Nepal Govt. pulls back decision of CAAN Director General’s transfer

9th Oct, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Oct 09 : Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has rolled back its decision to transfer Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan), to the ministry, in a major victory for the chief aviation regulator, who was about to be discharged from the duty for no concrete reason.

The latest development comes three days after the Election Commission sought clarification from Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jitendra Narayan Dev for transferring Gautam without consulting the commission.

The commission had stated the decision to transfer the chief of the aviation sector regulatory body was against the election code of conduct.

On September 26, the ministry had directed Gautam to stop attending the office and be present at the ministry every day to: review the Aviation Policy; expedite the process of extending compensation to the Korean firm that conducted detailed feasibility study on construction of an international airport in Nijgad; formulate strategies for effective implementation of national pride projects [under the jurisdiction of the ministry]; and initiate the process of establishing Aviation Safety Inspection Bureau to enhance air safety standards.

The ministry at that time had said a three-member committee had been formed under Gautam to perform these tasks.

Many had seen this move to temporarily relieve Gautam from his duty as the first step towards sacking him.

But on Sunday, the ministry again wrote to Gautam stating the decision to form a committee under him had been annulled. “The decision was taken at the ministerial level,” says the letter signed by Undersecretary Tek Narayan Poudel.

This decision has paved the way for Gautam to attend office as in the past.

Gautam was appointed as the chief of the Caan little more than two years ago for a four-year term.

One of his biggest achievements since joining the office was to remove the tag of ‘significant safety concerns’ put on Nepal’s aviation sector by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the global aviation watchdog, for failing to raise air safety standards.

Removal of this tag is considered as the first step towards removing the country from the blacklist of the European Union, which has barred all Nepali carriers from flying in its skies because of poor safety records.