• Monday 16th September 2019

Narrow body aircraft purchase report: Design to close wide body aircraft irregularity file

  • Published on: June 12, 2019

  • By Our Reporter
    Where is the report about the 32 kgs of gold smuggling episode? Where is the investigation on irregularities in the wide body aircraft purchase deal? Many other such reports are also pending or just collecting dust in one office or the other, including the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the highest body formed to combat corruption.
    The main person accused of being responsible for the irregularities while purchasing the two wide body aircraft, Sugatratna Kangsakar, has taken retirement from the post of general manager in the Nepal Airlines. Observers believe that Kangsakar is not going to face investigation against the irregularities in the purchase of the two wide body aircrafts. They say that by drawing attention of the people towards the narrow body aircraft deal, it has been designed to close the investigation on the irregularities on the purchase of the wide body aircraft.
    The Public Accounts Committee in the Federal Parliament has concluded in its report that there were irregularities worth 4 billion 350 million rupees in the purchase of the two wide body aircraft, in which Kansakar and the then board of directors were found responsible. The committee has also directed the CIAA to carry out investigation on the wide body aircraft purchase deal and the CIAA has already started its own investigation.
    To overshadow such a big corruption scam, the international committee in the federal parliament has also stepped in by saying that irregularities took place in the narrow body aircraft purchase deal made four years ago. The sub-committee chaired by Deep Prakash Bhatta has alleged irregularities on the deal without reading the entire documents and conditions forwarded by the aircraft manufacturing company, Airbus. The sub-committee report has fallen into controversy even in the committee.
    While purchasing the wide body aircrafts, new broker companies were created bypassing the manufacturing company, whereas, the two narrow body aircrafts were purchased directly from the manufacturing company in a transparent manner. Payment of the aircrafts was also deposited at the bank account of the manufacturing company.
    CIAA also, after minutely investigating the purchase deal, had given a clean chit to the Nepal Airlines Corporation.
    The narrow body aircraft purchase deal was made on the basis of two cabinet decisions and government guarantee.
    In 2009, the first tender was called, in which, Boeing and Airbus had taken part. Comparatively when Airbus offer was found cheaper, the Airbus aircrafts were selected.
    In 2012, after several rounds of talks with the manufacturing company, the NAC team was able to reduce the quoted price by around three million US dollars even by installing two new equipments in the aircrafts.
    The purchase deal, as per the agreement, was made under the price revision formula of the manufacturing company.
    The sub-committee chaired by Bhatta under the international relations committee, by undermining the above facts and without a detailed study of the documents related to the procurement of the narrow body aircraft, has prepared the report. The sub-committee report has alleged irregularities of one billion 500 million rupees and urged for refunding the said amount from the Airbus company.
    If such a claim is made with the aircraft manufacturing company, what will be the image of the country abroad, the sub-committee has taken such an issue very lightly.


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