Govt likely to give sack to NOC chief

  • Khadka under fire for failing to ease fuel crisis, speed up China deal
Bhadra Sharma & Rajesh Khanal, Nov 28 2015

Disappointed with Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Managing Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka’s poor performance, the government is considering removing him from the post.

On Friday, the NOC board sought clarification from Khadka, questioning his ‘involvement in multiple cases of irregularities in fuel distribution’ in the wake of Indian blockade and his failure to ‘speed up the commercial deal to import fuel from China’.

“We have given him two days to clarify his position on the issues that have surfaced in the media,” said Minister for Commerce and Supplies Ganesh Man Pun. When asked whether the government would remove Khadka from his post, Minister Pun said, “Let’s see his clarification first.”

However, a senior aide to Prime Minister KP Oli said the government is holding ‘internal discussions’ regarding Khadka and ‘considering removing him for his non-cooperation’.

The erstwhile Sushil Koirala-led government had appointed Khadka as the managing director of state oil monopoly in January for a four-year term.

But the incumbent government has arrived at a conclusion that Khadka’s stay in the office could further complicate the fuel crisis under which the country is reeling due to the Indian blockade, according to government sources.

“The government is holding internal discussions on ways to remove Khadka,” said one of senior aides to Prime Minister Oli.

“(The government) is yet to decide whether to hand over Khadka a pink slip or strip him of his certain rights by restructuring the NOC board. The government, however, is certainly mulling over possible ways to limit Khadka’s role.”

Charges oil corporation MD faces
  •      Non-cooperation
  •      Involvement in irregularities
  •      Conduct unbecoming a managing director
  •      Unilateral move of awarding contracts to blacklisted companies to import fuel
  •      Distributing fuel to some Kathmandu-based private fuel stations   from Bhalbari Depot
  •      Promoting black-marketeering


Underlining the need of a high-powered team in the state oil monopoly to cope with deepening fuel crisis, PM Oli has been suggested that he pick ‘a former bureaucrat with high integrity who is committed to resolving the fuel crisis’ as the head of NOC.

The government, which has prioritised diversifying trade and oil import following the blockade by India, is miffed at Khadka’s lackadaisical approach to planned commercial deal for importing fuel from China. “Instead of working to ease the crisis, he has exhibited conduct unbecoming a managing director,” said a source at the Prime Minister’s Office.

A framework agreement for commercial supply of petroleum products was signed between Nepal and China on October 28. Immediately after signing the agreement, China had provided 1.3 million litres of petrol to Nepal, which has already been transported. However, NOC is yet to formally sign a commercial deal with the northern neighbour.

NOC officials however say signing of the commercial deal has been delayed due to differences over tax issues. Nepali officials have requested China to waive tax but China is unwilling to oblige, citing lack of such policy, said the officials.

A high-level government team led by Shambhu Ghimire, Joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, which was supposed to leave for China last Friday, has cancelled the visit. A technical team of NOC is currently in China to discuss tax related issues. “We are still discussing tax related issues,” said Mukunda Ghimire, NOC spokesperson.

NOC MD Khadka earlier had run into controversy after he awarded contracts to import fuel to blacklisted private companies-Bhagwati Traders and Birat Petroleum.

MD Khadka had even released Rs 200 million as guarantee to Birat Petroleum for importing fuel after the government decided to involve private parties in fuel import following the blockade imposed by India. According to NOC sources, Khadka had unilaterally selected private firms, without meeting the official procedure.

Complaints were registered at the ministry against MD Khadka for distributing fuel to some Kathmandu-based private pumps from Bhalbari Depot of Rupandehi. The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee had also accused Khadka of promoting black-marketing and monopoly in fuel distribution.


full story »

Court of inquiry instituted for SSB firing in Bhantabari

    Post Report, Nov 28 2015

    Nepali and Indian security officials have instituted a court of inquiry into the Bhantabari incident in which Indian security forces had opened fire on Nepal citizens on Wednesday.

    Four Nepalis were injured when Indian Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel fired ‘indiscriminately’ at Nepali citizens in Haripur-7 of Bhantabari in Sunsari on Wednesday. Chief District Officer Rabilal Panth said a court of inquiry was instituted on Friday in the presence of Arun Kumar Singh, Inspector General of Police, Patna Headquarters of Indian SSB.

    Chief of District Police and officials of the Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department also participated in the joint meeting held at Indian SSB 45-Battalion in Birpur.

    CDO Panth said the Indian authorities have assured that no such incident would be repeated in the Nepali territory in future. “IGP Singh expressed his sorrow over the incident,” said Panth, adding that they have agreed to maintain peace and safe environment in the border areas.

    Indian security forces have agreed to coordinate with their Nepali counterparts to control smuggling and unlawful activities at border points, Panth said. Police on Thursday had secured three bullet shells of Insas rifle from the incident site.

    A day after the incident, the government on Thursday drew the attention of the government of India, saying that the firing took place on Nepali soil in which four Nepalis were injured. The government has also requested the Indian side an early investigation and strong action against those involved.

