Khatiwada confident of retaining FinMin post

Kathmandu, February 27

Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has claimed that he will be retained as finance minister even after his two-year tenure in the National Assembly ends on March 3.

Addressing a press conference here today to disclose the decisions taken by the Cabinet, Khatiwada told mediapersons, “My oath-taking ceremony has been fixed for March 4. See you there on that date.”

Khatiwada’s statement comes at a time when the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders are divided on whether the Cabinet should recommend Khatiwada or NCP Vice-chair Bamdev Gautam for NA membership.

A meeting of the NCP Secretariat held yesterday had recommended Gautam for NA membership.

However, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli seems unhappy with the recommendation and looks determined to nominate Khatiwada instead, NCP sources told THT.

As per the constitutional provision, if Oli wants to retain Khatiwada as the finance minister, he could do so but only for another six months. To extend his tenure beyond the six-month period, the president will have to nominate Khatiwada to the NA on the recommendation of the Cabinet.

In a lottery method adopted by the NA in June 2018 to finalise the tenure of its members, Khatiwada had drawn a token for two-year term. It was widely believed that NCP Vice-chair Gautam would replace Khatiwada in the NA after the latter’s tenure ends on March 3.

The finance minister added that the process of selecting the governor of the central bank would be completed by March 18. The tenure of the incumbent Governor Chiranjibi Nepal ends on March 17.