'NCP General Secretary Paudel should get compensation'
KATHMANDU, April 12: Government spokesperson Gokul Baskota has said that the government is committed to retrieving the land it owns at Lalita Niwas from private individuals under whose names it has been transferred illegally.
Speaking at a weekly media briefing on cabinet decisions Thursday, Baskota who is also minister for information and communication, said the government will not tolerate the illegal transfer of government property to the names of private individuals.
“The government has already barred transaction in the land and formed a panel to investigate the forgery. Anyone involved in forgery should be punished and those purchasing the land from the forgers should get compensation,” he said .
Asked about the involvement of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) General Secretary Bishnu Paudel in purchasing the disputed land, Baskota defended Paudel as a victim of fraud. “He was not involved in the transfer of public land to private individuals. He purchased the land later after it had already been transferred to private ownership. He has been victimized and should get compensation from the forgers,” said Baskota.
Republica had reported on Wednesday that NCP General Secretary and former finance minister Paudel had purchased land in the disputed area adjoining the prime minister's official residence, where 114 ropani of public land was transferred to individual ownership.
The government has been probing the chiefs of land revenue offices and other suspect individuals in connection with the scam.
Minister Baskota, however, claimed that anyone involved in transferring land ownership improperly will be subjected to legal action irrespective of their political affiliations.
“ Once the report of the probe panel is in. action will be taken even if leaders of the ruling or opposition parties are found to be involved in the forgery,” he added.