Friday, May 29, 2020

Air India employee unions seek Rs 50,000 cr financial package for flag carrier

New Delhi: A large section of Air India employees has written to the Government to infuse Rs 50,000 crore into the national carrier, stating that the airline is a necessity for the country.Experts, however, feel that the plea won’t have much impact, since the government is in no position to infuse such a big amount at this point of time. “Whatever the government has to announce for the sector, it had announced in the Aatmanirbhar package. It is highly unlikely that they would infuse an amount this big now. They would be focused on keeping the airline alive, so that when normalcy returns, they are able to go ahead with the privatisation plan,” said an aviation analyst requesting anonymity.
In February, the government had initiated the process for divesting 100 per cent of its holding in Air India. The original date for submission of expressions of interest (EOI) was March 15, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline has been extended to June 30, 2020. Aviation consultancy firm Capa India had, in a note earlier this month, said that the privatisation of Air India continues to be high on the government’s agenda despite getting delayed by several quarters due to the pandemic. It had said that the government may even seek to fast-track the process once it resumes, since it will otherwise need to commit several billion dollars of capital.
The Joint Forum of AI employees and staff unions, however, said that Air India is a “necessity” for the country, especially in times of crises, and a financial package will not only help the flag carrier but also the entire economy.“In view of this, we request you to kindly grant Air India a financial package of Rs 50,000 crore,” the Joint Forum said.
28/05/20 New Indian Express
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