The Asian Age

Govt to curb panic buying, hoarding

IndiGo to cut staff pay, AI may follow suit


New Delhi, March 19: IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta announced on Thursday that the airline was institutin­g pay cuts for senior employees and he would himself take the highest cut of 25 per cent amid the coronaviru­s pandemic that has hit the aviation industry hard.

Air India may also cut salary of employees by 5 per cent amid its growing financial woes, compounded by the pandemic.

In an email to employees, Dutta said with the precipitou­s drop in revenues, the very survival of the airline industry is now at stake. "We have to pay careful attention to our cash flow so that we do not run out of cash."

"With a great deal of reluctance and a deep sense of regret, we are therefore institutin­g pay cuts for all employees, excluding Bands A and B, starting April 1, 2020," he said.

Band A and B are the lowest salry brackets, where most of the employees are.

"I am personally taking a 25 per cent pay cut, SVPs (senior vice presidents) and above are taking 20 per cent, VPs and cockpit crew are taking a 15 per cent pay cut, AVPs, Bands D along with cabin crew will take 10 per cent and Band Cs 5 per cent," Dutta noted.

Sources said, "Air India is considerin­g a 5 per cent pay cut to its employees, as it faces huge financial crisis due to the ongoing coronaviru­s outbreak, which has brought almost its entire internatio­nal operations save the US, Canada and a few other markets, to the ground."

The national carrier has also decided to take off from flying its over 100 reemployed pilots on contract as part of cost cutting measures. —Agencies

With consumers resorting to panic buying of food and hygiene products, the government is all set to take strict action against hoarding of essential items against shopping platforms. The Centre has also cautioned supermarke­ts and large stores against bulk sale of goods.

"The suppliers, manufactur­ers as well as shop owners, mostly in the supermarke­ts and grocery stores across the country, have been strictly warned against such hoarding and black-marketeeri­ng activities, following which severe penalties will be imposed against them," said an official of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distributi­on.

"Public spending on grocery items in several supermarke­ts and grocery stores is too high. The bulk sale needs to be restricted to the consumers; otherwise they may face an action," said the official.

With growing concerns over the spread of Covid-19, it has been observed that consumers in major cities have begun to stock up on essential, daily-use items, such as foodgrains, pulses, edible oils and sanitary items like soaps and sanitizers. To prevent shortages of essential items, supermarke­ts like Reliance Fresh and Big Bazaar have capped the bulk sale of items.

"We have restricted bulk sale of daily-use items. For instance, we have capped the sale of rice to 5 kg and dal to 1 kg per day," said a counter person at a Reliance Fresh outlet in Faridabad, NCR.

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