POLITICS

Renewal of Gokarna resort lease agreement based on previous legal process: DPM Pokharel

Posted 3 months ago by Yadab Devkota

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Ishwor Pokharel, has informed the Parliament that lease agreement with Gokarna Forest Resort was signed based on the legal process began from previous governments.

Making statement in today’s meeting of the National Assembly regarding the issues, DPM Pokharel argued that the agreement was renewed as per market price and for additional benefit to the state.

The government decided to renew the agreement for 50 years as per the demand of Yeti Holdings, the resort operating company, when the resort started constructing new structures at a time when only five years is remaining regarding the agreement signed between the office of Nepal Trust and Yeti Holdings.

In the beginning, the agreement was signed with the company on April 18, 2009. The lease agreement was renewed as per the decision of Trust on February 9, 2014.

Clarifying that he became the chairperson of the Trust as per the legal provision in the act of the Trust that a minister designated by the Prime could be the chairperson of the Trust, DPM Pokharel said, “It is good to make aware thinking something might go wrong. But we want hat real and fact things should come out on the issue. The remarks made relating the Prime Minister and me are false. We have been making preparation to issue white paper regarding the agreement after sometimes.”

He said that the proposal was presented at the cabinet on the basis of a report prepared taskforce formed by the Trust to review the agreement, saying the resort presented a proposal to extend the lease term for additional 30 years.

DPM Pokharel further said that they also inquired information about faire market value evaluation and environmental aspect with Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board and Gokarneshwor municipality.

He added that a process has begun to make record of Trust’s property more systematic. The lawmakers also made supplementary questions to be more clear regarding the DPM’s statement. Such type of question answer was practiced for the first time in the National Assembly today.

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