of corruption when allowing shares at a premium.

Despite being invited to the discussion, Chairman Hamal did not attend the meeting, citing his leave due to the impending end of his term.

Expressing regret over Hamal’s absence and deeming it irresponsible, the committee asserted that he failed to inform about his leave in advance. With Hamal’s tenure concluding on January 14, he has been on leave since Thursday.

During the meeting, parliamentarians accused Hamal of permitting companies to issue billions of shares at premium prices, allegedly leading to investor suicides over the past three years. They also raised concerns about his initiatives to establish a new stock exchange and the arbitrary issuance of licenses to new brokers.

The committee demanded documents from all companies that issued shares at a premium and urged the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority to conduct an inquiry.

Furthermore, the lawmakers alleged political corruption, asserting that amendments to the Securities Issuance Regulations reduced the profitability requirement for issuing shares at a premium from three years to two years, contrary to the Companies Act.

The PAC aims to address these concerns through the requested investigation into Chairman Hamal’s assets by the Department of Money Laundering Investigation.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday December 29, 2023, 11:20:30 AM |

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