Saturday, October 19, 2019

Praful Patel 'Ruined' Air India; Must Be Probed in PMC Scam Also, Says Prakash Javadekar

Nagpur: Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday accused NCP leader Praful Patel of "ruining" flag carrier Air India and sought a probe against him in the multi-crore scam at the Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank).
Without naming Patel, Javadekar said, "Certain person who is facing ED probe...his role in PMC Bank bankruptcy case should also be probed."
Patel, who was the Civil Aviation Minister in the UPA government, on Friday went to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai after being summoned by the agency in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of underworld don and terror accused Dawood Ibrahim.
Replying to a query, Javadekar said Patel, as the aviation minister, completely "ruined" Air India, which is suffering losses and is on the block for disinvestment.
"Around Rs 60,000 crore worth of new planes were purchased for a Rs 18,000 crore worth company under what business principles? Besides, those planes were not fully utilised.
"When planes of other private airlines were working for 20 hours, those of Air India were functioning only for nine hours. How can there be any profit in this situation?
Good routes of Air India were given to private players. Who was responsible and accountable for this?" the minister asked.
18/10/19 PTI/
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