Govt sacks NOC Managing Director Gopal Khadka

KATHMANDU: The government on Monday dismissed the Chief of Nepal Oil Corporation Gopal Khadka for his involvement in financial irregularities while purchasing land plots to set up storage facilities across the country.

Minister for Supplies Shiva Kumar Mandal said that a meeting of the Council of Ministers sacked Khadka from the NOC’s top post as he was embroiled in many controversies in the last two years. According to him, the Ministry of Supplies tabled a proposal at the Cabinet meeting to sack NOC’s Managing Director Khadka from the corporation’s top post.

The government has decided to dismiss Khadka as the evidences proved Khadka’s involvement in financial irregularities while acquiring plots of land meant for the development of petroleum storage infrastructure.

Different parliamentary committees, including Public Accounts Committee, the Committee on Commerce, Industry and Consumer Welfare Relations and , the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee had earlier directed the MoS to take action against Khadka and other government officials who have allegedly been involved in the land acquisition scam of NOC.

Under the supervision of Khadka, NOC was recently found to have purchased plots of land at a much higher cost than the prevalent market rates in Jhapa, Sarlahi, Chitwan and Rupandehi districts. In fact, NOC had paid up to four times more for plots in these areas as compared to the government valuation of the said plots.

Moreover, a recent parliamentary probe report had confirmed the alleged involvement of Khadka in the land acquisition process. The report had stated that not only did NOC purchase the plots at inflated rates but it also bought some plots that fell within the project area of the Mechi-Mahakali Railway Project. Moreover, some plots that NOC had bought were in close proximity to rivers, which make them unsuitable for building petroleum infrastructure.