July 15: Efforts to restructure the state-owned Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) since the past two decades are now materializing. Six task forces were formed in the past for reforming the corporation. Based on the suggestions and reports of those task forces, homework has been done to convert the corporation into a public company.
Similarly, plans are afoot to bring in foreign airlines as strategic partners for NAC under the new company model and to raise additional investment.
Since 2058 BS, various task forces have been formed to reform the corporation. As per the announcement made by the government in the budget of the upcoming fiscal year, there is more pressure to transform the NAC into a company now.
Dim Prasad Poudel, general manager of the corporation, informed that a share structure plan is proposed so that the government of Nepal owns 51 percent shares in the proposed company.
Poudel also said that a plan has been made to give 30 percent shares to foreign investment partners, Similarly, 14 percent shares will be opened for the general public and tourism entrepreneurs, and 5 percent shares to the employees affiliated with the corporation.
The last time the Nepal Airlines Corporation Reform Suggestion Task Force Report was prepared was on September 20, 2008, under the coordination of former Tourism Secretary Sushil Ghimire. Poudel was a member of the task force. "Based on the study, the government has decided to transform the corporation into a company,” Poudel said.
Amid controversy over the privatization of the corporation over the past two weeks and the workers' protest, Poudel made NAC’s official position public only on Tuesday.
He said that preparations have been made to transform the corporation like that of Nepal Telecom but the issue of privatization is confusing. "The pride of the nation, the national flag-carrier, cannot survive the current economic and managerial turmoil," he said.