All op­tions open for AI’s re­vival

Deccan Chronicle - - NATION -

With the pos­si­bil­ity of dis­in­vest­ment or even out­right pri­vati­sa­tion of national car­rier Air In­dia not be­ing ruled out by the Govern­ment, Civil Avi­a­tion Min­istry Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju on Tues­day said the (Govern­ment think­tank) NITI Aayog has sub­mit­ted cer­tain rec­om­men­da­tions to his min­istry for the fu­ture course of ac­tion for Air In­dia to make it a “strong and vi­able” air­line and that all op­tions are be­ing ex­am­ined by the Govern­ment. Top govern­ment sources mean­while said the fate of Air In­dia would be de­cided in the next three months by the min­istry which will un­der­take in­tense de­lib­er­a­tions on the NITI Aayog rec­om­men­da­tions be­fore de­cid­ing a course of ac­tion to secure the fu­ture of the air­line in national in­ter­est.

“NITI Aayog has made rec­om­men­da­tions for mak­ing Air In­dia strong and vi­able. All cour­ses of ac­tion are be­ing ex­am­ined. We have not closed any op­tion,” Mr. Raju told re­porters at a me­dia brief­ing in the Cap­i­tal. min­is­ter of state for civil avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha, who was also present at the brief­ing held to high­light the achieve­ments in the civil avi­a­tion sec­tor in the past three years of the BJP-led NDA govern­ment, said, “We are con­sid­er­ing all pos­si­ble al­ter­na­tives (for Air In­dia)... We are dis­cussing (what can be) the win­ning strat­egy for the air­line.”

Asked what would be the op­tions on the ta­ble, Mr Sinha said that “We can’t dis­close now be­yond this point.” Sources said the min­istry had al­ready be­gun de­lib­er­a­tions with Air In­dia on the NITI Aayog’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

How­ever, min­istry sources seemed con­fi­dent that a way would be found to en­sure that Air In­dia sur­vives. On CBI in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the merger of Air In­dia and the erst­while In­dian Air­lines into a uni­fied car­rier a decade ago.

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