Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba refutes involvement in leasing out Nepal Trust’s Tahachal landDeuba says the Oli administration is trying to divert attention after being embroiled in controversies and irregularities.
Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Dueba on Wednesday refuted his involvement in leasing out the land of Nepal Trust.
In a White Paper issued by the Trust on Tuesday, the Trust said that the Tachchal plot of the Trust was leased out to Thamserku Trekking, a subsidiary of Yeti Holdings, when Deuba was the Trust patron as prime minister.
Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, Deuba said the Trust deliberately tried to link him with a decision of which he was not part of.
“It is an attempt to divert attention from leaked audio in which Gokul Baskota was heard negotiating a Rs 700 million commission for setting up a security printing press and irregularities in the lease deal of Gokarna Forest Resort,” Deuba said in the statement.
According to Deuba, linking him with the decision taken by certain employees of the Trust was wrong—politically and legally.
In the White Paper, Trust on Tuesday had stated that when the Trust approved the financial proposal of Thamserku Trekking for Tahachal-based land on October 30, 2017, Deuba was the Trust patron as the immediate prime minister and Janardan Sharma was chairperson of the Trust as immediate home minister.
After the amendment to Nepal Trust Act last year, the prime minister can nominate a minister as chairperson. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Pokhrel is the current chairperson of the Trust.
The land located at Kathmandu Metropolitan City Ward-13, was leased out to Thamserku at the price of Rs 277.47 million for 30 years.
Besides Deuba, the White Paper has also referred to former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and former home minister Bimalendra Nidhi for leasing out the and at Durbar Marg to the same company. The decision has become controversial due to alleged irregularities during the lease out process.
In the White Paper, the Trust further said that 172 ropanis of the Trust’s lands were transferred to tenants during the administration of prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and home minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar.
As per the decision of Cabinet’s bill committee, on October 18, 2012, the Trust’s lands in Matatirtha, Thankot, Satungal and Balaju were transferred into the names of tenants citing tenants’ rights. The Trust claimed that as per Section 25 (5) of the Land Act, tenants’ rights cannot be established over government’s lands.
Talking to the Post on Tuesday, Bhattarai said that the Nepal Communist Party, after being defamed following scandals involving Gokul Baskota and Yeti Holdings, was trying to drag down previous governments as well.
“It’s immoral and wrong,” Bhattarai told the Post. “In order to divert the issue from its own corruption, the incumbent government is spreading rumours and exacting revenge.”