KATHMANDU, July 11: Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has criticized the government’s move to convert Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) into a public limited company in a bid to privatize the national flag-carrier.
In the pretext of heavy financial loss of the NAC, the government has been considering privatizing the public enterprise. According to a government report, NAC now has a debt burden of Rs 46 billion while the corporation is having additional financial liabilities worth billions of rupees.
NAC has ever been the focal point for carrying out financial misappropriation to receive undue benefits by handful persons in high government authorities. Bhattarai also underlined the irregularities carried out by the authorities while purchasing Airbus-330 aircraft. The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee in its study had also found that a total of Rs 4.50 billion was embezzled while purchasing two wide-body airplanes.
Bhattarai also expressed his dissatisfaction over the “attempt to undervalue the NAC’s property” in the name of privatization just to benefit the ‘near and dear’ ones of the high government officials. “Isn’t it an extreme of crony capitalism?” he questioned.
Bhattarai demanded the government carry out a due diligence audit of NAC to ascertain the actual value of the property owned by the corporation.