NOC submits documents on controversial land purchase deals


    Aug 2, 2017-

    Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), which is under investigation over alleged embezzlement of hundreds of millions of rupees while buying land for construction of fuel storage facilities, has submitted documents related to controversial land purchase deals to the probe panel of the parliamentary Finance Committee.

    The probe panel was pressing the state-owned oil monopoly to provide documents on land purchase deals since its formation two weeks ago. But NOC defied those calls again and again.

    “NOC finally provided the documents today (Tuesday),” lawmaker and coordinator of probe panel Abdul Razzak said. “We will now start field investigation. We will also refer to the Land Acquisition Act and the Public Procurement Act to carry out detailed investigation.”

    NOC has been charged of misappropriating funds amounting to Rs800 million while buying land worth Rs1.61 billion in four places, Bhairahawa, Chitwan, Sarlahi and Jhapa.

    It had started the process of purchasing land to build oil storage facilities in all seven provinces following the government’s instruction to maintain fuel stock for at least 90 days.

    NOC has been accused of inflating the price of land plots while purchasing them. It has been charged of misappropriating funds totalling Rs568 million on purchase of land in Chitwan and Jhapa districts alone.

    It has also been charged of misappropriating Rs150 million and Rs80 million, respectively, while purchasing land in Bhairahawa and Sarlahi districts.

    Following the suspicious fraud, NOC has been facing scrutiny from a number of bodies, including the parliamentary Finance Committee, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, and the parliamentary Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee.

    Cooking gas price down Rs2

     Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has reduced the price of cooking gas by Rs25 per cylinder effective from Tuesday midnight. With the downward revision in price, a cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will now cost Rs1,325 per cylinder.

    NOC Spokesperson Sitaram Pokharel said the enterprise revised the LPG price after Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal, reduced the price.

    “However, prices of other petroleum products have remained unchanged,” Pokharel said.

    NOC reduced the cooking gas price after it received the new price list from IOC on Tuesday. According to the enterprise, the Indian supplier has reduced the price of cooking gas by Rs54 per cylinder. With the new price, NOC now earns a profit of Rs74.90 on sales of every cylinder of LPG.

    Last month, NOC had reduced gasoline prices. Pokharel, however, said IOC has raised prices of rest of the petroleum products this time. This will cause the enterprise’s projected profit to drop to Rs620 million per month from Rs800 million.

    According to NOC, the Indian supplier has raised the price of petrol by 1.08 per litre and that of diesel by 48 paisa per litre. Also, kerosene price has gone up by Rs1.10 per litre and air fuel has become costlier by Rs1.14 per litre.

    As per the revised prices, NOC, from now on, will earn a profit of Rs4.84 on sales of every litre of petrol and Rs17.13 on sales of every litre of kerosene. It will, however, suffer a loss of Rs1.18 on sales of every litre of diesel.

    Likewise, the enterprise will earn a profit of Rs9.16 on every litre of fuel sold to domestic airlines and Rs20.29 on every litre of fuel sold to the international airline companies. (PR)

    Source: The Kathmandu Post