The Employees from the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) will miss bonuses worth Rs591.3 million as the payment window has expired even as controversy rages over the legality of the bonus scheme, a government audit report unveiled on Thursday said.
The aviation regulator body had allocated bonuses from the profits earned in the fiscal years 2011-12 to 2015-16 which had to be distributed within eight months from the close of the fiscal year.
CAAN will have to write back the funds set aside for bonus distribution as income, the 55th annual report of the Office of the Auditor General said. However, the authority can also submit a proposal to the Labour Office explaining the reasons for not being able to issue the bonuses on time, and get a three-month extension of the payment window if it finds that the causes are genuine.
CAAN may also be allowed to distribute two years’ bonuses at a time in the next fiscal year.
Meanwhile, questions have also been raised whether CAAN should be allowed to distribute bonuses from the money that has been collected from travelers as tax to develop infrastructure.
Earlier in a recent press conference, Director General of CAAN, Sanjiv Gautam stated that the organization had an authorized right to distribute bonuses from the profits earned. However, despite that, it would not look good to distribute money collected from tax payers. The government has sanctioned CAAN to elevate Rs 1,000 (excluding value added tax) in airport development tax per a single passenger which totals 1.80 billion yearly.
In addition, the authority also collects Rs 1,130 as passenger service charge (PSC) from each international traveler which amounts to Rs1.70 billion in a year.
Officials from The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation at that time had pointed to flaws in the Bonus Act which allow public enterprises, established with the objective of serving the public or delivering services, to distribute bonuses from tax money collected from the people.
CAAN has a total of 1065 employees in the entire country and out of which 850 employees work constantly every day. The amount of bonus is 530 million which will be distributed as per the Bonus Act 1974.