KATHMANDU: Officials of the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) who had been summoned at the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Sunday for questioning over the buy of two wide-body aircraft, faced a barrage of questions however shied away from answering most of them.
The officials were summoned to the committee assembly for questioning over suspected embezzlement of large money in the buy of two A330-200 sequence Airbus aircraft. Lawmakers also grilled NAC administration over its advertising strategies for the new aircraft.
Chairman of PAC Bharat Kumar Shah at the meeting accused the NAC administration of embezzling a complete of Rs 6.59 billion in the procurement of the planes. Shah claimed the NAC has no longer yet obtained about Rs 2.40 billion as 10 percent commission, which is usually paid by means of aircraft manufacturers or suppliers. Both the plane were purchased for a whole of Rs 25 billion. Shah asked the NAC management-led via MD Sugat Kansakar to clarify on the lacking fee money.
Lawmakers additionally sought NAC management’s clarification on the decision to purchase the aircraft by dealers as an alternative of negotiating and buying them immediately from the manufacturer. NAC management was also grilled over why they chose to buy old plane as an alternative of purchasing company new ones. Lawmakers had also raised questions referring to the audit report of the Office of the Auditor General which has stated that the plane procurement used to be illegal.
In response to all the questions, MD Kansakar only said that they had accompanied all due felony techniques while shopping for the aircraft. “I additionally request you all now not to have doubts about the aircraft procurement process,” he said. However, Kanskar prevented particular questions related to commissions and the reasons for buying ancient aircraft amongst other things.
The fifty fifth audit report of the Office of Auditor General (OAG) issued in April has truely mentioned that procurement legal guidelines have been breached in the buy of the two aircraft.
Similarly, NAC administration was once also wondered over the white paper which NAC issued lately frequently on the advertising and marketing strategies to function the new planes. NAC these days had advocated a white paper stating that it was facing a financial disaster as nearly 1/2 of all its aircraft are grounded. Lawmakers additionally expressed issues over the protection of funding made in these aircraft.
The committee has also stated that it (the committee) was once no longer cosy with any of the solutions furnished by way of the NAC management led with the aid of Kansakar.
The discussions went on for three hours on Sunday but ended barring any conclusion as the committee used to be now not comfy with the NAC’s reply on the charge of the aircraft purchases alongside with the warranty and possession of the aircraft. Dissatisfied with the solutions furnished via MD Kansakar, PAC has invited Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari for Wednesday to talk about the matter.
Lawmaker Minendra Rijal said, “There is a confusion over the possession of the wide-body aircraft.”
When asked whether the plane was bought or is on lease, Kansakar did not provide a clear answer. Kansakar solely spoke about advertising and marketing strategies for operating both the aircraft. MD Kansakar and Madan Kharel, executive chairman of NAC, were heading off questions and centered on planning issues.
“Within a few months all plane for domestic flight will resume smoothly,” NAC Executive Chairman Madan Kharel, instructed the committee, adding, “And involving the white paper, we issued it no longer because we are in crisis but we are having a money drift trouble and want authorities support.”
Meanwhile, Krishna Prasad Devkota, secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told the committee that all necessary tactics were observed while shopping for the aircraft. “No law has been breached,” Devkota claimed.
NAC had bought the aircraft from American employer AAR Corp borrowing cash from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Citizen Investment Trust (CIT). In April final year, the authorities had decided to stand as guarantor for the NAC, paving the way for the state-owned provider to borrow the quantity and buy the two wide-body aircraft. Following the authorities decision, NAC had signed mortgage agreements with the EPF and CIT.
The first wide-body plane arrived in Kathmandu on June 28 and the second arrived on July 26.