PAC directs CIAA to probe security press deal case

Kathmandu, March 13

The Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives today directed the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority to investigate the allegations of corruption in the security press procurement deal.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota had resigned from his post on February 20 following the release of an audiotape, in which he is heard negotiating kickbacks with a local agent of Swiss equipment supplier in the government’s security printing press procurement deal. In the audiotape, Baskota is heard negotiating around Rs 740 million in commission with Bijay Prakash Mishra, the Nepal’s agent of a Swiss equipment supplier, for procuring security printing press.

Under-secretary of the Parliament Ramhari Thapa said the PAC directed the anti-graft body to investigate the allegations of corruption in the deal but did not name anybody. “The PAC has directed the CIAA to probe all those who were allegedly involved in the embezzlement,” Thapa added.

The PAC also directed the government to immediately cancel its process in the security printing press procurement deal and to adopt global tender process to establish security printing press. The PAC also decided to call the line minister and secretary to discuss cost estimation as there were complaints that the estimation of cost specified in the security printing procurement deal was abnormally high for certain goods and items.