Monday, March 12, 2018

Govt owes Air India over Rs 325 crore for VVIP chartered flights

New Delhi: The government owes over Rs 325 crore to cash-strapped Air India with bills pending for VVIP chartered flights to foreign countries, according to an RTI response.
The national carrier, which is on the verge of being privatised, has provided details of pending bills towards various ministries responsible for the VVIP visits in its latest response to the information sought by Commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra.
The details provided in the response dated March 8 shows that Rs 325.81 crore worth of bills for VVIP charter flights are pending as on January 31, 2018.
Of the total pending bills, Rs 84.01 crore have been carried forward from last financial year while the remaining Rs 241.80 crore are from bills generated this year.
The chartered aircraft for VVIPs — the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister — for their visits abroad are provided by Air India which modifies its commercial jets to suit the needs of the travelling dignitaries.
The bills for these aircraft are to be paid from the exchequer by the defence ministry, the ministry of external affairs ministry, the Prime Minister's Office and the Cabinet Secretariat.
The response from Air India said that the highest outstanding amount of Rs 178.55 crore was due from the external affairs ministry, followed by the Cabinet Secretriat and the PMO (Rs 128.84 crore), and the defence ministry (Rs 18.42 crore).
The reply stated that outstanding bills of Rs 451.71 crore were carried forward while bills of Rs 553.01 crore were generated this year — a total of Rs 1004.72 crore. Out of this, the government made a payment of Rs 678.91 crore this year.
11/03/18 PTI/Times of India