Govt should act immediately to take back 150 ropanis land from Taragaon Hotel: Agni Sapkota

Taragaon Hotel, Agni Sapkota

KATHMANDU, April 10: Agni Sapkota, Nepali Communist Party standing committee member and coordinator of the sub-committee of the International Relations Committee under the Federal Parliament, has urged the government to take immediate actions to regain the ownership of 150 ropanis of land it had transferred to Taragaon Regency Hotel Ltd.

The sub-committee on Sunday had directed the office of the prime minister and council of ministers to terminate the lease agreement after irregularities were found in share transfer and rights issue of the hotel, going against the provisions of Land Management Act, 2064 BS. The sub-panel had also asked the concerned authorities to probe into the sale of the land and penalize them as per law.

The government had a 39 percent stake in Hayat in 1992 but now its stake has been reduced to only about 9.01 percent, with more than 76 percent stake owned by Radeshyam Saraf, who is Indian, and Ram Lal Shrestha.

“The report prepared by the subcommittee will be helpful to the government and the court,” said Sapkota at an interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Wednesday.

“We have investigated the truth. We called 14 meetings both formal and informal, and held discussions with the former justices of courts and experts before finalizing the report,” he added.

“We have issued a 14-point direction to the governmental bodies to take necessary steps to take back the ownership after we found out the lease agreement illegal. The agreement papers in English and Nepali language have dissimilarities,” he added.

“The land mafias and the government officials involved in helping the hotel illegally acquiring the share of the Taragaon Development Committee should be punished,” he furthered.

The report had also advised the government to conduct a thorough investigation from the beginning and prepare a due diligence audit report to find the exact financial records and duties and liabilities of the hotel.

Sapkota revealed that he had to face several threats and pressure while preparing the report. “But I did not yield to any pressure,” he said.

“Dinesh Lal Shrestha had tried to personally meet me through former Land Reform Minister Jeetu Gautam. But I refused and asked him to come to the sub-committee for discussion. Later, they did not show up,” he said.

“Many high class families and political powers had tried to influence me. But we prepared the report investigating into the truth,” he added.

He also expressed dissatisfaction toward some of the governmental bodies for being irresponsible. “We had asked the Finance Ministry to give us some important documents that could be helpful in investigation. But the ministry told us there were no records found because the papers were years older,” he added.