Kathmandu, September 12
The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has directed the Ministry of Supplies to promptly initiate action against those involved in the Nepal Oil Corporation land acquisition scam.
In a meeting at the OPMCM last evening, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba voiced concerns about irregularities identified in the process of acquiring plots of land for development of fuel storage facilities and involvement of government officials in the scam, according to a source at the OPMCM.
“The MoS has been directed to sort out the NOC land acquisition issue soon and take action against the guilty,” a source in OPMCM told THT on condition of anonymity.
The direction from OPMCM to this effect has come at a time when the Parliamentary Committee on Commerce, Industry and Consumer Welfare Relations is dragging its feet on recommending action against officials involved in financial irregularities during land acquisition for NOC despite evidences.
A probe panel of the Legislature-Parliament had submitted a report to the PCCICWR yesterday showing the involvement of high-level officials of the MoS, the then chairman of NOC board, chief of NOC management, bidder for NOC’s land acquisition and the then secretaries of VDCs in financial irregularities while purchasing plots for developing fuel storage facilities in the country.
Moreover, the report had stated that numerous plots purchased by NOC were not feasible for developing fuel storage as they were located only a few metres away from rivers and some of the plots fell within the project area of the Mechi-Mahakali Railway Project. However, PCCICWR could not recommend action against the aforementioned wrongdoers.
“As the NOC land acquisition issue has drawn the attention of concerned high-level officials lately, it may be resolved soon,” the OPMCM official said. Meanwhile, it is learnt that MoS is in the process of tabling a proposal before the Cabinet to initiate action against NOC Chief Gopal Bahadur Khadka and senior government officials indicted by the parliamentarian probe.
Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri, however, said OPMCM had not received any such proposal from the MoS. The Cabinet will decide on the issue if it receives any proposal from the MoS.”
A version of this article appears in print on September 13, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.