EPF to provide Rs. 13 b to NAC for aircraft purchase
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has agreed to provide Rs. 13.5 billion loan to the national flag carrier, the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), for the purchase of two aircraft for international operation.
A board meeting of EPF approved such assistance amount to the national flag carrier after rounds to discussion. As per the decision, the will provide loan to the corporation for which the Ministry of Finance will be guarantor.
Even as the EPF had agreed to provide the loan of Rs. 10 billion to the corporation three years ago, the Fund was reluctant to lend loan to the corporation seeking government’s guarantee.
The NAC and European aircraft manufacturer had signed a revised memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of two A320-200 aircraft on April 5. The agreement was signed between NAC managing director Madan Kharel and Airbus senior sales director Sheel Sukla at NAC.
As per the deal, the air manufacturer will provide both aircraft in March 2015. However, the actual price of the jets has not been revealed. As per the previous agreement, the price of a jet is US$41.28 million.
In October 26, 2009 the national flag carrier had decided to purchase two aircraft- one narrow body and another wide body from the Airbus.
However, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the then Legislative Parliament had on December 28, 2009 recommended the government authorities including the Finance Ministry and the NAC to cancel the process for purchasing new aircraft due to controversy.
The committee had also recommended improvement in the management in the state-owned airliner before purchasing new aircrafts.
The committee had also asked the NAC to start the purchasing process from the beginning. nepalnews.com