Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Anti-graft body arrests NOC top guns

The anti-graft watch dog arrested four officials including acting executive director of the state oil monopoly.
“Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) today arrested acting executive director of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) Suresh Kumar Agrawal and three other officials on the charges of irregularities while distributing bonus from the profits of the fiscal year 2008-09 to the NOC staff, informed spokesperson of the CIAA Sridhar Sapkota.
“The NOC officiating executive director Agrawal, director Nagendra Shah and the two managers – Netra Kafle and Pawan Prasad Sharma – have been taken into custody for further investigation,” he said, adding that the CIAA had received complaints of irregularities in allocating bonus to the NOC officials.
Earlier in 2008, the  CIAA had directed the NOC not to distribute bonus to its staff unless the corporation generates profits.
The NOC currently has an accumulative loss of over Rs 28.50 billion.
The media has reported that the NOC top guns distributed the bonus even as the corporation is technically bankrupt.
The Bonus Act-1974 bars distribution of bonuses in any institution that has accumulated loss. According to the law, a profit-making enterprise also can distribute bonus not exceeding 10 per cent of the net profit that too within a fiscal year.
In August 2010, the oil monopoly had decided to distribute Rs 198.8 million bonus among the employees from the fiscal year 2008-09’s profit of Rs 3.31 billion. But the CIAA had directed that the Act does not allow distribution of bonus in the public enterprises that have accumulative loss.
Some more officials including board members are also CIAA  scanner.
The NOC has been asking the government lend it money to pay its ballooning debt with the supplier Indian Oil Corporation or face the shortage of the petroleum products during the festive season next month, when the consumption increases.

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