Political leaders refuse to co-ordinate lead panel formed by PAC to examine wide body procurement

Posted on by Pinkey Rai

 

The issue of procurement process of two wide body aircraft of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), national flag carrier has not been made clear yet. In addition, the case has brought another twist as the Public Accounting Committee (PAC) of the Parliament found the financial irregularities in Nepal Airlines Corporation’s (NAC) process of procuring two wide body Airbus A330 series aircraft.

PAC formed a sub-committee to investigate the financial irregularities in the procurement process. However, top political leaders are visibly still over the debated pact.

Not only the top political leaders but also small parties and opposition party are trying best to avoid the contact with the probe team.

As per the source, the opposition party’s leaders Congress has also totally denied to coordinate sub-committee to examine the financial irregularities of the corporation. Due to which, junior leaders have been handed the responsibilities to lead sub-committee.

Sub-Committee was formed by the International Relations and Human Rights Committee, and the Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives.

The panel formed by the International Relations and Human Rights Committee is led by Deepak Prakash Bhatta of the Nepal Community Party (NCP) whereas Public Account’s panel is led by Rajan KC, Nepali Congress lawmaker.

Previously, NC lawmaker Prakash Man Singh refused to led the sub-panel formed by the International Relations committee though he agreed to do it at first and Minendra Rijal, NC leaders refused to led probe saying that they have had personal reasons.

According to Kathmandu post, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has not made any statement towards ending the confusion over the scandal-hit procurement process that has already dragged Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari and senior NAC officials to parliamentary committee meetings.

Likewise, NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba are also maintaining silence over the procurement process.

The controversial issues has been buried silently after the PM KP Oli allegedly refrained from making any comments as he directed to wait for finding while investigations are being carried on.

NC has also not talked about the issues.

Ram Sharan Mahat, NC leader stated that the party’s preliminary has concluded that along with some irregularities in the procurement process, there are also control in probes by the House committees and the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

“We must wait for their finding,” he added.

Previously, PAC asked the Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) of NAC to report with the opinion by giving ultimatum of 7 days. According to that, Procurement official submitted the report on Monday (December 11). PPMO has discovered that NAC has broken procurement law while purchasing two Airbus A330 as the corporation bought without tender calls.

In the report, it has mentioned that the corporation made deal of purchasing aircraft simply on the basis of a Request for Proposals (RFP). Under the Public Procurement Act, the company must make tender calls for buying of goods and services.

Similarly, PPMO found another error regarding the pact done between NAC and Airbus Company. NAC has calculated the estimated price of Airbus which was mentioned eight years ago.

According to source of PAC, NAC calculated the price based on annual cost increments since eight years ago when NAC had invited tender bids for narrow-body planes. PAC has suspected the fraud of NRs 6 billion in the wide-body aircraft purchase.

According to the report, NAC board decided to buy brand new aircraft, later NAC management twisted the conditions and settle to purchase the aircraft which has flown for 1000 flight hours.

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