KATHMANDU, Jan 13: The decision of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to distribute bonus to its staffers has drawn flak from tourism entrepreneurs.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA), the umbrella association of Nepali travel agents and tour operators, said that the decision has thrown cold water on its hope that CAAN would spend the money collected from air passengers to build new airports and expand existing airports.
NATTA has also reminded CAAN that the airport tax collected from passengers must be utilized for development of aviation facilities.
CAAN has allocated Rs 532 million for distributing bonus to its 800 staffers.
The board of directors of CAAN took the decision, stating that the authority has been logging profit on a regular basis. CAAN has already forwarded the decision to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) for approval.
The decision is controversial as the same person chairs the board of CAAN and helms the MoCTCA.
CAAN has been posting profit on a regular basis since Fiscal Year 2006/2007. The board of CAAN has decided to distribute bonus from profit generated from Fiscal Year 2011/2012 to 2014/2015.
The authority has distributed Rs 1.47 billion cash dividend to the government in the past three fiscal years, according to CAAN officials.
CAAN plans to distribute bonus in two phases. According to CAAN officials, 70 percent of the bonus will be deposited in staffers' accounts in Employees Provident Fund and the remaining 30 percent will be directly distributed to them.
Around Rs 159 million will be distributed to 800 employees of CAAN. Each employee will pocket an average of Rs 199,062.
CAAN has taken loans from the government and donor agencies to implement its projects. Data shows that CAAN has taken loan of around Rs 115 billion in the last five years.