A fortnight after the Union Cabinet gave in-principle nod to the Air India’s divestment proposal, a Parliamentary panel headed by a Trinamool Congress member has decided to seek views from the finance ministry and the civil aviation ministry on the issue.
The Standing Committee of Parliament on Transport, Tourism and Culture headed by TMC MP Mukul Roy has called senior officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (Ministry of Finance) and Air India on July 12 before it to hear their views on disinvestment of Air India.
Besides, the 31-member panel is also meeting to consider and adopt the draft reports on the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 and the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016. The Union Cabinet had on June 28 given the in-principle approval for Air India stake divestment. While announcing this, finance minister Arun Jaitley had also said that the civil aviation ministry’s proposal for formation of a group under the chairmanship of the finance minister to decide the modalities of the divestment process has also been accepted.
Left-affiliated CITU has termed the government’s proposal an “exercise with a dubious intent”, while RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has warned of a “major confrontation”. In February as well, the BMS had voiced strong disapproval of Niti Aayog’s proposal to proceed for strategic disinvestment of the national carrier. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also rued then that the government, instead of improving the public sectors, wants to disinvest them and that such moves will take away the job opportunities from the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes.