Biman boss hits back at Quader | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 19, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 19, 2010

Biman boss hits back at Quader

Terms his outburst as result of row between aviation minister and secretary

Share this with

Copy this link

The chairman of board of directors and the managing director of Biman yesterday came down heavily on Civil Aviation Minister GM Quader for his recent allegation that the national flag carrier lacks accountability and transparency.
Biman Board Chairman Air Marshal (retd) Jamal Uddin Ahmed in a counter allegation said there was "conflict" between the minister and the secretary of the civil aviation and tourism ministry and the minister's "disappointment" was its consequences.
"If he [GM Quader] wants Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd to be fully accountable to his ministry, which would interfere in Biman's activities, then the government should turn it back into its earlier position of a corporation," Ahmed said.
He was speaking at a news briefing at the boardroom of Biman's head office in Uttara in the capital.
"The minister will be the chairman of Biman and can interfere in all its activities once it becomes a corporation. But we all know about the bad shape of Biman when it was a corporation," added the former air force chief.
"He [the minister] will be able to do whatever he likes after turning it back into a corporation when Biman owed hundreds of crore of taka to different organisations," Ahmed continued.
He added, "There is difference of opinions between the minister and the secretary of the civil aviation ministry. Besides, there is also communications gap between them."
On the minister's allegations of Biman's lack of accountability to the ministry, Ahmed said, "We informed the ministry as well as the minister about every activity of Biman."
"Nothing happens in Biman that the minister does not know. Besides, the secretary of his ministry is an important member of the Biman board who attended the board meetings. We send minutes of the meetings to the ministry that used to give us feedback on a regular basis," said the chairman of Biman board.
Ahmed went on to say that the ministry sends them newspaper clippings on aviation and they also send their reply and clarification sought to that end.
"There is nothing ambiguous in Biman's activities," he added.
"I called on the minister at his office at least six times in the last one and a half years though he did not call me. I always brief him every single activity of Biman," he said.
Biman Managing Director and CEO Air Commodore (retd) Muhammad Zakiul Islam echoed the same.
"I used to go to the ministry regularly to attend different meetings and brief the minister about Biman's activities," Islam said.
"It is unfortunate if the minister raises allegations that there is no accountability and transparency in Biman in spite of such efforts from our side," commented the Biman board boss.
On the minister's allegations of corruption in Biman, Ahmed said the government has respective agencies to look into such matters.
"If the minister has any specific allegations of corruption, why is he not raising the matter with the government's respective bodies?" the Biman board chairman asked.
"One should be careful while raising allegations of corruption against someone," he commented.
On the minister's allegations of not materialising his directions and advices, Ahmed said, "Please ask him which advices we did not carry out."
He however admitted the allegation of manipulation in the tender process in hajj flight operation but he did not elaborate on the matter.
The civil aviation minister has recently commented that Biman should be accountable to the ministry. He also stressed the need for the ministry's authority to oversee Biman's activities.
The immediate past caretaker government in 2007 turned Biman into a public limited company through promulgation of the necessary ordinance. But the ordinance ceased to have effect from February 25 as it was not ratified in parliament within the timeframe stipulated in the constitution.
However, parliament on March 30 passed a bill so that Biman can run independently without any intervention of the ministry in efforts to improve its services and make it a profitable venture.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone and Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Share this with

Copy this link

Top News

Top