National, Front Page

Biman-CAAB tug-of-war over surcharge

Published : 23 Nov 2022 10:15 PM | Updated : 24 Nov 2022 04:31 PM

When it comes to paying surcharge Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh (CAAB) are in differences. 

When the national flag carrier wants to make its future operation smooth and liabilities free by getting rid of surcharge, CAAB shows its reluctance to do so. 

Biman has applied for surcharge waiver several times before. In view of this, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism has recently directed CAAB to waive the accumulated arrears including air surcharge. 

But CAAB has recently written to the ministry expressing his opinion on this matter. CAAB alleges that Biman has been defaulting on debt payments for many years.  

A CAAB official says, “We have informed the Ministry of Aviation and Tourism about our limitations. We cannot waive the dues of Biman, the finance ministry can consider it. Apart from this, there is financial crisis in many ongoing projects of our organisation. Moreover, foreign loan will also have to be paid after a few days. In such a situation we cannot waive the dues.” 

While talking to the state minister for civil aviation and tourism minister Md. Mahbub Ali informed that they are sincere in making the aviation industry a profitable one. However, when its all about financial issue, it can be considered only by the ministry ministry.  

Biman's Managing Director Md. Zahid Hossain said that Biman is always interested in paying the the amount of the dues of CAAB. He said, "We were always interested in paying the principal dues. However, we have objections regarding the surcharge. Therefore, I have applied several times for surcharge waiver."

Earlier on September 15, Biman MD Zahid Hossain wrote in a letter sent to the ministry, "Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh and Biman Bangladesh Airlines are state-owned enterprises. Biman conducts business considering the interests of the people of the country. In this situation, cooperation is required to make the national flag carrier more dynamic in its financial operations by waiving the surcharge (at the rate of 6 per cent per month) on the accumulated dues claimed by the CAAB. 

According to the CAAB the due amount of Biman is more than Tk8080 crore. Out of this, the main due is Tk 988 crore 39 lakh 33 thousand 217 crore, VAT and income tax is Tk 430 crore 52 lakh and surcharge is more than Tk 6661 crore.

CAAB letter has also said that Biman Bangladesh Airlines in a letter on September 15 mentioned the amount of accumulated arrears as Tk 4744.74 crore, which is not correct. As of June 30, 2022, the amount owed by CAAB to Biman is Tk 8080.87 crore.

Related Topics