Monday, December 02, 2019

Govt owes Air India Rs 798 crore; more than half of it for PM's travel

The government owes crisis-stricken Air India a whopping Rs 797.95 crore as of September 30, 2019 for flights operated for VVIPs, including the president, the prime minister, the vice president and foreign dignitaries, and more than half of it—Rs 458.959 crore—is the amount outstanding for the prime minister's travel.

As per the information provided by Air India in response to a query made under the Right to Information Act, six months earlier, on March 31, 2019, the government owed the national carrier Rs 598.55 crore. Hence there was a whopping increase of close to Rs 200 crore in the amount that the government owes the airline.

In response to an application made by RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd), the Air India informed that total invoice raised for the prime minister's travels was Rs 1,321.41 crore. Of this, bills amounting to Rs 862.45 crore were cleared by the government, leaving Rs 458.959 crore as the outstanding amount.

The president's flights cost a total of Rs 539.35 crore. Of this, the defence ministry, which handles the travel bills of the president, paid Rs 295.40 crore, leaving an outstanding amount of Rs 243.950 crore.

The Air India raised a bill of Rs 779.40 crore for flying the vice president, of which Rs 706.69 crore has been paid, and the amount yet to be paid stands at Rs 72.7 crore.

The national carrier is awaiting a payment of Rs 9.674 crore for evacuation flights undertaken by it.

Other flights operated by the national carrier generated a billing of Rs 21.57 crore, of which Rs 8.91 crore was paid and Rs 12.656 crore is pending.
02/12/19 Soni Mishra/The Week
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