SEEKING BB LOAN
Biman MD asked to show cause for bypassing ministryShakhawat Hossain
Ministry of civil aviation has sought clarification from the Bangladesh Biman managing director after the latter corresponded with the Bangladesh Bank for loans bypassing the ministry, officials said.
Biman MD Kevin John Steele, a UK citizen, has been made accused by the civil aviation ministry of violating the ‘Rules of Business’.
No public entity could send letters to another entity without the consent of the line ministry, said the show-cause letter. The ministry gave him seven working days time for the clarification.
Kevin admitted that he received the show cause letter on Tuesday morning. He told New Age that he had sent the letter to the central bank on the advice of the finance secretary who is a member of Biman’s board of directors.
He said he had already apologised to his line ministry. But Kevin said he insisted that he was only doing what the ministry of finance asked him to do in the first place.
Kavin, who has been working as the first overseas MD of Biman since March 2013, has been struggling to secure fund for delivery payment to the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
Biman singed a deal with the aircraft manufacturer in 2009 to purchase around 10 new generation planes to get rid of its age-old fleet. The airlines needs to clear pre-delivery payment for two 737-800 Boeings which are scheduled to arrive in the country next year.
Biman sought around US$ 54 million from BB in last November. The airlines, however, last week requested the BB to change funding arrangement keeping the amount same.
On February 7, Biman received a third Boeing-777-300ER aircraft. With this, the number of new Boeing 777-300ER of Biman stands at three.
One of the main targets of the Biman’s MD is to make the loss-making national flag carrier profitable.
Biman incurred losses of Tk 200 crore in the last fiscal year 2012-13, but made improvement from the FY 2011-12 when it sustained losses of Tk 600 crore. The airlines anticipates Tk 80 crore loss in the FY 2013-14.
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