Rana's liquor shops at TIA Rs 80.8 million in rent arrears

Published On: September 13, 2018 02:52 AM NPT

KATHMANDU, Sept 13: Pramod Shumsher JB Rana, promoter of two companies running shops at Tribhuvan International Airport's arrival and departure terminals, has not paid Rs 80.84 million in rent for the last 10 years. Universal Supply Agency and Greenline International Pvt Ltd owe TIA Rs 67.12 million and Rs 13.72 million respectively in unpaid rent.

Both the companies were operating duty-free liquor shops until 2008 when the government scrapped permissions to run duty-free shops. The two companies later turned their shops into non-duty-free outlets.

Rana operated the shops until May this year when his 10-year agreements ended. With no response from Rana concerning rent payment, the TIA management locked up the shops.

On Wednesday TIA published a notice in newspapers asking Rana, who is the brother-in-law of former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, to pay up the amounts it owes.

TIA said it decided to publish the newspaper notice after a letter issued to Rana could not be delivered due to failure to locate his home address.

TIA decided to recover the outstanding amounts after Patan High Court did not issue a stay order against it, as sought by Rana. A separate case filed by Rana seeking renewal of his license for another 10 years is pending at Kathmandu District Court.

According to TIA officials, the total amount to be recovered from Rana may hover above Rs 100 million as he has to pay a 30 percent late payment fine. The liquor sold at both outlets is also subject to an 11 percent service charge. Shops at TIA charge high prices on the goods they sell.

Rana has also not paid the electricity bills, said TIA sources. According to a source at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rana has used his political influence against the TIA authorities to defer the rent.

Only two firms have international certificates for running duty-free shops in Nepal and they started operating duty-free shops in the late 1990s.

TIA is also recovering rent from other firms but it has begun with the largest amount to be recovered.

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