Ruling Coalition and Nepali Congress Agree to Establish Parliamentary Probe into Cooperative Scandals

Ruling Coalition and Nepali Congress Agree to Establish Parliamentary Probe into Cooperative Scandals

After weeks of being at a standstill, Nepal's ruling coalition and the primary opposition party, Nepali Congress, have come to a consensus to establish a parliamentary committee to probe into reported fraud and financial irregularities related to cooperatives.

The consensus to establish the inquiry committee was reached during talks between top leaders of the coalition and the Congress party at the Prime Minister's residence in Baluwatar on Saturday.

"There is a common understanding on forming a parliamentary investigation committee. Work will begin from tomorrow morning to determine the committee's specific mandate," said Congress leader Ramesh Akhtar after the meeting.

A three-member sub-committee consisting of representatives from the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and National Independent Party has been tasked with framing the terms of reference for the proposed parliamentary probe panel. Law Minister Padam Giri will coordinate this sub-committee.

The Nepali Congress has been demanding such a parliamentary inquiry, alleging misappropriation of funds by the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ravi Lamichhane while overseeing a cooperative organization in the past. However, the government had been rejecting these demands.

Since the winter session of the federal parliament commenced on April 28, the main opposition has been relentlessly obstructing proceedings of both the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. Congress lawmakers insisted that parliamentary business would remain paralyzed until the probe committee was formed.

With Saturday's breakthrough, the sub-committee is scheduled to convene on Sunday morning to finalize the scope and mandate for the long-sought parliamentary investigation committee into the cooperative scandals. Once formalized, this could pave the way for ending the legislative disruptions by the opposition party.

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