Minister demands logical reasons for not splitting CAAN

Kathmandu, December 31

Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai has urged the Authorised Workers Trade Union of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to convince the government with logical reasons for not splitting the organisation rather than threatening to strike against the move.

“If the trade union workers are able to come up with convincing reasons for not separating CAAN, I will halt the submission of the related bill to the Parliament,” the minister said while addressing the 22nd anniversary ceremony of CAAN here today.

He added, however, that if the trade union workers continue to threaten the management with protest, strike and pen down protest, ‘no one will be able to stop the government from presenting the Civil Aviation Bill at the Parliament’.

He also requested the CAAN workers to come up with constructive and productive ideas to operate the organisation smoothly.

“The organisational structure and operational modality need to be changed in tune with the times,” he said.

Emphasising that the country has left behind the culture of protest and embraced the culture of dialogue, he said, “Hence, I urge the trade union leaders to sit for a dialogue to find a feasible solution.”

Demanding the government not to divide CAAN in two different organisations, the CAAN trade union had recently announced that the workers of the authority would stop working if the government did not withdraw its decision.

Meanwhile, Sravan Kumar Yadav, president of the union, alleged that the government was trying to hand over the Nepali aviation sector to the European authorities. He also said that the union would not backtrack from its decision to protest till the government withdraws its decision.

Addressing the event, Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that rather than comparing the country’s aviation sector with other countries it would be better to focus on how to improve the sector. “At the moment, our major challenge is to increase the air connectivity of our national flag carrier, for which we all have to work together,” he said, adding, “It is the time to overcome our differences for the greater good of the country.”