NOC Executive Director denies alleged financial irregularities in land deal

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Executive Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka

KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Executive Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka has denied that the NOC has been indulged in financial irregularities worth multi-million rupees while procuring land plots across the country.

The corporation has been accused of misappropriating Rs 670 million in the purchase of 84 bigha land plots to build new storage facilities.

The local media have claimed that the NOC, in collaboration with numerous land agents, has paid four-fold the market price while procuring the land and in doing so the high-level officials illegally pocketed handsome commissions worth millions of rupees.

But NOC Director Khadka claims that no irregularities were done while purchasing the lands.

“The lands in Rupandehi, Chitwan, Sarlahi and Jhapa districts were bought in following the due process,” said Khada while talking to Journalist Rishi Dhamala at a radio program ‘Nepali Bahas’ on Friday.

“We have paid lower price for Bhairawa land plots comparing to the price the government paid while procuring land for airport,” he claimed.

But the local media has accused the NOC of paying about Rs 150 million in surplus for the land in Bhairahawa alone without following the legal tender procedure.

The NOC has also been blamed of paying Rs 600 million for 24 bighas of land at Lothar Bazaar in Chitwan which the local brokers had sold the NOC for Rs 1.4 million per kathha.

“The media have disseminated false reports,” Khadka vented ire adding, “The allegations are framed based on some personal enmity.”

“We procured those lands in coordination with the District Revenue Office. Not a single penny has been scammed in the land deal,” he further claimed.

Meanwhile, Parliament’s Finance Committee and the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority have already started probing the alleged irregularities in the land purchase.