The crisis at the state-run Air India deepened as nearly 100 cabin crew,unpaid for three months,deployed on the international sector started reporting sick since 10 pm on Monday,leading to a delay in flights of up to three hours,said airline officials.
Besides the non-payment of salaries for the last three months,the crew has protested against airlines failure to clear layover allowances paid to staff manning international flights,an airline official in the know told The Indian Express.
Air India (International) has nearly 1,500 cabin crew staff. The pilots on the international sector too have threatened to proceed on strike from April 1,if the company is unable clear their dues .
When contacted,Air India CMD Rohit Nandan said,The layover allowances was been released today to the employees accounts. But due to a local festival in Maharashtra,the bank were closed. We have now authorised Thomas Cook to make the payments. Hopefully the matter should get resolved now,we are in talks with them.
He said clearing salary dues would be his first priority when the government releases the balance Rs 180 crore as allocated for in the supplementary Budget.
By next Monday or Tuesday,I should be able to clear a portion of salary dues, Nandan said. None of the flights have been cancelled so far,however,they are operating with delays, said the official.
If the situation continues for the next one or two days,the international operations would be disrupted, the source said and added the delay was also on account of an Airbus 330 plane which had been grounded.
Another official said that these are just pressure tactics deployed by them to force the management and the government to bring attention to their woes.
They have not officially gone on strike,nor has the management received any representation from them on the same, said the official.
Retroactive taxation a regressive move: USIBC
The US-India Business Council (USIBC) on Wednesday said that amendment of I-T Act retrospectively is regressive in nature. Vodafone kind of cases sent a wrong signal to investors. It is a little regressive in nature. However,we believe this is one-off case and the overall business environment will remain investor-friendly, USIBC president Ron Somers said at a CII event here.
USIBC and CII maintained that bilateral trade could surge to $ 500 billion by 2020. From $5 billion in 1990 it has reached $100 billion,with potential to grow further, said Adi Godrej,president-designate,CII.