Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Air India-Indian Airlines merger, purchase of 111 aircraft collective decision of UPA government: Praful Patel

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) blamed Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Public Sector Investment Board and Planning Commission, National Aviation Corporation of India Ltd for entering into a "disastrous" deal of acquisition of 111 Boeing and Airbus aircraft for the national carriers during UPA's regime.
The FIR registered by the agency in this connection says all three organisations including MoCA, under the then minister Praful Patel, were fully aware that the purchase would be a recipe for disaster, yet allowed it to happen.
The public servants of MoCA and Air India, by misusing their official positions ordered purchase of 111 aircraft pegged at Rs 67,000 crores. Such an ambitious purchase order was made without studying requirements, requisite transparency, and proper application of mind causing loss to the government exchequer.
Reacting to reports, former civil aviation minister Praful Patel said in a statement: "The CBI started a preliminary enquiry in 2013 during UPA regime. I do not wish to comment on CBI action as it does not name any individual. All decisions were multi-tiered and collective. The aircraft purchase order was cleared by an EGOM headed by P Chidamabaram and the merger was cleared by an EGOM headed by Pranab Mukherjee. Both decisions were ratified by the cabinet."
31/05/17 Atir Khan/India Today

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