National flag carrier overhaul on the cards

Plan proposes public-private partnership to run NAC

Kathmandu, August 15:

The strategy paper on Nepal Airlines Corporation’s (NAC) Policy, Action Plan and

Programme, submitted by the Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Prithvi Subha Gurung, to the parliamentary International Relations Committee today, has proposed to run the NAC under a public-private partnership. The government’s Policy and Programme Paper for the fiscal year 2063-64, too, had proposed that the NAC be operated under such partnership.

The committee has proposed that the NAC be converted into a Public Limited Company under the Company Act; the management be handed over to a group of experts and the NAC be brought under public-private partnership to encourage professionalism and modernisation. For this, apart from the government, capital can also be accepted from local banks, financial institutions, public, staff, and foreign companies.

The focus, the paper says, would be on institutional restructuring and reforms, upgrading its service to meet international standards, making arrangement of aircrafts, mobilising internal and external resources and fulfilling its social responsibility to reach to remote parts of the country.

The Committee members, however, do not seem fully satisfied with the proposal since it is just an internal strategy paper. “The Committee has now requested the Ministry to consult stakeholders and experts on the implementation of the programme,” MP and member of International Relations Committee Suresh Kumar Karki told this daily.

“Since the NAC is functioning with only one Boeing and three twin otters at present, its immediate plans and policies are of utmost concern for the Committee. Taking this into account, the strategy paper was widely debated in the meeting today,” Karki further said.

Meanwhile, the decision to purchase a new plane has already been finalised at the ministerial level. However, the decision has not been taken to the cabinet yet. The Committee directed the authorities concerned to work on generating the required funds for the purpose.