KATHMANDU: Newly appointed Minister for Finance Prakash Sharan Mahat assumed his office in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, on Friday.
President Ramchandra Paudel administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly-appointed Finance Minister Mahat at a special ceremony organised at the Office of the President, Sheetal Niwas, on Friday.
Minister Mahat believes that the best legislation is born from a thorough understanding of grassroots issues and should reflect the needs of ordinary people, not just those of powerful interest groups.
Born in Nuwakot district, on November 5, 1959, Mahat had an active political career of more than three decades. He actively participated in the democratic movements, conflict resolution, and the peace process of the country and is keen on advancing inclusive economic development agenda.
Previously, he has already served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2017.
Since 2022, Mahat has taken responsibility as spokesperson of Nepali Congress, a major Democratic Party of Nepal. He began his political career by being actively involved in student politics in 1970. From 1983 to 1987, he served as general secretary of Nepal Students’ Union. He was a Member of the Action Committee on behalf of Nepali Congress during the People’s Movement of 1990. He also served as a Member of Central Economic Policy Committee in the Nepali Congress from 1998 to 1999.
The Nepali Congress leader has served in the legislature and executive branches of Nepal in different periods in various capacities. He was a member of Interim Legislative Parliament from 2006 to 2008. He was a member of the first Constituent Assembly from May 2008 to May 2012 and also a member of the second Constituent Assembly since November 2013.
He played a vital role in the Constitution drafting process as a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the second Constituent Assembly, which has now been transformed into the Legislature-Parliament after the promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal on September 20, 2015. Mahat has also served in different parliamentary committees, including the State Affairs Committee as well as the Special Parliamentary Hearing Committee.
Mahat was Minister for Energy from 2010 to 2011. He was State Former Minister for Foreign Affairs from June 2004 to February 2005. He was also a member of National Planning Commission from April 2002 to October 2002 and an advisor to the prime minister of Nepal from September 2001 to May 2002.
He was Member Secretary of High Level Committee constituted by Nepal Government in 1999 for the Resolution of Maoist insurgency. Similarly from 2006 to June 2007, he served as Member of National Peace Committee, which was constituted for facilitating dialogue and helping the government to work on peace deals and preparation of peace accords. He was also entrusted with the responsibility to negotiate with different agitating groups in Nepal as one of the members of the Government Dialogue Team from August 2007 to June 2008.
Minister Mahat has written a book entitled ‘Nepali Congress and Nation Building’ which is based on his Master’s Thesis on the Economic Policy of first-ever elected Nepali Congress Government led by BP Koirala.
Newly appointed deputy prime minister and ministers sworn in
Newly appointed deputy prime minister and other ministers were also sworn in at the special ceremony held at the Office of the President, Sheetal Niwas, on Friday.
Vice President Ramsahay Prasad Yadav, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire, National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki, heads of constitutional bodies and senior journalists were present on the occasion.
Among those sworn in are Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Purna Bahadur Khadka, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Ramesh Rijal and Minister for Urban Development Sita Gurung from the Nepali Congress.
Similarly, Shakti Bahadur Basnet of the CPN (Maoist Centre) was sworn in as Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.
Beduram Bhusal and Prakash Jwala from the CPN (Unified Socialist) were also sworn in as the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development and Physical Infrastructure and Transport respectively.
Ashok Rai of the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal has taken the oath of office and secrecy as Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Sharat Singh Bhandari of the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party as the Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security.
Likewise, Chairperson of Nagarik Unmukti Party Ranjita Shrestha Chaudhary was sworn in as the Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, and Mahindra Raya Yadav of Nepal Samajbadi Party as the Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha has been appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs.
Prime Minister Dahal expanded the Council of Ministers on Friday. PM Dahal expanded the Cabinet by incorporating Nepali Congress, CPN (Unified Socialist), Janata Samajbadi Party, Lokatantrik Samajbadi Party and Nagarik Unmukti Party.