Govt sacks NOC chief Khadka
Sep 19, 2017-The government on Monday sacked Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) chief Gopal Khadka.
“Today’s Cabinet decided to remove Khadka from the post of NOC managing director,” said Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Bahadur Basnet, also the government spokesperson, after Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
Five parliamentary committees and the Ministry of Supplies during their investigations had found Khadka’s involvement in irregularities while buying land plots in four districts for building oil storage facilities.
Last week, the Ministry of Supplies had submitted a report of its investigation into the NOC land deals to the Prime Minister’s Office recommending action against Khadka.
Minister Basnet said Minister for Supplies Shiva Kumar Mandal during had proposed Khadka’s sacking for non-cooperation and promoting groupism besides embezzlement.
Khadka is accused of misappropriating around Rs 800 million while buying land plots worth Rs 1.61 billion in four places: Bhairahawa, Chitwan, Sarlahi and Jhapa.
“It is now up to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to take necessary action against Khadka,” said Minister Mandal.
But concerns have grown about what lawmakers have said CIAA’s lackadaisical approach in the investigation into the NOC land deals.
The CIAA investigation into irregularities in the NOC’s land deals has been snail-paced, which some believe largely due to the political patronage Khadka enjoys.
Dor Prasad Upadhyay, chairman of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, said sacking [of an official] was not what the House panel wanted. “Necessary legal action should be initiated against the corrupt officials, and it’s not only about Khadka. All those involved in graft must be published as per the law,” he said.
Khadka was appointed NOC’s managing director on January 28, 2015 by then Sushil Koirala-led government.
Shree Hari Aryal, chairman of Transparency International Nepal, the national chapter of Transparency International, the leading global movement against corruption, said
the government now should ensure a prompt investigation into the charges Khadka faces.
Published: 19-09-2017 08:29