House committee directs govt to reshuffle NAC management

Published On: September 10, 2019 09:36 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 10: A parliamentary committee has instructed the government to reshuffle the existing management of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), concluding that the current management team has appeared incapable of running the institution.

Endorsing a study report submitted by its sub-committee, the International Relations Committee of parliament has also asked the government to make "structural changes" to the board of directors of NAC. The sub-committee was formed under the coordination of Dipak Prakash Bhatta 10 months ago to study the infamous 'wide body scam' of the NAC and other managerial issues.

“Individuals with professional integrity and high decency should be appointed to the board of directors of NAC. At least 50 percent of the board members should be picked from among the NAC staffers,” reads the report of the sub-committee which was endorsed by the full committee on Sunday.

In its 10-point direction to the government pertaining to the management of NAC, the parliamentary panel has also advised a supervision team comprising experienced individuals for guiding the NAC board and management.

The report has suggested to the NAC to set up three units to operate international and domestic flights and ground handling works for independent, accountable and effective management of the operator of the national flag carrier.

Stating that foreign investment could help boost the business and expand its flights to more countries, the parliamentary committee has also instructed the government to amend the existing laws paving the way for bringing in foreign investment.

Report of the parliamentary committee has also asked the NAC to either rope in a strategic partner for at least 10 years or hire a foreign expert team for its smooth operation. The report has also suggested an option for strategic partnership with renowned international airlines.

The parliamentary panel has also advised increasing the paid-up capital of the NAC after share investment from Nepali citizens and Non Resident Nepalis in the national flag-carrier.

Concluding that the overall status of the NAC is vulnerable, the International Relations Committee of parliament has proposed forming a high-level commission to find ways for the revival of NAC, keeping in view the upcoming Visit Nepal Year 2020.

The report of the parliamentary panel has also concluded that investment by the Citizen Investment Trust and Employees Provident Fund to purchase the wide-body aircraft for the NAC is at risk. The study report has also revealed that the NAC incurred a loss of Rs 2.4 billion in just two months - January and February - earlier this year.

The committee has hinted at irregularities in purchasing the wide-body aircraft for the NAC using the legal loopholes. However, the report is mum on the involvement of officials, political leadership or any other individuals in the irregularities.

Earlier, the Public Accounts Committee of parliament had also prepared a report indicating irregularities in the purchase of the wide-body aircraft by NAC, but the report courted controversy after factual errors were revealed in the findings of the report.

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