NOC's land purchase deal closely monitored: Minister Mandal

KATHMANDU: Newly appointed Minister for Supplies Shiva Kumar Mandal has vowed to take stern action against anyone involved in irregularities of the Nepali Oil Corporation's land purchase deal.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had inducted Shiva Kumar Mandal as Minister for Supplies from CPN-Maoist Centre quota in his Cabinet.

Speaking at an interaction programme in the Capital today, Minister Madal said the government is closely monitoring the investigation of the NOC's land purchase scam.

Minister Mandal said the action would be taken after the probe committee submits its report to the Parliamentary Committe.

NOC officials were reportedly involved in multi million irregularities while purchasing land plots in Jhapa, Sarlahi, Bhairahawa and Chitwan districts for fuel shortage.

The Finance Committee of the Legislature-Parliament had formed a probe panel headed by lawmaker Abdul Rajjak and Sarswati Bajimaya, Ichchharaj Tamang, Nardevi Pun, Srijana Taramu and Ramesh Prasad Kurmi as its members.

Minister Mandal also said that black marketing and artificial shortages would not be allowed under any circumstances, especially during the upcoming festive season.

"Food supply and distribution would be eased during the festival months and discussions are being held with Nepal Food Corporation for transporting food grains to the remote districts," Minister shared.

Meanwhile, government is preparing to purchase land for building storage facilities for petroleum products in all the seven provinces to store fuel to meet the demand for at least 90 days.

Speaking on a different note, Minister Mandal said the constitution amendment bill tabled at the Legislature-Parliament will not be endorsed before the third phase of local level elections in Province number 2 on September 18.

However, the government is working to forge consensus with the main opposition party to endorse the amendment bill with two-third majority.