A number of senior officials of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines have been disappointed over the contractual job of an Indian national as its chief financial officer for more than four years,
Because of the discontent, the management has started looking for a replacement of the lone foreigner holding a key position in the national flag carrier.
Bangladesh officials said that the issue of appointing Indian national Vineet Sood and extending his job was discussed many times at the policy level but without reaching any conclusion.
Biman’s managing director and chief executive officer Md Mokabbir Hossain on Thursday told New Age that as Vineet Sood was holding a vital position they were, therefore, taking time to find his replacement.
Vineet is one of the nine executive directors appointed through an advertisement and he has been serving the Bangladesh flag carrier as its CFO since August 2015, said Biman officials.
The senior Biman officials have also raised questions about his competence for the job, but these questions could not be independently verified.
Vineet was approached for his comment but he did not give any till Friday evening.
‘None has the understanding of what he has done so far. I have to thoroughly understand what role he has played. Without doing that we cannot fire him,’ said Mokabbir, a bureaucrat-turned-airline manager.
‘His responsibilities are being taken away before replacing him. I am going through what he has done so far,’ said Mokabbir.
‘We cannot fire him instantly,’ he added.
Biman’s senior officials told New Age that the then civil aviation and tourism secretary, SM Ghulam Farooque, had raised the issue as to why a foreigner should be given the charge of a key position but no decision on this issue was taken at the time.
Ghulam Farooque could not be reached on Friday despite a number of attempts.
The then civil aviation minister, Rashed Khan Menon, said that he was not apprised of the appointment of an India in the key position.
‘I was only told that some foreign consultants were recruited,’ Manon added.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina in March 2014 said that loss-making Biman Bangladesh Airlines needed to make profit for its survival.
The airline hardly saw profit but it claimed that it earned a profit of Tk 218 crore in the 2018-19 fiscal year despite its outstanding bills with fuel suppliers and the regulator.
The Biman officials said that Vineet had worked with Dana Airlines Limited for six years and nine months before joining the Biman.
When asked, civil aviation and tourism secretary Md Mohibul Haque, also a director of the Biman’s board, said that they would raise the issue after the new board would be constituted this month.
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