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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Rajya Sabha: Hardeep Singh Puri defends privatisation of Air India, 6 airports

The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was passed by the Upper House Tuesday, seeks to impose a penalty of up to Rs 1 crore for any lapses and violation of airline rules and regulations.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | September 16, 2020 1:49:55 am
Hardeep Singh Puri Interview, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Domestic flights to resume, Domestic flights guidelines, India coronavirus, India covid lockdown, Indian expressCivil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

The privatisation of Air India is inevitable as the only other alternative for the government is to wind up the debt-ridden airline, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which was passed by the Upper House Tuesday, seeks to impose a penalty of up to Rs 1 crore for any lapses and violation of airline rules and regulations. This Bill will also convert the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), and the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) into statutory bodies. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in March.

Speaking during the debate on the Bill, Opposition Members appreciated the Civil Aviation Ministry’s effort to bring back Indians stranded abroad during the lockdown. However, many members also criticised the government for disinvestment in Air India.

Puri reiterated that Air India is being weighed down by a debt of Rs 60,000 crore. “We are confident that Air India will be given to a new owner to keep the flag flying high.”

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