AUTOPILOT FOR AIR IN­DIA?

Business Today - - CONTENTS - – Manu Kaushik

The de­ci­sion is an in­di­rect ac­knowl­edge­ment that the govern­ment has been un­able to run Air In­dia ef­fi­ciently

THE GOVERN­MENT IS re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing giv­ing the Air In­dia board au­ton­o­mous con­trol to run the Ma­haraja, on the con­di­tion that it will not ask the govern­ment for fur­ther sup­port from the next fi­nan­cial year.

The de­ci­sion is an in­di­rect ac­knowl­edge­ment that the govern­ment has been un­able to run Air In­dia ef­fi­ciently. But au­ton­omy per se is not syn­ony­mous with the air­line’s re­vival.

The Air In­dia board will get ` 15,000 crore and a debt-re­struc­tur­ing pro­posal to man­age its gar­gan­tuan out­stand­ing debt. The board – just like any other cor­po­rate en­tity

– will take all cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tur­ere­lated and com­mer­cial de­ci­sions.

A host of ideas con­tem­plated by pre­vi­ous man­age­ments will go back to the dis­cus­sion stage. With its huge fi­nan­cial and op­er­a­tional bag­gage, Air In­dia may not be able to make a fresh start even if this plan gets per­mis­sion to pro­ceed.

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