Nepali communication minister resigns over bribe allegations

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Minister for Information, Communication, and Technology, Gokul Baskota on Thursday resigned from his post after an audiotape of him bargaining for a commission of security printing press got leaked.

In a nearly-two minute audio clip published online by a local news portal on Wednesday, the minister can be heard bargaining for NPR 700 million in bribe over the procurement of security printing press for the government.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Baskota informed that he has tendered his resignation to Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on moral grounds after questions were raised against him.

Earlier in the day, the House of Representatives Speaker, Agni Prasad Sapkota, had informed the House about the minister’s resignation. “We will definitely receive a formal written notice soon. However, I have been informed that the concerned minister (referring to Baskota) has tendered his resignation already.”

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The clip records a conversation between the Communication Minister and a Nepalese agent for the Swiss company. The former can be heard bargaining for NPR 70 crore bribe for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to purchase the equipment for the government.

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