Senior Minister alleges Royal govt left NOC insolvent

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Kathmandu, Dec 2 (UNI) A senior minister of Nepal has alleged that the royal government under the direct leadership of King Gyanendra, had withdrawn more than Rs 10 billion from the Nepal Oil Corporation leaving the NOC insolvent, reports said.

The newly-appointed Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Shyam Sundar Gupta alleged that the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) was facing bankruptcy as the erstwhile Royal regime had drawn hefty sums of money from the corporation during King Gyanendra's direct rule, the Kantipur quoted him as saying.

However, he claimed that the NOC was improving its economic condition gradually. The NOC has been facing difficulties to pay the Indian Oil Corporation for the last few years and the government has to provide assistance.

The NOC was preparing to ask the government and two banks for loans in a bid to prevent the shortage of petroleum products in the country, he said.

He also accused the star hoteliers and the petrol pump owners of misusing the subsidised kerosene supplied for the deprived communities of the far-flung districts and underdeveloped regions.

'' I am not assured that the Chinese government, which has been importing petroleum products from foreign countries in addition to its production, would be able to supply the petroleum products to Nepal,'' he said, refering to the Chinese government's proposal to supply petroleum in Nepal.

Mr Gupta, a member of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party, said he would resign if he failed to regularise the supply of petroleum products that have been affecting the general public for a long time now.

UNI

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