    Naresh Yadav, Manoj Yadav, Ashok Yadav and Saroj Yadav were injured in the firing.

    full story »

    Human chain formed around Ring Road to protest Indian blockade

    Post Report, Kathmandu, Nov 28 2015
    Students, teachers and parents in Kathmandu Valley formed a 27 km long human chain around Ring Road on Friday to protest the border blockade imposed by India.

    full story »

    Reconstruction works of heritage sites yet to begin

    GAURAV THAPA, Kathmandu, Nov 28 2015
    Excavation underway at Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Photo courtesy: Department of Archaeology
    Even after seven months after the massive earthquake which destroyed the country’s prized heritage monuments, the government’s reconstruction plans have remained on paper only.

    full story »

    Govt broadens definition of rape

    Post Report, Kathmandu, Nov 28 2015
    The government has amended the existing law in order to broaden the definition of rape as “penile penetration of orifices” and “non-penile penetration of vaginas”.

    full story »

    Itahari tense as locals tear down Morcha stage

    Bedraj Paudel, ITAHARI, Nov 28 2015
    Locals of Itahari set fire to the stage readied for a rally of the Madhesi Morcha in Sunsari on Friday. Photo courtesy: Manoj
    Itahari remained tense on Friday after local youths vandalised the stage prepared for a programme of the agitating Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM).

    full story »

    Unidentified group sets truck on fire early morning today

    RSS, Lahan, Nov 28 2015
    File Photo: SLMM cadres torch a truck during a general strike at Morang on September 18
    An unidentified group set a truck on fire at Lahan Municipality-8 in Siraha district at 2:15 am Saturday. The good-laden truck was unloading goods.

    full story »

    Main News

    SSFN blames govt for Itahari incident

    Post Report, Nov 27 2015
    Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal has said the Itahari protest was conspired by the government itself.
    full story »

    NHRC expresses concern over use of children in human chain

    Post Report, Nov 27 2015
    The country’s constitutional human rights watchdog has objected to the use of children in Friday’s demonstration in the Capital against India’s undeclared blockade to Nepal.
    full story »

    Madhesi leaders unable to attend Itahari assembly after protest from locals

    Post Report, Nov 27 2015
    Leaders affiliated to Madhesi Morcha were unable to attend the assembly organised by Limbuwan and other alliances in Itahari, Sunsari on Friday.
    full story »



    Away fans have been banned from all football matches in France until mid-December following the Paris attacks.On 13 November, 130 people died in attacks across Paris, with three suicide bombs outside the Stade de France where France took on Germany.

    French league games went ahead the following weekend without away fans.
    The Interior Ministry has extended the ban due to a "lack of police forces available" during the ongoing state of emergency and upcoming Climate Summit.

    Health & Style

    Saturday Features

    In search of a saviour

    The festival of lights is over and we all have no choice but to face the darkness that hovers around us. Our government banned firecrackers and imposed a 10 pm curfew even during the festive season but such laws didn’t apply to dohoris and dance bars that operated past midnight, disturbing neighbourhoods.

    A New world order

    Madhukar Sjb Rana
    Let’s start with the basics: By ‘world order’, Henry Kissinger, in his book, World Order: Character of Nations and the Course of History, means “the concept held by a region or civilisation about the nature of just arrangement and distribution of power thought to be applicable in the entire world.

    Creating Nepal’s own Quartet

    John Narayan Parajuli
    The current conflict between the state and Madhes, the polarisation of the society between Madhesi and Pahadi communities has put a spotlight on the absence of a national conflict resolution mechanism.

    Traders in the Land of Snows

    Kamal Ratna Tuladhar
    The old Tibet trade is a celebrated period in Nepal’s history when commercial and cultural exchanges across the high Himalaya reached exalted heights. For over a thousand years, generations of merchants of Kathmandu have journeyed across the frozen passes in great mule caravans to conduct business in Lhasa and other trade centres in the Land of Snows.

    Documentaries in vogue

    Gaurav Pote
    As the 10th edition of Film Southasia (FSA) chugs ahead in full swing, documentary makers and enthusiasts are eager to celebrate and share the art of storytelling that documentaries are. But they have the rest—those new to the genre or non-inclined towards non-fiction films—wondering just what is it about these films that draws people to them.

    Double-O disappointment

    Preena Shrestha
    Bond is back, but looking a little worse for wear. Having notched up twenty-something films so far, divided into around half a dozen reboots, the franchise based on the novels of the late Ian Fleming has been chugging along dependably for more than 50 years, proving the most enduring film series of its kind.

    Nepal’s road to rap

    You might not know it, but Nepal is in its golden age of hip-hop. More artists than ever before are heading to the studio, to Youtube, and to the battle arena to create and showcase their skills. Nepali hip-hop—called Nephop by fans—is receiving a lot of online attention from Nepali fans at home and abroad, promoting a new generation of artists, many who have gained exposure through the online series Raw Barz.

    Cobbling from dreams

    Pratibha Tuladhar
    Binod (Bhim) Shakya, a repousse artist, abandons his hammer and chisel and goes to sleep on the floor, propping his head against a wooden block when he can’t make sense of work. The 41-year-old artist says it’s his thing to do when he becomes muddled in his head and doesn’t know how to proceed.

    A coterie of unequals

    So far, we have had a Madhesi and a woman President. But these efforts amount to little when it comes to addressing issues surrounding poverty and rectifying the asymmetrical distribution of power in our country.You just have to look at the student statistics of elite American universities to see it. The US lags behind Nepal, a country with a historically lopsided wealth-distribution system, in the GINI index (the former scores .41 as opposed to the latter’s .328), which measures a country’s economic inequality, but some of the best institutions in the US, which are meant to nurture and support the best and brightest minds in the world, give an opposite impression.