'Rs 37.86 million embezzled in vehicle procurement'

Published On: February 9, 2019 04:34 AM NPT By: Binod Pariyar

RUPANDEHI, Feb 8: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Province 5 has come to the conclusion that there were irregularities in the purchase of vehicles by the provincial assembly and the provincial government.

A meeting of the committee held on Friday prepared the final report on the case claiming that the provincial government and the provincial assembly bought Tata Storme jeeps at a rate expensive than the market price.

According to the PAC, a total of Rs 37.86 million was embezzled while purchasing 11 such vehicles by the provincial assembly and four by the provincial government.

The PAC meeting comprising of provincial assembly members from the ruling and opposition parties had unanimously concluded that the cost of one such vehicle is Rs 6.855 million. But the provincial government had purchased the vehicles at Rs 7.194 million, pocketing Rs 338,000 from one vehicle.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives of the province had procured the same brand of vehicle at Rs 7.299 million. The Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment, the Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure of the province had bought the same vehicle for Rs 7.242 million, paying Rs 387,000 more per vehicle.

Chairman of the Province 5 PAC, Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary, said that the provincial assembly and the ministries should not have paid more than the market price of the vehicles.

“One such vehicle costs Rs 6.855 million for the general people,” he said, “The extra amount incurred during the procurement should be deposited to the state coffers.”

The report has pointed out to the need to study the reason behind the provincial assembly and the various ministries purchasing the vehicles at inflated prices. Butwal-based Safal Automotors had sold the Tata Storme vehicles on a tender basis.

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