People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXVII

No. 41

October 13, 2013

 

 

 

                                               

AIR INDIA PRIVATISATION 

 

CITU Denounces Minister's Statement

 

THROUGH a statement issued from New Delhi on October 6, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has denounced the statement made by the civil aviation minister on privatisation of Air India, as was published in The Times of India on the day. The CITU said the minister must note that the Air India belongs to the nation and is not the property of the council of ministers of the UPA government.

 

The CITU also reminded the minister that the precarious financial situation the Air India is facing today is the creation of the reckless and irresponsible experiment of merger of Air India and Indian Airlines by the ministry and also of the irresponsible decision to purchase aircrafts without any preparation for making use of them immediately after arrival of the new aircrafts.

 

The CITU noted that the Committee of Public Undertakings (COPU) has made clear observations in this regard, making the government and the civil aviation ministry in particular responsible for huge losses of the Air India, while recommending concrete corrective measures. But the government did not --- deliberately --- act upon these recommendations, thereby making the financial situation more critical for Air India. This has given the minister an opportunity for this proposal for privatisation.

 

As for the ministerís talk about political will for privatisation, at present the centre is politically inclined to sell and privatise not only Air India but every productive asset and vital infrastructure at its disposal, to the satisfaction of its patrons in the corporate lobby, both domestic and foreign. The civil aviation ministry's anxiety for privatisation is also visible from its hectic move to hand over free of cost 20 airports of the country to private hands on a revenue sharing basis. Most of these airports were modernised and expanded with huge capital investment of around Rs 20,000 crore plus by the government owned Airport Authority of India.

 

The CITU has called upon the trade union movement and the workers and employees in general to unitedly protest and resist such anti-people moves of the government for privatisation of the entire civil aviation sector to the detriment of national interest.