Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Economic Traitor

Praful Patel is an economic traitor. As civil aviation minister his actions have led Air India to loss and disaster.

There was Indian Airlines. Praful Patel changed its name to Indian. That did not make any difference for better. Then Indian Airlines was merged with Air India. The merger was supposed to save money. Things went from bad to worse.

Air India suffered. Private airlines prospered. For months some of them did not pay fuel bills. During IPL Air India passengers had to wait for hours as scheduled flights were delayed to fly IPL teams.

When private airlines increased fares Praful Patel did not tell passengers to fly Air India. He told private airlines to reduce fair and threatened them if they did not do so. What is Praful Patel’s problem if private airlines charge “astronomical” fares? Why cann’t Air India use this opportunity? Air India could have gained. It needs thousands of crores of rupees to keep going.

Praful Patel has asked for extra 3,500 crore rupees for Air India and has warned of strikes by Air India employees if wages are recast. Air India has an accumulated loss of 7,200 crore rupees and working capital loans of around 18,000 crore rupees. Praful Patel is responsible for the mess. He should warn the employees that if they do not agree for recasting of wages Air India may be wound up. Some years back air traffic controllers who created problems by strike or work-to-rule were sacked. Former employees of Air India should not have perks.

People’s money should not be wasted on Air India. If there is no possibility of improvement without spending further money it should be privatised or wound up. Employees who go on strike can find jobs somewhere else. Praful Patel should not continue as minister.

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