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Ncell controversy: Govt forms high-level probe panel

The committee has been given a month to submit its findings

Ncell controversy: Govt forms high-level probe panel

The government on Thursday formed a high-level probe panel under former auditor-general Tanka Mani Sharma to investigate the suspicious Ncell share purchase deal. 

Phanindra Gautam, Baburam Bhandari, Hrydesh Shakya and Sujan Kumar Kafle are members of the panel. According to government spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Rekha Sharma, the panel has been instructed to submit its report within a month after a thorough study of the matter. 

Amid reports about the controversial transaction came to the fore, the finance committee of the parliament on Wednesday urged the government to take measures to intervene in the ongoing share purchase deal. The government’s decision follows a series of meetings among the top leaders of the ruling coalition.  

Meanwhile, Ncell has said that the pricing and structure of the transaction was determined through a willing buyer and seller basis. As per the agreed deal structure, Axiata is set to receive a base payment, along with additional benefits in the form of profit-sharing for the next five years, extending until 2029, Ncell said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Appellate Court Patan has issued an interim order to halt the purchase of Ncell shares. A single bench of justice Purushttom Dhakal has also instructed the government to submit all details, including the shared details.