Supplies Minister vows to act against NOC land purchase 'irregularities'

Kathmandu, August 2: In a meeting of the Legislature-Parliament's Public Account Committee today, lawmakers demanded action as per the law against those indulged in 'irregularities' in the Nepal Oil Corporation's land procurement process in four districts. They called for forming a committee to probe into the matter and bring the guilty to book.

The NOC is to purchase 23 bigha three kattha and 13 dhur land in Jhapa and the purchasing cost was Rs 1.3 million per kattha. One kattha is equivalent to 3645 sq feet, while 20 dhur equals to one kattha and 20 kattha equivalent to one bigha or 6672.63 meter square.

In Saptari, the NOC plans to purchase 15 bigha 14 dhur land the price of per kathha is around one million and 23 bigha 12 katthha and 3.25 dhur land in Chitwan and the agreed purchasing rate is some Rs 1.6 million per kathha. In Rupandehi, it has planned to purchase 14 bigha 7 kathha and 7.1 dhur land at Rs 1.1 million per kathha.

In response to lawmakers' concerns, Minister for Supplies Shiva Kumar Mandal pledged not to make any compromise for action if irregularities in the NOC land purchasing process were proved. The Ministry would start discussions on the matter from today itself and the issue was under investigation in a parliamentary committee as well, he added.

Lawmakers have claimed that the NOC was planning to purchase land at higher price than the existing market price. It has agreed to pay Rs one million per kathha, three fold more than the existing market price, as lawmakers believed.

Dhanraj Gurung, Ramhari Khatiwada, Ananda Pokhrel, Usha Gurung, Bharat Saha, Radha Krishna Kandel, Amrit Lal Rajbanshi, Hari Charan Saha and Deepak Giri, seeking a fair probe into the report of irregularities in the procurement process, accused the NOC of intending to bankrupt the company to serve the interests of middlemen. RSS