Nepal Today

Sunday, March 24, 2013

PRESIDENT APPOITS FIVE TOP OFFICIALS OF ELECTION COMMISSION UPDATE Kathmandu, President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav Sunday appointed an election commissioner and four commissioners to election Sunday. They are being formally installed at 4.30 later in the afternoon. nnnn 33 PARTIES PLANNING ANTI –GOVT PROTESTS Kathmandu, 25 March: Thirty-three parties are meeting Sunday at head of office of CPN Maoist to chalk out anti-election and anti-government protests. The parties are already on street protests. Nnnn DR. BHAGAWAN KOIRALA RESUMES OFFICE Kathmandu, 24 March: Dr. Bhagawan Koirala Sunday resumed his responsibility as chief of the Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) after government and university assured to metdemandsssss. Heart specialist Dr..Koirala resigned earlier this month exposing corrupt practices in the hospital. nnnn THREE STUDENTS KILLED IN BHOJPUR TRACTOR ACCIDENT Kathmandu, 24 March:- Three students were killed died and three others were injured when a tractor overturned at Bhojpur Homtang 5 Sunday. The students killed were between 12 and 17 years. Students were returning home from school. Nnnn NAC CLOSES DOWN INDIA OPERATIONS Kathmandu, 24 March: Putting an end to the history of almost four decades, the national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has formally ceased its Kathmandu-New Delhi-Kathmandu flights. NAC which could not even operate a single flight over the last one and a half years has decided to close its regional office based in the Indian capital following a huge loss., Mahesh Acharya writes in The Kathmandu Post from New Delhi. On March 14, the NAC headquarters in Kathmandu notified the regional office of its decision to suspend its New Delhi operations put aboard in 1975. The regional office has already notified the house owner that it will vacate its rented flat at Gole Market by June 30. The closure of the regional office is yet another blow for the ailing carrier which has failed miserably to take advantage of the route touted as one of the busiest and most lucrative where the foreign airlines, especially the Indian companies, are still operating nine flights daily. NAC shifted its office from Janapath to the current location in Gole Market in June 2012 after it lost a case related to the lease agreement, to the property owner. NAC which was paying a mere IRs 1,100 in monthly rent in Janapath as per the lease agreement signed in 1975, is now paying IRs 150,000 for its office at Gole Market. On top of that, NAC has been paying IRs 32,000 a month for its office at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. These costs along with staff salary and payment for the Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL) among others, the total annual expenditure of the regional office currently stands at NRs 20 million, said Deputy Managing Director Raju KC. “But there is zero return. So we decided to close the regional office,” KC told the Post over the phone from Kathmandu. When asked the reason for NAC’s inability to take advantage of the route even as foreign carriers are making huge profits, KC pointed to the dearth of planes. But quite interestingly, NAC had successfully managed to operate flights on the route despite having two aircraft—the situation similar to the current possession. “Efforts are on to bring a new plane. But we will not operate on this route until the situation improves to enable us to come out with reliable flight schedule,” said KC. The closure of the regional office has put the 31 permanent staff—most of them local recruits—on the firing line. They have been notified of the retrenchment and told to contact the regional office before April 30 for the final settlement. Among these staff, five are Indian nationals while rest are Nepalis. The staff have vehemently opposed the idea of retrenching them and have even moved the local labour commission which could drag NAC into a legal controversy. “We gave our all to NAC but it is trying to kick us out in unjust manner,” said the staff. “We don’t know how we will support our families.” They vented anger towards the management for not consulting them and not offering the voluntary retirement scheme before making the decision to terminate their service. They also demanded those who are willing to take a transfer be shifted to Nepal-based offices. But the management ruled it out, saying that the service rule does not permit the shifting of India-based staff members to its officesin Nepal. “However, we would retrench the staff only after satisfying them and in accordance with the service rule of India-based employees,” said KC. The staff told the Post that they were handed over the retrenchment notice as they demanded for the raise in their salary in tune with the inflation. Confirming it evasively, Deputy Managing Director KC said the staff had demanded a 200 percent raise when a management team from Kathmandu had come to New Delhi for the salary review which is done in every three years. However, the management offered them only a 10 percent raise citing huge losses. The stand-off remained unresolved after the staff turned down the offer. “This situation (of retrenchment) would not have happened had they accepted the management’s offer,” said KC. Nnnn


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