Yet another House panel to probe NOC land scam

Published On: August 7, 2017 09:25 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 6: Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare has decided to conduct an on-site visit of the land purchased by Nepal Oil Corporation for petroleum storage in four districts. 

According to the chairman of the parliamentary panel Bhishmaraj Angdembe,  their meeting on Sunday decided to send a group of lawmakers elected from the four districts where the NOC purchased the land in controversial deal for inspection. He said that preparations are underway to send separate groups to Jhapa, Sarlahi, Chitwan and Rupandehi districts for on-site study. 

The decision of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare comes in the wake of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee asking the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to conduct detailed investigations and take action against those involved in the controversial land procurement deal.

The group of lawmakers would collect real facts by holding discussion with representatives of the concerned offices, people’s representatives at the local level where the NOC had purchased the lands. 

Speaking during the committee’s meeting, several  lawmakers including Subas Chandra Thakuri, Bhesh Kumari Raut, Krishna Prasad Poudel, Shambhu Lal Shrestha, Deepak Karki and Shyam Kumar Shrestha had demanded their committee sent separate teams to make on-site visit.

PAC had started probing  the matter after Republica and its sister publications ran a story  exposing irregularities amounting to  Rs 670 million  in the procurement of  pieces of land  in Rupandehi, Chitwan, Sarlahi and Jhapa districts for Rs 1.61 billion. The panel concluded that NOC paid as much as four times the market price for the land.

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