The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Jitendra Narayan Dev initiated politicization to transplant Secretary Maheswor Neupane from MoCTCA to Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) for not conspiring to turf out the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Mr. Sanjiv Gautam from the top post of the country’s aviation regulatory body.
The Cabinet meeting on Thursday night transferred secretary Neupane from MoCTCA to the PPMO, a night before the Election Commission enforced its code of conduct for National Assembly election scheduled for February 7, source confirmed.
Minister Dev took the proposal to transfer former MoCTCA secretary Neupane in the Cabinet meeting after the latter took a stand against Minister Dev’s wish to table the proposal to hire the German-based Lufthansa Consulting Group as the strategic management partner of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) to the Cabinet directly.
Neupane is also said to have expressed strong reservations against the minister’s plan to change the director general of CAAN.
Minister Dev initiated multiple attempts to conclude the tenure of CAAN’s DG. On September last year Minister Dev took a decision to force CAAN’s DG for attending the office but later minister was forced to roll back its decision as it was summoned by the EC code on the same time.
According to Mr. Neupane, he faced transfer order after he opposed to take the proposal to appoint Lufthansa to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet has appointed former PPMO secretary Krishna Devkota as the new tourism secretary. The Minister chairs the CAAN’s board.
Mr. Sanjiv Gautam was allotted in the seat of Director General of CAAN in May 2015 for four years. During the tenure, Gautam is attributed by the country’s aviation sector removed from International Civil Aviation Organization’s list of significant safety concerns, an airlines representative recounted.
A six-member team, Officials from CAAN and MoTCA led by CAAN’s Director Mr. Sanjeev Gautam and Secretary from MoCTCA had visited European Commission (EC) in Brussels, Belgium to explain the progress made by Nepal in safety issues raised by European Union (EU) for quick lifting the Nepalese Carries from flying in the skies of major European countries, a move which should cheer domestic airlines planning to expand their wings to the continent.