Government’s proposal to privatise Air India to benefit private carriers: CITU

According to CITU, the Air India has accumulated such a huge loss due to the burden of debt servicing.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 31, 2017 9:30 pm
air india, citu, aviation news, business news, indian express news Air India is surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bail-out package, spread over 10 years, announced by UPA-II in 2012. (Representational Image)

The CITU on Wednesday termed the government’s proposal to privatise Air India as an exercise with a dubious intent to fritter away a national asset to benefit private airlines. The major trade union also said that the move was against the national interest and ill-timed as it came when Air India has posted an operating profit for the first time in 10 years since its merger with Indian Airlines. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had recently favoured disinvestment of the loss-making flag carrier, saying the airline’s market share is just around 14 per cent whereas the debt burden was Rs 50,000 crore.

He had also said that the taxpayer’s money could be better utilised such as for promoting education rather than in keeping the airline afloat.

Following this, the civil aviation ministry on Tuesday said it has received recommendations from the NITI Aayog and is looking at all possible alternatives to make Air India viable.

“The privatisation of Air India is not for saving public money but for frittering away a national asset and exchequer for the benefit of private corporate and private airlines, both domestic and foreign. This is an exercise with a dubious intent, totally against the national interest,” a statement issued by the Left affiliated Centre for Indian Trade Uinon (CITU).

Air India is surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bail-out package, spread over 10 years, announced by the Manmohan Singh government in 2012.

In 2015-16, the airline posted operational profit of Rs 105 crore on account of low fuel prices and increased passenger numbers.

According to CITU, the Air India has accumulated such a huge loss due to the burden of debt servicing.

It also said that the successive government’s at the Centre, and not the airline’s management, were to be blamed for the financial mess of Air India.

“Air India which had been a profit making company till 2007, pushed to loss and debt-burdened by the bungling and disastrous experiments by the successive governments at the Centre on the national carrier’s organisational structure. For this, the company management cannot be held responsible,” the statement said.

CITU has also asked that if the government is willing to write off the Rs 30,000 crore debt for the prospective private buyer why it could not make a similar offer to Air India.

The CBI has registered three FIRs and a preliminary enquiry (PE) to go into the controversial decisions made by the erstwhile UPA government with regard to the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, purchase of 111 aircraft and surrendering of profitable routes to favour private airlines.

For all the latest Business News, download Indian Express App

  1. R
    Ramakrishnan, R
    Jun 2, 2017 at 12:12 pm
    The arguments against the privatisation by the leftovers are useless and rubbish! Running Air India by the government is a huge economic disaster. Union people want to live happily out of poor tax payers' money! The government should go ahead with privatising Air India, which they should have done long back!
    Reply
  2. M
    madhusudan Bangalore
    May 31, 2017 at 11:18 pm
    THE PUBLIC SHOULD NOT BE EXPOSED FOR LOOTING BY PRIVATE OPERATORS IF AIR INDIA IS SOLD. UPA GOVT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS HUGE LOSS WHICH MUST BE RECOVERED. THIS MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY BJP GOVT WHO MUST RECOVER TOTAL LOSS OF AIR INDIA FROM CULPRITS. THE GOVT MUST FIRST ENSURE RECOVERY OF LOSSES CAUSED TO AIR INDIA BY NCP AND CONGRESS LEADERS. BJP GOVT MUST FIX RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCH BIG SCAM WORTH MORE THAN ONE LAC CRORE BY NCP AND CONGRESS LEADERS IN PURCHASING OF HUNDREDS OF AIRCRAFT WHICH WAS NOT NEEDED BY AIR INDIA. THIS IS CASE OF RECKLESS LOOTING OF PUBLIC MONEY. THE PUBLIC IS FULLY AWARE WITH BUNG DONE BY UPA GOVT WITH CONNIVANCE OF NCP LEADERS. BJP GOVT MUST RECOVER LOSSES CAUSED TO AIRLINE FROM ETS OF NCP AND CONGRESS LEADERS BY SEIZING ALL THEIR ETS. THEREAFTER, THESE CULPRITS MUST BE TRIED IN FAST TRACK COURT TO CONVICT THEM WITHIN SIX MONTHS. ANY DILL DOLL TACTICS TO BAIL OUT CORRUPTS BY PRESENT GOVT WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY PUBLIC.
    Reply
  3. S
    sambath
    May 31, 2017 at 11:09 pm
    CITU(Left) is only here to be a critic, they never want or like change even if its in a larger interest. Air India should be privatized as soon as possible to avoid further wastage of the public money.
    Reply
  4. P
    pakki
    May 31, 2017 at 10:01 pm
    CITU should say whether the private enterprise is anti national? And government servants and departments are honestly serving the people without wasting public money?
    Reply