DPM Pokharel justifies renewal of Gokarna Resort lease agreement

Kathmandu, December 26

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ishwor Pokharel informed Upper House of the Parliament that lease agreement with Gokarna Forest Resort was signed based on the legal process initiated by previous governments.

Making statement in today’s meeting of the National Assembly regarding the issue, DPM Pokharel argued that the agreement was renewed as per market price and for additional benefit for the state.

The government decided to renew the agreement for 50 years as per the demand of Yeti Holdings, the resort operating company. The government had signed agreement with the company on 18 April 2009, for the first time.

The lease agreement was renewed as per the decision of the trust on 9 February 2014. Clarifying that he became the chairperson of the trust as per the legal provision in the act, which said that a minister designated by the prime minister could be the chairperson of the trust, DPM Pokharel said, “It is good to keep an eye on government activities to ensure that things do not go wrong. But only the facts of an issue should be pointed out. Comments on the prime minister and me related to the issue are false.

We have been working to issue white paper regarding the agreement after sometimes.”

He said a proposal was presented at the Cabinet on the basis of a report prepared by taskforce formed by the trust to review the agreement.

DPM Pokharel said they had also obtained information on fair market value and environmental aspect by consulting with Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board and Gokarneshwor Municipality before renewing the agreement.