The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) denounces the Government’s announcement of allowing 49 per cent FDI in the country’s national carrier – Air India. Modi Govt had already decided to push Air India for wholesale privatization. And to expedite such privatization move, the Govt has now made this announcement of permitting 49 per cent FDI. Actually, this is nothing but complete foreignisation of the national carrier – a public sector company with its huge asset base and a high-revenue earning international service network.

The Govt of the day is making the plea of huge loss the Air India is being burdened with to justify privatisation. But the Govt seeks to hide the fact that Air India has been pushed to this situation not because of its management’s failure but owing to imposition of disastrous decision on the company by successive governments at the Centre like hasty merger of Indian Airlines and Air India; forcible procurement of huge fleet of aircrafts from foreign companies through direct purchase at an in-opportune time thereby imposing on the company an unbearable burden of indebtedness leading to loss. Despite such reckless and imprudent misadventure and subsequent hurdles imposed by the successive Govts, including the current one through the concerned Ministry, Air India struggled to come back to operating profit for last three years. Despite that, the present Govt decided to privatise the national carrier, and to hasten up the process, the door is now widely opened for the foreign companies to take over. Such destructive decision is being pursued by the Govt despite the concerned Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, comprising of representatives of all the political parties including BJP, unanimously recommending not to privatise Air India, at least for three years more while helping it for speed up its improvement which has already set in. When privatization, rather foreignisation of national assets becomes the main goal of the Govt, then such destructive decision of foreignisation of national carrier is being taken by the Govt completely unconcerned of the national interests. CITU vehemently condemns such destructive move.

Equally destructive is the decision of the Govt of allowing 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail trade, which in the background of fast corporatization of the retail trade sector has already been putting existing decentralized retail trade sector in severe difficulties and crisis. Allowing 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail trade will further increase the hardship of traditional retail trade sector which is the second biggest livelihood giver after agriculture and expedite the ruin of the traditional retail trade sector.

CITU condemns these destructive and reckless decisions on FDI, which are destined to damage the national economy and reduce employment, and calls upon the working class to build up determined resistance against such deliberate exercise towards degeneration of the national economy and peoples’ livelihood both through sectoral and nationwide united struggle.

Issued by,
General Secretary

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