No plan to privatise Air India: Raju

Neelu Vyas

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Pusapati Gajapati Raju said the government has no plan to privatise Air India, but sent out a stern message to the employees of the national carrier to improve performance within a time frame.

Raju assured AI staffers that he would look into issues such as pending incentives and salaries of the airline’s 29,000 employees. Any improvement is not possible with a bunch of disgruntled employees, he said in an exclusive interview to Rajya Sabha TV.

He said the decisions taken by the previous government to buy and sell aircraft were not taken keeping in mind any commercial plan. He said the national carrier is a victim of wrong decisions.

He denied the reports that Foreign Direct Investment in aviation is being raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.

On the airline’s the mounting costs, he said he want the state government’s cooperation to bring down high aviation fuel prices by reducing levies. Aviation Turbine Fuel is the biggest component of an airline’s cost.

Stressing on Prime minister Narendra Modi’s mantra of governance, Raju said competitive Fedralism would result in lower ATF prices.