Thursday, December 28, 2017

Govt determined on Air India privatisation; no proposal to reconsider disinvestment, says Jayant Sinha

The government on Thursday made it clear that it's determined to privatise Air India and its supplementary companies, and there's no proposal to reconsider the disinvestment decision on the national carrier. While Union Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the government did not want Air India to become defunct like Kingfisher Airlines and wanted it to serve the nation, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said there's no proposal to reconsider the decision on the privatisation of Air India that had an outstanding debt of Rs 51,890 crore. Both the ministers gave these statements during the Parliament session in Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Raju said that the government did not want anyone working in Air India to lose job. "Nobody wants anyone to become unemployed. We don't want Air India to go the Kingfisher (Airlines) way. We want the Air India to serve the nation, to serve the people and fly high."
The government has already begun the disinvestment process of the national carrier. A ministerial committee headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is looking into the matter of disinvestment of Air India and anyone, including MPs, is welcome to give their suggestions to this panel, the Aviation Minister said. his year in June, the Union Cabinet had cleared the disinvestment of debt-ridden Air India, but the final modalities, including the quantum of stake sale, would be decided by a group of ministers headed by the Finance Minister.
Surviving on taxpayers' money, Air India has been in the red for long and various proposals, including government think-tank Niti Aayog's recommendation for complete privatisation, have been made. The Kingfisher Airlines was established in 2003 by liquor baron Vijay Mallya. The air carrier was suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation after it failed to address the regulator's concerns about its operations. Kingfisher Airlines also defaulted on loans from various Indian banks amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.
28/12/17 Business Today