Nepal's Finance Minister Janardan Sharma resigned on Wednesday after the parliamentary speaker ordered an investigation into allegations of unauthorised changes in the budget.
Opposition parties and some lawmakers of the ruling centre-left alliance have accused Sharma of inviting "unauthorised persons" to make changes in the rate of some taxes in the federal budget just a day before he presented the spending plan for the fiscal year 2022-23. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The "unauthorised persons" refers to people outside the government with no legal power to make amendments to the budget.
"I am resigning to help the investigation," said Sharma while addressing lawmakers, adding that he was ready to face the investigation as he had not done anything wrong.
"I am ready to face not one but thousands of investigations."
Pressure on Sharma has also mounted after the finance ministry said CCTV footage from the day when the alleged changes in the budget were made was not available.
Parliamentary speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota gave the multi-party 11-member investigating panel 10 days to examine the opposition's accusations.
Sharma, a former Maoist rebel leader, was involved in removing central bank governor Maha Prasad Adhikari in April, accusing him of leaking sensitive financial information to the media. Adhikari was later reinstated by the Supreme Court.
Nepal, a landlocked country between China and India, has been facing an inflationary surge following a rise in the prices of crude oil and other commodity imports while also dealing with a fall in its foreign exchange reserves.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's government banned the import of luxury goods until mid-July to rein in capital outflows as the forex reserves fell to about $9 billion - enough to last the country around six months.