Thursday, August 16, 2018

Air India employees get July salaries 15 days late: Report

NATIONAL carrier Air India has disbursed the salaries to its employees for the month of July, after a delay of 15 days.
The Chairman and Managing Director of the airline, Pradeep Singh Kharola told to news agency ANI.
"Air India has disbursed the salary for its staff for the month of July," Kharola confirmed.
The debt-ridden airline had issued a notice earlier this month in the connection.
''We regret to inform the delay in payment of salaries for July 2018 due to...
circumstances beyond the control of the management. However, all efforts are being made to make the payment by next week," the notice said.
This was for the fifth consecutive month that the airline failed to disburse the salaries on time.
Earlier, Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu said, "The issues are being addressed by the ministry. As you already know, because of the increase in fuel cost, the airline sector not just in India but globally facing severe challenges," said Prabhu.
Meanwhile, the government is mulling yet another giant rescue package to make beleaguered Air India commercially viable following the disinvestment fiasco earlier this year. This will include a Rs 30,000 crore loan write-off and a cash infusion of Rs 10,000-11,000 crore, said people with knowledge of the matter.
Accumulated losses will also be written off as part of the package that’s being considered by the finance ministry, allowing the company to clean up its balance sheet, said the people cited above. “Small cash infusions are not making any dent. We want to put the airline in a commercially viable situation,” said one of the officials cited above.
Media reports quoting aviation ministry sources said that a decision to work on another bailout for Air India was taken at a meeting in the Prime Minister's Office with an intent to improve the financial and operational situation of the national carrier. Aviation secretary RN Choubey told a national financial daily that such talks are being held. 
If approved, this will be the second bailout for Air India in a span of five years. In 2013, the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government approved an equity infusion of Rs 30,231 crore until 2020-21. The airline has already received about Rs 27,000 crore of this.
While disinvestment is ruled out for now, the government wants the airline to be in shape for sale once the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are over. The latest plan follows the failed bid to sell about 76 percent of Air India in March, primarily due to the government’s decision to retain a 24 percent stake. Niti Aayog had proposed a 100 percent stake sale.
If the package is approved, the airline will only have loans against aircraft left on its books. That’s expected to make the carrier commercially viable. “Airline should service the loans on aircraft. The idea is to let it run like any other commercial airline,” said the official cited above. 

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