Airport fees to go to govt treasury, not to CAAN coffers

By CK Khanal

rbbKathmandu, Aug. 7: The government has started preparation to introduce the provision of depositing the airport development fees (ADF) being collected from international air passengers into the reserve fund of the government.

For the last five years, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has been collecting and utilising the ADF depositing in its own account by taking permission from the Ministry of Finance.
The CAAN has been collecting Rs. 1,000 from every international air passenger departing from the TIA under ADF.
As per the procedures, air passengers directly pay ADF while purchasing their tickets, which the respective airlines companies deposit in the account of the CAAN every month.
In five years, the CAAN collected Rs.10.26 billion revenue under ADF from 9,963,830 international air passengers departing from the TIA. Last fiscal year, it collected Rs. 2.56 billion from 2,269,801 passengers.
Currently, at the time of renewal of the permission given to the CAAN five years ago, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has decided to bring it directly to the reserve fund of the government under a definite revenue heading.
Through a minister level decision, the MoF has renewed the permission of the CAAN to collect the ADF from the air passengers for next five years, but the revenue collected thus should be directly deposited in the reserve fund of the government.
The MoF has already sent a circular to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to make the required legal and procedural arrangement to bring the ADF under a definite revenue heading of the government.
After receiving the letter from the MoF, the ministry has initiated discussion to make the legal and procedural preparations for bringing the ADF into the reserve fund of the government under a definite revenue heading, said Suresh Acharya, officiating secretary of the MoCTCA.
The MoF has shown concerns about the proper utilisation of the money collected from the air passengers, our responsibility is to facilitate it, Acharya said.
“As per the direction of MoF to consult with the Financial Comptroller General Office while making the preparations, we are planning to form a committee in the participation of FCGO to make a legal and procedural management,” Acharya said.
As per the circular issued by the MoF to MoCTCA and received by The Rising Nepal, after the application of the new provision, the CAAN will get the fund only to utilise in airport development works through the appropriation bills of the government.
Earlier, the CAAN used to collect and utilise the ADF as per its requirements by depositing in its own account.However, the CAAN, has requested to the Ministry of Finance in writing to give the permission as per the previous provision.
“We have written to the MoF requesting it to continue the permission with the provision of collecting and utilising ADF as per the previous practices,” said Trilochan Poudel, information officer of the CAAN.
He said that the development works of the airport would be affected if the new provision was applied. He said that the collection of ADF by the CAAN was as per the CAAN Airport Service Fee Regulation 2067 and ADF Collection and Expenditure Directives 2073 approved by the government.
The CAAN is also collecting other 23 types of fees as per the regulation. 

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