April 24, 2024, 9:02 am

CAAB not to waive dues Tk 8,000 cr to Biman

  • Update Time : Friday, November 11, 2022
  • 130 Time View

Special Correspondent:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) will not waive the dues amount of Tk 8080 crore to Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Apart from this, there was a discrepancy between the two government institutions-Biman and CAAB regarding the debt. Air Vice Marshal M Mofidur Rahman, Chairman of CAAB, wrote a letter to the secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism last Tuesday.

It is said, in the letter that several important development projects including manpower allowance, operating expenses, maintenance of CAAB are going on. In view of this, to continue the cash flow of CAAB, the authorities concerned should not waive the original bills and surcharge dues to Biman. CAAB wants the intervention of the ministry again to collect this money.

Air Vice Marshal M Mofidur Rahman, Chairman of CAAB, said, “CAAB needs money. The heliport project has stalled due to lack of funds. If Biman pays these dues, no activities of CAAB will be stopped.”

In the letter, CAAB said, “Biman’s letter dated September 15 mentioned the accumulated arrears as Tk 4,744.74 crore, which is not correct. In fact, as of June 30 of this year, the accumulated arrears of CAAB to Biman are Tk 8,080.87 crores. Out of this, the main bill is Tk 998.39 crore, VAT and income tax is Tk 430.52 crore, additional charge (surcharge) on outstanding revenue is Tk 6, 661.98 crore.

The letter sent to the ministry also said that, CAAB is currently implementing several important mega projects with its own fund including foreign loan financing, government loan and grant financing. Among these, CAAB will have to pay Tk 16,902.79 crore to the government treasury against two loan agreements in the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport development (first phase) project under JICA loan.

The principal and interest of the first installment of the loan in that project should be deposited in the government treasury by December 1 in 2024. Apart from this, about Tk 900 crore will be paid to the government exchequer every year for DSL in the following years.

The letter mentioned that, the authority has a huge financial burden in carrying out the ongoing development projects under implementation and paying NTR and income tax with its own financing, including manpower allowances, operating expenses, repair and maintenance expenses.

Earlier on September 15, Managing Director (MD) of Biman Zahid Hossain sent a letter to the ministry. He said in that letter that, the total debt of Biman to CAAB is Tk 4,744 crores. Out of this, the main bill is Tk 953 crore. VAT and tax is Tk 342 crore and the amount of surcharge is Tk 3,449.14 crore. Biman also applied for waiver of surcharge on the arrears.

In view of this, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism issued a letter on October 20 regarding the waiver of surcharge. In the letter signed by Mohammad Abdul Awal, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry, the Ministry has instructively requested the CAAB to waive the surcharge on the accumulated arrears of Biman. However, the CAAB authorities did not respond to this request. CAAB said that, the amount of surcharge is Tk 6,661 crores. Several of their development projects are underway. More projects are in hand. Besides, there are regular expenses. CAAB needs money to handle these. Biman’s managing director and chief executive officer asked why there was a discrepancy between Biman and CAAB.

Zahid Hossain said, “We don’t want to go into debate. We informed about the arrears by letter from Biman as per account. However, I have not received an official reply yet.”

Air Vice Marshal M Mofidur Rahman, Chairman of CAAB regarding the surcharge said, “Biman is in a better financial position in the last four months compared to the last two years. CAAB does not have the right to cancel the payment due as surcharge to Biman. It can be canceled by the Ministry of Finance.”

 

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