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NC lawmaker Rijal demands probe into 'irregularities' during purchase of wide-body planes

Kathmandu

Nov 20, 2018-

Nepali Congress (NC) member of parliament, Minendra Rijal has alleged that there had been irregularities during the purchase of wide-body aircraft and demanded investigation into it.

Speaking at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting of the federal parliament on Tuesday, Rijal said the purchase of two aircraft should be investigated as his party’s meeting concluded that there had been misappropriation. “Everyday media has been raising the issue of irregularities in the aircraft purchase deal. We can’t remain mute spectators under such circumstances. This should be probed,” he said.

Rijal raised the issue of aircraft purchase during a meeting of PAC convened to hold discussions on the report tabled by the sub-committee on controlling the market prices of daily essentials including sugar during festival time. NC lawmaker Bharat Kumar Shah is the chairman of PAC.

The national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) purchased two A330-200 Airbus aircrafts by taking Rs 24 billion loan at the annual interest rate of 9 percent from Nepal Citizen Investment Trust and Employees Provident Fund.  The NAC has pledged to repay the loan in 15 years. 

The aircrafts were purchased from the US-based AAR Corp for $209.6 million.

The alleged irregularities came into light after the 55th Annual Report of the Office of Auditor General  revealed that the NAC bought two aircraft without following due legal procedure.

The report stated that the NAC used an agent to purchase the planes and called for a global tender instead of bidding a tender from the aircraft manufacturing company.

Earlier in September, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has started investigating into the alleged irregularities during the purchase of wide-body aircraft by Nepal Airlines Corporation.

The airlines management has come under fire for not following due procedures in the aircraft procurement as well as receiving the planes with low-load carrying capacity than what was mentioned in the tender notice.

Published: 20-11-2018 17:38

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