New Delhi: In the wake of its proposed privatization, the government has asked Air India to put a freeze on large-scale promotion and appointments. A new flights has to be started only when it is extremely necessary and after due diligence from commercial aspect.
“The direction came almost a week back. It says that due to impending privatization, no major initiatives have to be taken up. There will be freeze on appointments and promotions,” an official source told. The direction has come from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management or DIPAM.
After failing to find a bidder in its previous term, the Modi 2.0 government is working on war-footing to sell Air India to a private player. It has already reconstituted the group of ministers (GoM) to decide the course of privatization. Consulting firm EY is already working to finalize preliminary information memorandum (PIM) to invite expression of interest (EoI) from prospective bidders.
Air India has a total debt of about Rs 58,000 crore. The cumulative loss of the national carrier is to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore. In the financial year ending March 31, 2019 the airline is estimated to have reported a loss of Rs 7,600 crore.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri this week said that Air India has to be privatized in order to save it. He suggested that government was not equipped to run an airline where operational decisions on a day to day basis have to be taken immediately rather than following a bureaucratic process or going for tender process. (IANS)