Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Government suspends Sebon chief, forms probe panel

The government has suspended Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon) chair Bhisma Raj Dhungana, and formed an investigation committee led by a former judge.

The cabinet today suspended Sebon chair Dhungana, to investigate his alleged involvement in 'the golden share' case in the Sarbottam Cement, and formed a three-member probe committee led by former judge of High Court Ananta Raj Dumre, confirmed the law and justice minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki.

"The three-member committee has Naraya Prasad Poudel as an expert member, and joint secretary of Nepal Law Commission Arjun Kumar Khadka, apart from Dumre," Karki said, adding that the probe committee has been formed under the Sebon Act 2063, Article 7 (7). "The government has release Sebon chair, if he is found guilty by the probe committee."

Sebon chair Bhisma Raj Dhungana has been accused of being involved in 'golden share' case as his daughter, who lives abroad, has been found purchasing some 11,992 units of shares of Sarbottam Cement that is in the process to issue primary shares to the public through book building process.

Though, the face value of a unit share is Rs 100, Sarbottam Cement share will be floated in Rs 750 per unit through the book building process. But Dhungana's daughter and Saud's wife both bought the share in Rs 250 per unit.

Sarbottam Cement is waiting for final approval from the Sebon to issue its 6 million units of primary shares to the public. But, Sebon chair Dhungana has been accused of purchasing the shares before the company goes public. Apart from Dhungana, Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) chief executive office (CEO) Chandra Singh Saud has also been found purchasing shares in his wife's name.

Finance Ministry has sought clarification from the Sebon and Nepse, both after it was found that their kins have bought the share of Sarbottam Cement before it goes to public.

On August 20, the Finance Committee -- under the House of Representatives -- has also directed the government to take action against Sebon chair Dhungana and Nepse CEO Saud for taking unfair advantage of their position, while purchasing the shares.

The Finance Committee had also summoned both of them for discussion, where they were grilled by the parliamentarians.

During the meeting, Dhungana claimed that his married daughter is free to do any trading on her own, and a father is not liable for married daughter's trading. Likewise, Saud also claimed that he has not donea anything agsinst law. But the parliamentarians demanded resignation of both Dhungana and Saud for their alleged involvement in golden share case.

The Finance Committee also formed a probe committee led by finance secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini with joint secretary Dirgha Raj Mainali and three experts.

The Employees Union of the Sebon has also urged the government to carry out an investigation into the controversial case of Sebon chair’s alleged involvement.

After pressure from the public, Nepse CEO Saud resigned but Sebon chair has still been claiming that he has not taken any advanteg.

Sebon, is the regulatory authority of the capital market that has around 3.8 million investors.

Earlier, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has also asked the Sebon to provide necessary documents to investigate Sebon chair Dhungana’s alleged involvement in Sarbottam golden share scam.

No comments: