KATHMANDU, Jan 27: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has stepped up to take Vegas City Apartment, a property owned by troubled Oriental Cooperative, to auction after the cooperative owner Sudhir Basnet failed to settle a loan worth 230 million rupees that it had issued against the property as collateral.
The EPF, issuing a 35-day public notice, called on Basnet to settle the dues or sell the property maintained as collateral. The EPF had issued the aforementioned amount of credit in the name of Kohinoor Hill Housing in 2011.
According to EPF, it approved a loan of 1.38 billion rupees for the housing project. However, only 230 million rupees had been released to the project in two installments before Basnet-owned Oriental Cooperative went bankrupt in 2013.
Controversial Basnet faced a free fall after the cooperative fell into financial crisis. The cooperative was found disbursing loans haphazardly and allowing its key promoter, Basnet, to illegally invest the depositors’ funds in the real-estate market, which later crashed. The unsound banking practices and financial irregularities inflicted losses of around 5.2 billion rupees, including 3.9 billion rupees in principal, on depositors.
Earlier in 2019, the Problematic Cooperatives Wealth Management Committee, which was formed by the government to assess assets and liabilities of troubled Oriental Cooperative and compensate its depositors, also made its move to auction the cooperative’s assets to recompense the depositors. Similarly, NIC Asia Bank in a bid to recover its 200 million rupees from Basnet had also started the auction process for his land in Dhapasi.
However, these organizations had to halt the process after the Supreme Court issued an interim order last November in favour of Basnet who has been facing charges of embezzling billions of rupees of the general people.